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Jon Stewart on the mainstream media

Babe_Ruth

Sultan of Swat
Staff member
V.I.P.
I know there's a few Jon Stewart fans and haters at GF.

Thoughts on Jon Stewart's comments on the mainstream media?

FoxNews.com - Breaking News | Latest News | Current News

Another question I would like to add to this thread is I'm wondering if you think Stewart is just a Comedian, or really more than that?
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
How can anyone on the left support this guy? Don't they know how he is rich and exploits the poor?

Forbes.com Mobile Edition

$14 mil/year? How can that be allowed? How many poor could be put through school with that kind of money? There are people struggling to put food on their table. It's indefensible.
 

CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
I disagree with him in that all media has an agenda and push their agenda. To call out Fox News for their agenda but to accept the agenda of the rest of the news is disengenuous.

I like John Steward, I think he's funny and he seems like a really nice guy. But it's ironic that he calls out those with an agenda yet has an agenda himself.

One thing that bothers me about him and Colbert and guys like him is people use the "it's just satire" argument. Either we take everything they say seriously or we take nothing seriously. To use the "I was just making a joke" or "I was being satirical" is a copout to me.
 

Unity

Living in Ikoria
Staff member
My thoughts as I watch:

I liked Stewart's early point that while the NYT or MSNBC may lean left, they don't have the activism that Fox News has going.

"The bias of the mainstream media is towards sensationalism, conflict, and laziness." I do agree with that.

After looking at Diane Sawyer talking about the Arizona Bill, I agreed with what Stewart said that while the mainstream media needs to go deeper on descriptions, she wasn't specifically trying to "bash" anything.

I liked the point he made about 24-hour news networks being "built for 9/11," and how they have to sensationalize everything even when the behavior isn't necessary...because they want to keep on getting ratings, and need people to keep on tuning in. Makes sense.

This was an important part of the interview, which I think really should touch a nerve with the media. Stewart first used the example of Nancy Pelosi talking after the Anthony Weiner scandal, saying that the media members from Fox, CNN, MSNBC, etc. all expected her to come out and say something big just about that, and when she stated that she would just be talking about jobs, etc., everyone reported not on jobs and what matters to people, but on the fact that she didn't talk about Weiner. Stewart said:

"The embarrassment is that I'm given credibility in this world because of the disappointment that the public has in what the news media does."

It's interesting that he notes about Fox News viewers being consistently misinformed about issues when polled. It doesn't speak to the people watching, it speaks to what/whom the network is broadcasting. Wallce then immediately says "can we talk about your viewers, can we talk about Comedy Central?" and shows a clip from the roast of Pamela Anderson. Talks about watching South Park, and then says to Stewart: "But the next time you're sitting there haranguing Fox, just remember: that's where you work."

--1. Of course he doesn't acknowledge Stewart's statement about Fox News' impact on its viewers. Instead he goes to the GF standby "No U." 2. Stewart again tries to say that he doesn't understand why Wallace is trying to compare himself to Stewart in terms of being actual news, and acknowledges that he doesn't tell the full story, but saying "I don't not tell the full story based on a purely ideological partisan agenda." Wallace disagrees, thinks Stewart is pushing more of an agenda. Stewart says it's just about absurdity and corruption and lack of authenticity, that's the agenda that they push on The Daily Show. Once again, I agree.

Stewart says he's not happy with the Obama administration, that Obama came in saying that you can't have the same result with the same people, and that now all he sees are the same people (like Geitner) that got us into the economic troubles in the first place. A good point, that challenges me as a fan of Pres. Obama on other levels. It is something that bothers me as well, along with continuation of the Patriot Act, etc.

A really strange question, Wallace asks Stewart when the last time he voted for a Republican for President was. Only on Fox News. Stewart notes that he thinks that the question is to try and frame him as an ideological "warrior" for one side; I'm sure Wallace would have liked it if he had said "never."

Stewart comments that he thinks that this is about legitimizing Fox.

