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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-19-13 02:32 PM
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Back in Black: Salon attacks Jon Stewart
The Daily Show has a segment called Back in Black, where comedian Lewis Black takes a look back at stories that the Daily Show previously covered. I am basically borrowing the title as an excuse for posting about a January 2013 Salon article ten months later.

Then came Stewarts smug dismissal of the trillion-dollar coin idea floated in order to stop the debate debacle in Congress. While the idea was not tenable for many reasons (including optics), Stewarts open mockery and suggestion of alternatives got him in hot water with Paul Krugman, the Nobel-winning economist and New York Times columnist.

Stewart seems weirdly unaware that theres more to fiscal policy than balancing the budget, wrote Krugman. But in this case, he also seems unaware that the president cant just decide unilaterally to spend 40 percent less. /

First, like a good center right Democrat publication, salon perpetuates the Republican myth that every Democrat is a liberal.

Second, Stewart is getting lambasted above for mocking Krugman's insane and unconstitutional idea of the Executive Branch minting a $1+ trillion coin, which salon itself says was untenable.

A political comedian, mocking an Nobel prize winning economist for trying to push a looney idea? Who could not see that coming?

As far as Krugman's criticism about Stewart, either Krugman is loopier than I thought, or Salon is quoting out of context. I don't think I've missed a Daily Show in years, thanks to On Demand. Stewart mocked the coin idea, which he damned well should have, IMO, but he never so much as implied that Obama could spend less. Stewart was mocking Krugman, not trying to come up with a solution to the budget crisis. So, Krugman's comment is either out of context or out of place. Not to mention the irony of Krugman's criticism of Stewart: the President has no more authority to unilaterally mint a coin so he can spend money for which Congress is withholding authorization than the President has to cut spending specifically authorized by Congress.

The other thing that prompted faux speculation by salon as to whether Stewart is losing "liberal" fans? His criticism of--wait for it--a movie, specifically Zero Dark Thirty. Have Democrats really reached the point where they cannot tolerate disagreement about a frickin' movie without throwing someone like Stewart under the bus? Or trying to? (I'm guessing Stewart has a hell of a lot more Democrat fans than salon does.) Besides, it is liberals and not center right Democrats, who critize Zero Dark Thirty. Well, liberals and the CIA, in one of those "politics make strange bedfellows" turn of events:

the film's depiction of torture has generated controversy, with some critics describing it as pro-torture propaganda, as torture is shown as producing reliably useful and accurate information.<7><8><9><10> "... the film creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques ... were the key to finding Bin Ladin. That impression is false." said Michael Morell, acting C.I.A. director. Other critics described it as an anti-torture exposure of interrogation practices.

So, salon is "questioning" whether Stewart is losing liberal fans because he mocked a Krugman idea that Salon itself calls "untenable" in the very same breath, and because Stewart mocked a movie the CIA calls both inaccurate and too favorable to torture?

What crap! Since when do liberals unconditionally support Krugman (or anyone, for that matter) or want torture falsely portrayed as the reason Obama was finally caught?

Besides, salon, there's a really easy way to tell if Stewart is losing fans, instead of faux speculating in the hope that you will cost him to lose fans. It's called Nielsen ratings. Look into it.

I've criticized Stewart for being too moderate and too easy on Democratic misdeeds, as compared with Republican misdeeds. But I've never stopped watching the Daily Show, so I guess that makes me a liberal fan. And this liberal fan is never going to stop watching the Daily Show on the bullshit grounds cited by salon. (I'd call it a rag, but that refers to newspapers. I am not sure a website can sensibly be called "a rag.")
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-20-13 06:34 AM
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1. Of the three, I trust Krugman the most.
But any of the three can be co opted at any time to be conduits of misinformation, often against their knowledge.

I have never seen Zero Dark Thirty. I do not intend on seeing it. I suspect it is a mechanism for absolving or excusing the criminal Bush Administration of war crimes.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-20-13 11:57 AM
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2. The controversial bit is the part about info gotten via torture leading us to Osama.
Edited on Wed Nov-20-13 12:06 PM by No Elephants
I don't know about Krugman. I don't read his column. As best I can tell from his TV appearances, he's supports Obama unconditionally, or pretends to, which amounts to the same thing when you are on TV.

I think Stewart is pretty hard on Republicans (deservedly). However, he is not that hard on Republians.

There are not only LOTE voters, I've noticed. There are also LOTE commentators--and not just on MSNBC.

Salon is near worthless, if one is looking for objectivity.
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