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Interpreting Jon Stewart's Politics: Stewart went overboard to prove he wasn't overly progressive

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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 08:45 AM
Original message
Interpreting Jon Stewart's Politics: Stewart went overboard to prove he wasn't overly progressive
Interpreting Jon Stewart's Politics
by Shamus Cooke
November 1, 2010

Any criticism of Jon Stewart must begin with enthusiastic praise: his Daily Show is where millions of people go for important news that is purposely ignored by the mainstream media. Consequently, both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have become icons of the political Left.

The rally was thus far the clearest expression of his political thought. The essence his political message was conveyed by a song performed by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow (Stewart introduced the pair's song as being in sync with the purpose of the event). The chorus of the song includes the following lyrics: "Yelling on the left/Screaming on the right/ I'm sitting in the middle trying to live my life."

This "middle" is where Jon Stewart's politics lie, between what he sees as an unreasonable left and right-wing of the political spectrum; a theme repeated throughout the event.

Later in the rally Stewart played a video compilation of left-wing and right-wing pundits, screaming insults at their political opposites. Stewart portrays his politics as an alternative - a rational-thinking middle-ground.

To prove his moderate politics and to fend off right-wing criticism, Stewart draped American flags around the stage and had musicians perform patriotic songs, including America the Beautiful and the National Anthem. Sadly, Stewart went overboard to prove he wasn't overly progressive, when he specifically denounced Marxists as "attempting to subvert our constitution " - an example of McCarthy Red-baiting at its worse.

Stewart's rally strongly implied that instead of political conflict, everyone should join him in the reasonable political center. One of his concluding remarks was: "It's a shame we can't work together to get things done."

Stewart does his audience a great disservice by not recognizing the profit-motive behind the right-wing fear-mongers, who are paid large salaries by corporations to divide and confuse working people. We are instead led to believe that simple "insanity" is why our mainstream media allows figures such as Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin to preach hate and nonsense to millions of people.

Whether he acknowledges it or not, Jon Stewart is a political figure adored by millions on the left and ruthlessly hated by those on the right. The middle-ground that Stewart would like to base his politics on survives only in his head, and in the heads of others who would like to ignore the very real conflict between giant corporations versus tens of millions of working people.

Sides must be taken in this battle. But instead, Stewart preaches from the sidelines with a message that says, "No such battle is taking place." Unfortunately for Stewart, the politicians and mainstream media that he regularly thrashes fully embrace this perspective, for their own benefit.

Please read the full article at:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/11/01-3



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RandomThoughts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
1. I think he was speaking about reason and perspective.
And they are focusing on his comment about compromise, by ignoring they may be the ones not compromising.

It is a standard idea of take only, and never give, and part of never compromising.

Are they acknowledging their errors that he mentioned? That would be compromise, instead they pick something they can use to further there own position without compromise, they have not learned.

That is what can be learned from that.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. What compromises do you think should be made to the right-wing, Wall Street and corporate America

that haven't already been made?

I believe we must oppose and fight their agenda, not help them enact it one incremental step at a time.
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RandomThoughts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
40. Well if I was bargening with them. Not saying that bargening is what I do.
My first compromise would be an offer not to completely obliterate
their existence,
thought of having existence,
and any concept of them every having any reality or existence.

That would be a nice first offer to start with, although not sure if I could, or if I could, would, make an offer such as that without even having the beginning of a discussion.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Poboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #5
13. My belief as well. I think I will iggy it, as reading replies while not offensive, are a
complete waste of time. Rarely makes any coherant sense.Very frustrating.
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 08:53 AM
Response to Original message
2. Calling for civility and using reason to reach conclusions.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. I believe that President Obama has been a role model of civility to the right-wing reactionaries.

And in return they have .... crapped all over him.

And will now greatly increase their numbers in Congress.

So how did all that civility and compromise work out for Obama and the American people?
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jaxx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. This has been the most progressive congress in many, many years.
That can't have made the rightwing happy, and we know it's not made the corporations happy. They want none of it.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
4. "...denounced Marxists as 'attempting to subvert our constitution '"--quite false
Stewart offered that up as what one would think of Democrats from watching cable news. And he's correct.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #4
12. Yep, the author of the article in the OP has taken the quote completely out of context
Edited on Mon Nov-01-10 10:10 AM by muriel_volestrangler
Here's what he said:

And yet with that being said I feel goodstrangely, calmly good. Because the image of Americans that is reflected back to us by our political and media process is false. It is us through a fun house mirror and not the good kind that makes you look slim in the waist and maybe taller, but the kind where you have a giant forehead and an ass shaped like a month-old pumpkin and one eyeball.

