Jon Stewart, A Compliant Clown of Ignorance for the Left
I had planned to write something more important today, a piece with the words “Geneva Convention” included in the text and everything. And then, a good friend of mine, someone I respect and admire, shared a seemingly harmless humorous email with me. It was meant to make me laugh, like all the other funny emails he sends me, but maybe it just hit me the wrong way. Or maybe it was the wrong day. Or maybe it’s because it was the subject matter… it just REALLY got under my skin because it just wasn’t funny to me.
Now, I’m not a stick-in-the-mud, I can laugh at satire as loud as the next guy. But there comes a point when satire becomes spin, and spin becomes propaganda thinly disguised as comedy. Jon Stewart is funny, I’ll give him that. He has chosen to use his gift to offend, and that is his choice, the right of everyone in this country. What is unfortunate is this country is full of sheep… a flock of mindless followers who need only be entertained to mimic anyone’s point of view. Make me laugh and I’ll follow you anywhere.
And how did Mr. Stewart choose to render his craft in the clip I was sent today? He felt obliged to explain what he calls the “Cavuto Mark”, belonging to Neil Cavuto of Fox News. It is merely a question mark used at the end of some upcoming segment titles, and Stewart illustrated his point with the following isolated examples: “Have the Democrats Forgotten the Lessons of 9/11?” “Is the Liberal Media Helping to Fuel Terror?” or “The Best President?”
What was conveniently left out is how the format of Neil Cavuto’s show justifies a question being asked; how, when a question is posed, there is a panel of both Democrats and Republicans present to answer that question. What was omitted was what the answer to those questions was. But then, how funny is that?
This morning, I watched Neil Cavuto on his weekend show, Cavuto on Business. In spite of Stewart’s claims, of the three subjects being covered, only one was advertised as a question (one was even listed with an exclamation point, Jon… and it wasn’t about Yanni!): “Lower Gas Prices: Give Oil Companies Bigger Tax Breaks?” Neil had a panel of six guests of mixed political backgrounds, and of the six, only two felt the oil companies should get a bigger tax break. So there goes Stewart’s theory that Cavuto frames his statement in the form of a question just to elicit the answer he wishes to receive. Plus, Cavuto, himself, was not in favor of the idea. In addition to the conversation concerning the subject at hand, there were jabs back and forth between the guests that gave the viewer an idea about who represented which party. I remember hearing something to the effect, “well, you’re just a mouthpiece for the Republicans, I would expect you to say that.” (It almost sounded “Fair and Balanced”, but I hesitate to go that far… :-/ )
Does any of this support Jon Stewart’s claim that Cavuto is a shoddy reporter, inventing a style of journalism with a punctuation mark to promote his conservative agenda as part of an entire network’s plan to further only the Republican party’s views? Wait, that’s only a rhetorical question because it is too absurd to actually answer.
Now might be a good time to visit the site I viewed that got me so riled up: “jon_stewart_explains_the_cavuto_mark”
I can’t repeat, even in writing, what Stewart says at the end of the clip. Suffice to say, it is offensive, yet funny to the 68 people who left comments. Those comments are pretty much what one would expect from a Stewart cult following, yet I was still surprised by the level of vitriol, and the personal attacks on Neil Cavuto’s appearance – and his mother. Thankfully, my good and decent friend is not one of those followers, or sheep. He makes me laugh AND think. How else could he be a person I respect or admire? :-)
Cavuto has never been my favorite broadcaster or a personal hero of mine. I catch his weekday show only very rarely (for one reason, because it conflicts with one of my daughter’s Nickelodeon shows :-)), but I just have this pet peeve about injustice. Stewart called him out and I happened to catch wind of it. Because it just doesn’t sit well with me, I investigated his background a little, and you know what I found out?
Before joining Fox News, he hosted more than three hours of live daily programming at CNBC, including the network’s highest rated program, Market Wrap. He had also been a contributor to NBC’s Today Show as well as NBC News at Sunrise. Cavuto’s 20 years of financial reporting included time at PBS’ Nightly Business Report, where he served as a New York bureau chief. These networks are not known for being conservative in anyone’s book. Also according to his bio, he was cited as “CNBC’s toughest inquisitor,” and was ranked among the most influential business journalists in America by The Journalist and Financial Reporter. The Wall Street Journal recognized him as the best interviewer in business news. Additionally, he was nominated for 5 ACE awards and voted the best business TV interviewer for four years running.
I’m laughing so hard after reading all of that, I can hardly get up off the floor… :-/
The point I’m trying to make here is how easy it is to take a man with the record I’ve just provided, shake it up with some half-truths, show some well-chosen out-of-context statements (or ‘questions’, as the case may be), put your own slant on the topic, and voila… you’ve got a totally different animal. This time it was only done to a journalist, but our satirists do it to our politicians all the time, and we laugh, then we vote, then we live with the results.
“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear.”
2 Timothy 4:3