Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Sir, You Have Fooled Me Twice – 2

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But Jon Stewart is a media story unto himself, the anti-pundit turned unnecessary pugilist. And it’s gotten to the point where he has blurred the line to the point of failure — where pundits are somehow, at least in election season, more rewarding, if more annoying. For someone interested in going beyond the fray, Stewart hasn’t done much to seize his two million viewers a night for much more than bombast and boring. Where there could be lengthy explanations of health-care policy, there is a bizarre Glenn Beck impersonation; where there could be a real usurping of the television media, there is a dick-measuring match with Rick Sanchez. And this matters: Stewart’s disdain for pundits who abuse the responsibility vested in them as a veritable fourth branch now apply as much to Bill O’Reilly as they do to Stewart. If all he’s going to do when face-to-face with the president of the United States is ask the same old questions, I’m not sure why anyone sees Jon Stewart as a success while everyone follows him down the rabbit hole in casting the rest of the bloviators as a undeniable failure.

Which is why, maybe, he’s doing the whole rally thing. Not that anyone knows what’s going down on Saturday, exactly. Is it just some elaborate parody of Glenn Beck’s sermon on the mount? A fanboy convention? An actual political event? And then there’s the lefty from PETA and the Huffington Post, while even some campaign volunteers seem to be attending the rally as a semi-official event. Stewart himself seems unclear on exactly what’s going on. All we know right now is that it exists, and not to bring coolers. The contention by David Brooks that this could be “a ‘jump-the-shark’ moment” for the show may be a bit overblown, but if health care was almost Obama’s Waterloo, this could at least be Stewart’s Stonehenge. Maybe.

Michael Barthel on Jon Stewart. Via zunguzungu’s Rally to Restore Sanity roundup.

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