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Jon Stewart vs. Fox News

Host Jon Stewart in the studio of The Daily Sh...

Image via Wikipedia

Alternet is reposting a piece by Jason Easley’s blog about Jon Stewart’s threat to Fox News and the Republican media establishment.

Quite honestly, Stewart is one of the few folks who are doing the most basic journalism out there.

Republican positions depend on people being distracted and deeply enraged — about gossamer nothing issues. Under the cold light of facts, the Republican record and their myriad tangle of lies, dishonesty and hypocrisy are readily apparent to anyone with half a brain.

The rest of the corporate media establishment spend a lot of time being “fair” and pretending that all arguments carry equal weight — when a simple look at the facts (easily obtainable records, video, audio recordings) could easily cut to the heart of the matter.

Instead, the lazy, ratings-driven media creates a false “two-sides” dichotomy that bears not resemblance to reality.

Position A: The moon is a rocky object that orbits the earth

Position B: The moon is a hole cut in a big black sheet that makes up the sky

In the mainstream media, what we would see is an interview of the a supporter of position A, followed by something like this nonsense:

“…but detractors say that people who hold Position A are part of a NASA cover-up, and the moon is merely the light coming from behind the big sheet that wraps the earth. Back to you, Vance.”

And that’s assuming that there aren’t more sides to the story — as there are in most complex policy issues.

Stewart knows this game, and educates his audience to be media savvy.

Unlike Fox, the Daily Show host has a young audience that will continue to grow as the elderly who regularly view Murdoch’s monstrosity die off, leaving no one to replace them. The Colbert Report, which follows Stewart’s show, also has a vibrant, smart younger viewing demographic.

That’s why, Easley argues, Stewart and the hilarious Stephen Colbert are such a threat to Fox:

Fox News has made no secret of their distaste for Colbert, and especially Jon Stewart, and it is pretty obvious why. Colbert and Stewart are educating an entire generation of younger viewers to critically think about what they see in the media. The long term health of Fox News is going to depend on their ability to attract and retain younger viewers. These are the same viewers that are watching Jon Stewart expose and mock Fox News on a nightly basis. This is why FNC goes out of it’s way to impugn the credibility of Stewart anytime they can.

This is a glimmer of hope in an otherwise dismal mediascape.

The Republican war on science and intellectualism has taken its toll, and the consumers of right-wing pabulum often display pride in their ignorance and lack of education.

For those in the reality-based community, the nation would be better served to develop serious news sources that use the reporting basics Stewart uses to good effect on his nightly comedy program.

Truth and facts are a killer to failed Republican ideas. And they know it.


September 14, 2010 - Posted by | Entertainment, Fox News, Politics | , , , , , , ,


  1. Did you read this article?

    I agree with your “two-sides” observation about the media. It can be infuriating when the two supposed sides of an issue are given equal time even when they don’t merit it.. Ex: 99 out of 100 scientists believe man-made gases contribute to global climate change. Let’s give equal time to the one who doesn’t thereby presenting the opposing ideas as having equal validity when clearly they do not.

    Comment by melanie | September 16, 2010 | Reply

    • The old establishment media has become a parody.
      It seems they can’t grasp the simple concept of nuts and bolts journalism.
      When I was in college my crazy mentor, Tom Nugent, taught me that journalists should “seek pain”.
      He meant to ask the uncomfortable, but important questions.
      The idea is to keep in mind who your reader is and what is important to them to make informed decisions. This is not necessarily what the reader WANTS to hear.
      Now it’s all about ratings and site hits.
      I’ll read the NYT article tonight on my break. Thanks!

      Comment by wcward57 | September 16, 2010 | Reply

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