So, why would we work together? Why would you reach across the aisle to a pumpkin assed forehead eyball monster?

If the picture of us were true of course our inability to solve problems would actually be quite sane and reasonable. Why would you work with Marxists actively subverting our Constitution or racists and homophobes who see no ones humanity but their own? We hear every damn day about how fragile our country ison the brink of catastrophetorn by polarizing hate and how its a shame that we cant work together to get things done, but the truth is we do. We work together to get things done every damn day!

The only place we dont is here or on cable TV. But Americans dont live here or on cable TV. Where we live our values and principles form the foundation that sustains us while we get things done not the barriers that prevent us from getting things done. Most Americans dont live their lives solely as Democrats, Republicans, Liberals or Conservatives. Americans live their lives more as people that are just a little bit late for something they have to dooften something that they do not want to dobutthey do it. Impossible things every day that are only made possible by the little reasonable compromises that we all make.

http://www.thenation.com/blog/155692/jon-stewarts-closi...


So the article in the OP is clearly one of those media fun house mirrors that distorts reality for its own ends. It left out the "if the picture of us were true...". It's part of the problem of people demonizing anyone they disagree with - in this case, it's demonizing Stewart. By lying about him.

Unrec.
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nunyabidness Donating Member (56 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #12
31. "media fun house mirrors"....Love it! That`s great!
I`m gonna use that somewhere.
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snooper2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 09:08 AM
Response to Original message
7. Jon Stewart isn't radical enough for commondreams..
They want TRUTHY to POWER!
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #7
26. +1...
Stewart seems very sensible and pragmatic, to me.

Sid
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 09:12 AM
Response to Original message
8. i keep remembering his interview of presidents compromise, and timidness....
per what he said in the rally

so contradictive.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
10. I disagree.
Reason and civility are what we need, reason and civility about political disagreements is what makes a democracy work.
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
11. I was right!
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. can it possibly be that people are agreeing or disagreeing with stewart and discussing it.
this is kinda the contradiction that stewart made. only option... whatever is said agree, ergo compromise or if the left dare challenge a comment they are "throwing under the bus". are those really our only two options LZ.

no

you were not right.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #11
20. Wrongo--Stewart said nary a thing about the s0-called "professional left." Projecting again.
The only enjoyment I can get from your posts is proving you wrong.
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #20
30. Right, he did not say the exact words "professional left".
Just like the first amendment does not say "separation of church and state".
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #30
37. He said anry a thing about the "farrish" left, But you keep on stroking yourself. nt
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phleshdef Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
15. Wow, whoever wrote this is very, very out of touch.
The Marxist comment was in reference to things pundits say, it was not an observation Stewart himself was espousing, that much was painfully obvious and shouldn't even have to be explained to anyone.

And flags and patriotic songs are now anti-progressive? What the hell is that garbage?
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
16. It was a very status quo speech coming from a very wealthy man -
"why can't we all just get along"?

Well, I'll tell ya why, Jon, it's the oppression. It's 1% of this country controlling more than 40% of the wealth. It's double digit unemployment and selling out health care to the insurance and pharma companies. It's selling out public education to wall street - with the intent to break the union and bring salaries down.

Red-baiting and teabaggery aside, we hear most loudly the call for "compromise". Nope, I'm not interested in that. Everytime we "compromise" we lose our shirts again.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
17. A "Marxist" view on the Jon Stewart Rally: Jon Stewart, Are You Frakking Sane?

Jon Stewart, Are You Frakking Sane?
By TRISH KAHLE
October 30, 2010

Jon Stewart, less than one month ago, I marched in the Socialist Contingent at the October 2 March for Jobs and Justice. (Yes, I am one of those Marxists undermining the Constitution, but well get to that in a minute.) We demanded good jobs for all and an end to racism, but in the end, the entire marchliberal and radical elements includedgot almost no media coverage, even though we were demanding things that would seem to be incredibly sane policy goals for any government with real interest in promoting national security.

After all, povertywhich is the complete absence of all human rightsat home and around the world, undermines any chance we have at achieving real security. Povertyand the neoliberal policies used to perpetuate itare the real roots of terrorism and working class insanity. You tell us that we live in hard times, not end times, but to working people who are under constant attack from Republicans and Democrats, hard times are end times.

Jon Stewart, are you seriously suggesting that humans subjected to these conditions in order to expand corporate profits and imperial power structures dont have the right to voice or demonstrate their opposition to these policies and practicesand loudly if necessary?

Jon Stewart, you often offer a left wing critique of American policy and political culturesomething I look forward to after along day of living in a place still littered with Confederate flags. To say I was disappointed in your rally and your closing speech would be, to say the least, an understatement.

