Sunday, October 17, 2004

Jon.

As everyone well knows by now, Jon Stewart took two Crossfire pundits to task last week for being disingenuous and all-around buffoons. Rather than use the time to hawk his new book, Jon Jon immediately started slamming pundits of all political stripes and their treatment of election coverage. I can't say I disagree with his view that the likes of Carlson and Carville are hijacking a potentially valuable medium for discourse and discussion and turning it into a carnival side show.

"It's not honest. What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery. And I will tell you why I know it..."

Tucker Carlson has irked me for years. This former Heritage Foundation print bagman and Promise Keeper clone has done his best to appear separate from the Republican political machine, yet is as entwined as any pundit out there. How wearing tweed and screaming inaudibly at the top of one's lungs enhances credibility through CNN, I will never know.

Yet the bowtie is not without its supporters. While I agree that being a young University conservative is a tough row to hoe, hitching your cart to the likes of Tucker Carlson is just plain ridiculous. I guess if someone back in my day called my idol a dick and labeled them a 'spinner'... Well, I'd hate them too.

Jon didn't make this as a political statement and this certainly is not about left or right. He neglected even mentioning Kerry until it was pried out by Carlson. When he said that he didn't give a shit about Cambodia, he was saying that he's pissed that 1/5 of Americans get their news from his show. Like he said, his is a comedy show and not a news show. Yet, here he is being forced into the news role because the real discussion shows are mere romper rooms with sideshow party hacks as star attractions. He chose to pick on Crossfire because it is the Jerry Springer or Judge Mathis of their respective genres. It's morally debasing the industry.

Jon only wants to be Johnny Carson - not Kwolton Nash... and Crossfire is crampin' his style. As long as we - the masses - are willing to slop up this partisan junk, the networks will continue to ham it out as legitimate debate.

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