Wallace: "I'm just trying to understand you."

Stewart: "I've existed in this country forever, there have been people like me that have satirized (uses Will Rogers as an example, who said that it's crazy when politicians are a joke and comedians are taken seriously). I've existed forever, the box that I exist in has always been around. The change is the box that you guys (are in), you've moved closer to me. I'd like to know what I'm doing that's really different than what you've seen that's so different from political comedians..."

Wallace then says that Stewart seems to think that he's trying to de-legitimize Stewart in an attempt to legitimize Fox, stating that there's not a single marching-order or command at Fox, also saying something about acknowledging them as a counter-balance to the rest of the media. Stewart says that he has the same dislike for the rest of the media, but that it's for different reasons. Going back to the sensationalism that he hates vs. Fox's view that they're all partisan, and he just disagrees with that. I do agree with this as well. He acknowledges that most of the people working in the other media probably do hold liberal viewpoints, because of the medium in which it exists, just that they're not as "activist" as the conservative movement that has risen up in the last 40 years or so.

"That movement has decided that they're victims of a witch-hunt, and to some extent they're right. People on the right are called racists, and they're called things with an ease that I am uncomfortable with. And homophobic and all of those other things. And I think that is absolutely something they have a real right to be angry about and to feel like they've been vilified, and I've been guilty of doing some of those things myself." I think seeing some of that self-admission of flaws is part of the reason why Stewart isn't the same as political pundits at all. Being conservative doesn't equal being racist or homophobic. Are some? Yes. Are some liberals? Yes. We have to challenge these stereotypes that go towards both sides of the political spectrum, because there are plenty that come with being liberal. I go back to my thoughts of wanting to have a better political dialogue in the country pretty often, and the stereotypes is a great place to start.

-----------------------------------

So, those are my thoughts or quotes from parts that stood out to me. I'm an admitted big fan of Stewart, and I think that he did a great job in this interview. I agreed with the majority of what he had said.

To answer BR's original question, I do think Stewart is more than just a comedian, but as he said in the interview if he was his greatest aspiration it would be closer to a Mark Twain, not a political activist or pundit or anything like that. He's a satirist and a critic and a comedian, and that's very necessary in today's society.


And SS, speaking to this quote from you:

How can anyone on the left support this guy? Don't they know how he is rich and exploits the poor?

Forbes.com Mobile Edition

$14 mil/year? How can that be allowed? How many poor could be put through school with that kind of money? There are people struggling to put food on their table. It's indefensible.
(1) As someone on the left, no one ever said that people aren't allowed to be wealthy. It's a question of how society and policy treats those that are wealthy vs. those that aren't, and weather it's fair. For example, tax cuts for the wealthy and (what I consider the myth of) "trickle down" economics. Stewart has means, but he's said on multiple occasions that he's fine with paying his share and doesn't want those cuts. That's what bothers me about characterizing Pres. Obama or people on the left (that aren't actually socialists) socialists or communists. We've never said that people aren't allowed to make it, we've never said that capitalism should be abolished.

(2) Also, I challenge you to watch the full interview and comment on its content, instead of immediately making this about how much money Jon Stewart makes. Why not comment on what was said in the interview about Stewart's role in society, about Fox News, and about the rest of the media? I believe you in saying that he's wealthy, but hardly see how it's relevant. There are wealthy liberals and conservatives, and poor liberals and conservatives. That's life.

P.S. - Your link just goes to the main page of Forbes.
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I disagree with him in that all media has an agenda and push their agenda. To call out Fox News for their agenda but to accept the agenda of the rest of the news is disengenuous.

I like John Steward, I think he's funny and he seems like a really nice guy. But it's ironic that he calls out those with an agenda yet has an agenda himself.

One thing that bothers me about him and Colbert and guys like him is people use the "it's just satire" argument. Either we take everything they say seriously or we take nothing seriously. To use the "I was just making a joke" or "I was being satirical" is a copout to me.
On the agenda thing, I just refer back to my giant post and Stewart mentioning that there's a difference between coming from a political viewpoint and being activist to that viewpoint. Everyone knows Stewart leans left, but his agenda is satire itself. He doesn't affect politics, he comments on it. There's a difference between hiring Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee and making jokes that criticize the right.