In fact, I was sickened at drastic swing to the right:

There are terrorists and racists and Stalinist and theocrats but those are titles that must be earned. You must have the resume. Not being able to distinguish between real racists and Tea Partiers or real bigots and Juan Williams and Rick Sanchez is an insult, not only to those people but to the racists themselves who have put in the exhausting effort it takes to hate."


Well, Jon: the Tea Party is racist and Juan Williams is a bigot. When the Tea Party scapegoats Latino immigrants, they are being racist. Sharron Angle, the Tea Party candidate running for Senate in Nevada, tried to win the Latino vote by suggesting that many Latinos looked AsianAsian of course, being the almost-good-enough-to-be-white-since-were-not-interring-the-Japanese-anymore model minority. In other words, something to which every person of color should aspire.



Read the full blog at:

http://stillhavetoprotest.blogspot.com/
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Poboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Valid criticism there. -nt
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Joe Fields Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
19. I disagree.
He called for civility, not capitulation. He said that we can have animus, without being enemies, and that the the people in this country, no matter their political persuasion or race or religious background find common ground every day. I thought his message was clear and it spoke to the jerks on capital hill and in the media. Quit amplifying everything and start doing the peoples business.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. What is our "common ground" with Wall Street and corporate tycoons?
Edited on Mon Nov-01-10 12:16 PM by Better Believe It
If anything, we have been far to civil with those who are in fact the obvious enemies of working people who are trying to subvert and undermine our human rights and living standards.

It's all about class Jon!

Do you really think we live in a classless society where we can and should all just get along Jon?
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Joe Fields Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #22
29. evidently you didn't read my post. You may want to re-read it.
I get along with virtually everyone I come in contact with on a daily basis. From co-workers to people who work in restaurants, to people I meet at the laundermat, the car wash, grocery stores, to my neighbors on my street, to people I meet on walking trails...

If you paid attention to John Stewart when he gave his speech, he was talking about every day citizens finding common ground every day in a variety of ways.

It helps to understand where people are coming from by actually listening to what they have to say.

I said nothing about corporations, special interests or politicians. Please pay attention.
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HughMoran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #19
33. Right-on - I agree
& I'm certainly sick of the amplification of discord.
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Winterblues Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
21. I get the distinct impression that Sanity was not Restored..
Even Stewart is getting a dose of the hatred that has become America..
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Hate? I don't hate Jon Stewart. And the two writers don't hate Stewart.
Edited on Mon Nov-01-10 12:33 PM by Better Believe It
They just disagreed with some of the views he expressed.

Isn't rough and tumble debate, discussion and disagreements allowed among friends?

The justified hate is and should be directed at the extreme right and their enablers.

I've never believed in loving ones enemies.

And the leadership of the far right-wing is not insane .... they know exactly what they are doing .... and that's what makes them even more dangerous.

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budkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
24. He should just admit that he's a liberal... he's not convincing anyone that he's not
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. He shouldn't fool himself into thinking he is the great sane and civil intellectual above it all.
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Poboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Yes, he alone is the arbitor of what is .sane', or reasonable. Nevermind that he himself violates
his own 'rules'. He cops out from any criticism claiming to only be a comedian.

Love you Jon, but you stepped in your own bullshit with this one.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
28. He knows better but relies on schtick to keep his place in the scheme of things.
Most of the people attending probably think Code Pink is cool, but everyone on the left wants the bipartisan camouflage because they ARE in fear (or anxiety, or shame) of offending Attila the Hun's sensibilities and being called out as "partisan" by the unashamed partisans.

Anyway, the point of the rally was to dwarf Beck's little Hitler gathering, which they did.

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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
32. What a stupid and meaningless saying! "If you amplify everything, you hear nothing" Huh???


We don't listen attentively to what Beck and company really have to say. That the problem. The right-wing talking heads have valid and important political points to make but we have failed to understand them because of all our yelling and protests?

Right.

"If you amplify everything, you hear nothing".

Well, it was a nice sounding and catchy saying .... without substance.

Here's some more sound bites Jon could have used at the rally.

If you turn up the volume, it will sound louder!

If you don't talk, they will not hear you!

The future lies ahead!

Bullets come out of the barrel of a gun!
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HughMoran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. You really don't understand this simple concept it seems.
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
35. Stewart is still progessive....
that was a call to civility to all the thugs and paranoid drones out there to find some commonsense, for people to use their mouths instead of their fist.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. Yes he is. But his appeal to the far right will be ignored and was a waste of time.
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
38. He's a self-loathing liberal.
Edited on Mon Nov-01-10 02:43 PM by TexasObserver
He thinks he's in the middle, but he's not.

I think his effort to be seen as open to all sides and offended equally by hyperbole on left and right is contrived.

