Friday, October 02, 2009

Question of the Day: Jon Stewart's America

Did Jon Stewart hurt America?

Five years ago, Jon Stewart appeared on the now defunct show Crossfire, with the rather zero integrity journalists of Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala. Well, I should say, Carlson defined himself as a journalist even if his normative beliefs about libertarianism got in the way of his reporting, and Begala, a former Clinton White House Aide, is a political commentator, which frees him from any ethical use of facts. But I digress...

Daniel W. Drener argues that Stewart's questions on Crossfire, which led to the demise of Crossfire. Of course, he continues the argument and states that the demise of Crossfire also led to the demise of The Capital Gang and Hannity and Colmes years after the fact. How Stewart;s appearance led to the retirement of Colmes from Hannity and Colmes is not clear but....

In place of the crude ideological debate, Drener states we just have the ideology manifested in Glenn Beck, Keith Olberman, and Hannity. Of course, shows like these existed before Crossfire's demise. And other shows, such as the Sunday morning shows, and Hardball, O'Reilly, Hannity, have opposing positions even if, first, the framing of the opposing is crass and not likely to persuade the audience, who is ideologically committed prior to watching and, second, these shows fail to act like news organizations and discover "truth" such as whether or not Iraq possessed WMDS.

It seems that the pure ideology shows always existed and will exist so long as there is a market for them regardless of whether or not Jon Stewart criticized the format of these shows. But who knows. I have not watched Stewart or Colbert since moving to the East Coast.

Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan.

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