I think that the "satire argument" is a relevant one. He's allowed to have a point of view on a comedy show on a comedy network, and trying to compare Jon Stewart to someone like Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity just doesn't fit.
 
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CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
On the agenda thing, I just refer back to my giant post and Stewart mentioning that there's a difference between coming from a political viewpoint and being activist to that viewpoint. Everyone knows Stewart leans left, but his agenda is satire itself. He doesn't affect politics, he comments on it. There's a difference between hiring Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee and making jokes that criticize the right.

I think that the "satire argument" is a relevant one. He's allowed to have a point of view on a comedy show on a comedy network, and trying to compare Jon Stewart to someone like Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity just doesn't fit.
But he also, as you pointed out, finds a difference between Fox News and The New York Times. I could not disagree more. Showing pictures and running stories on Abu Ghraib for 48 days straight was hardly being lazy and just going for sensationalism for example. They had a specific agenda, and they were being activist about it. To not acknowledge that, by him, shows his own bias.
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
Sorry about the bad link, my phone forces the mobile version. It was to show Stewart's rank and income on Forbes list.

I don't really care about Stewart or his opinions. He is just another "no labels" lefty that imagines he is a centrist. His opinion has no impact on me.

My simple point is the moral equivalency of complaining about CEO compensation but not other folks that rake in the dough. That is why I applied Jeanie's words to impugn Stewart.
 

CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
NBC Omits ?Under God? From Pledge at Golf?s U.S. Open on Father?s Day

NBC left out the words "Under God" during the US Open on Sunday. Is this not activist? Is this just being lazy?

John Stewart couldn't me more wrong. All news sources are activist. They all have an agenda. Going through Palin's emails was activist, not just being lazy. For him not to see it shows an either an ignorance of the media on his part or his own bias.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
I disagree with him in that all media has an agenda and push their agenda.
John Stewart couldn't me more wrong. All news sources are activist. They all have an agenda.
So . . . which do you believe?

I stopped myself from posting this the other day because I knew that since he took an honest swing at Fox, the news channel that claims it is without bias, people were just going to swarm him. I think people take him far too seriously and it's evident by some of the responses in the thread that some didn't even watch the entire video. I did however have a nice chuckle when Stewart didn't give the answer Fox wanted to hear on the "Do you think Obama is doing a good job" question. I'm surprised they didn't edit it out.
 

CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
So . . . which do you believe?

I stopped myself from posting this the other day because I knew that since he took an honest swing at Fox, the news channel that claims it is without bias, people were just going to swarm him. I think people take him far too seriously and it's evident by some of the responses in the thread that some didn't even watch the entire video. I did however have a nice chuckle when Stewart didn't give the answer Fox wanted to hear on the "Do you think Obama is doing a good job" question. I'm surprised they didn't edit it out.
I gave one answer. He says not all media have an agenda and they aren't all activist. I disagreed and said they all have an agenda and are activist.

If anyone watched the video Chris Wallace acknowledged Fox News gives a different perspective. People like John Stewart fail to acknowledge they are all like that.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
I gave one answer. He says not all media have an agenda and they aren't all activist. I disagreed and said they all have an agenda and are activist.
Not at first you didn't which is why I was asking for clarification.

If anyone watched the video Chris Wallace acknowledged Fox News gives a different perspective. People like John Stewart fail to acknowledge they are all like that.
When did he say that?

The one thing that always gives me a chuckle about these media discussions about bias whether it's Fox, HuffPo, MSNBC, CNN, the NY Times, is that we all know they have their respective leans. Fox is the only channel that has and continues to defend itself as an unbiased source, this is why people pick on them. It has nothing to do with their politics, it's the simple fact that they pretend they have no angle when we all know they do.
 
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