He has to appreciate the difference between the hyperbole from Keith and the violence producing excess of Beck.
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Joe Fields Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #38
42. Oh Really?
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. Yes, really.
NOW do you understand it better, having elicited a clarification?
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
39. Jon Stewart Rally: Just an Exercise in Gen X Self-Indulgence?
Jon Stewart Rally: Just an Exercise in Gen X Self-Indulgence?
In the depths of America's decline, Liberals couldn't muster up a get-together for anything better than a mock-in meant to prove we're less stupid than the other side.
By Mark Ames
October 31, 2010

A century-old ideological movement, Liberalism: once devoted to impossible causes like ending racism and inequality, empowering the powerless, fighting against militarism, and all that silly hippie shit -- now its been reduced to besting the other side at one-linersand to the Liberals credit, theyre clearly on top. Sure there are a lot of problems out there, a lot of pressing needs -- but the main thing is, the Liberals dont look nearly as stupid as the other guys do. And if you dont know how important that is to this generation, then you wont understand whats so wrong and so deeply depressing about the Jon Stewart Rally to Restore Sanity.

Thats what makes this rally so depressing and grotesque: Its an anti-rally, a kind of mass concession speech without the speech -- some kind of sick funeral party for Liberalism, in which Liberals are led, at last, by a clown. Not a figurative clown, but by a clown -- and Liberals are sure that this somehow makes them smarter and less lame -- and indeed, they are less lame, because they are not taking themselves too seriously, which is something theyre very, very proud of. All great political struggles and ideological advances, all great human rights achievements were won by clown-led crowds of people who dont take themselves too seriously, duh! Thats why theyre following a clown like Stewart, whose entire political program comes down to this: not being stupid, the way the other guys are stupid -- or when being stupid, only stupid in a self-consciously stupid way, which is to say, not stupid. Thats it, thats all this is about: Not to protest wars or oligarchical theft or declining health care or crushing debt or a corrupt political system or imperial decay -- nope, the only thing that motivates Liberals to gather in the their thousands is the chance to celebrate their own lack of stupidity! Woo-hoo!

Its the final humiliating undoing of Enlightenment Idealism that made Liberalism possible -- imagine if Jefferson, Diderot, Montesquieu, Madison et al reduced the entire Enlightenments struggle against the old feudal order to Im against the monarchy because the monarchys stupidbut then again, Rousseau makes a fool of himself with his Romanticism, and Tom Paine is so serious with his Rights of Man, the Revolutionaries are just as crazy as the Monarchists, so rather than join either side and risk opening myself to mockery, Im just going to stand back and laugh at them all and say, Really? Independence? Everyone is created equal and has the right to pursue happiness? Really, TJ? You sure you want to say that about Bluebeard? Really?

Its not Stewarts or Colberts fault, lets be clear on that -- theyre the only ones doing their job here. Theyre the only ones fighting this battle, and the only way theyre surviving is by elaborately pretending theyre not really fighting anyones battle over anything, theyre just having a laugh -- its the same rationale that jesters used in medieval times, and Stewart and Colbert play the same role as the jesters did thenand were also playing our role as powerless peasants reduced to self-mockery and snickering at our Masters behind their backs. Its not their fault that Liberalism today has as its highest priority not looking stupid -- and that its premiere rally is framed in such a way that everyone who came to this rally is somehow indemnified from looking foolish precisely because its not really a political rally, its more like a mockery of a political rally -- in a self-consciously smart sort of way. And the Daily Show Democrats who gathered celebrated themselves for this amazing achievement: that they didnt make fools of themselves standing for something that some other guys could then use to mock them. Thats the biggest sin of the other side, the Tea Partiers especially, at least as the Daily Show fans see it: they look silly, and worse, theyre not shamed into suicide from looking silly, the way Liberals would be shamed into ODing on Ambien if they opened themselves up to that sort of mockery.

Read the full article at:

http://www.alternet.org/news/148690/jon_stewart_rally%3...


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Poboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. OUCH! Wow, what an article. 'Led by a Clown'.
"Its not Stewarts or Colberts fault, lets be clear on that -- theyre the only ones doing their job here. Theyre the only ones fighting this battle, and the only way theyre surviving is by elaborately pretending theyre not really fighting anyones battle over anything, theyre just having a laugh -- its the same rationale that jesters used in medieval times, and Stewart and Colbert play the same role as the jesters did thenand were also playing our role as powerless peasants reduced to self-mockery and snickering at our Masters behind their backs."
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cbayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 05:36 PM
Response to Original message
44. Locking
Please feel free to repost using our 4 paragraph or less rules regarding copyrighted material.

cbayer
DU Moderator
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