Stewart on Beck

After listening to Rick Sanchez’s entire job-ending radio interview with Pete Dominick (Part 1 and Part 2), most of which was an obsessive complaint about Jon Stewart for supposedly putting Sanchez down as a Hispanic, I wanted to get more of a sense of Stewart. I’d seen bits of Stewart’s program The Daily Show over the years and had never been particularly impressed. But I found this item from early 2010 in which he furiously and hilariously sends up Glenn Beck’s chalk-board simplifications of American history. He can’t stand Beck’s persona and his way of presenting ideas, and neither can I. We may not agree with Stewart’s total dismissal of the conservative insight that progressivism leads to totalitarianism, but it can’t be denied that the man has talent and brains.

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Hannon writes:

I watched the Jon Stewart spoof on Beck and I must say I found it unfunny. His performance was not well-crafted or even coherent; mostly it seemed merely spastic. This has nothing to do with any feelings for Beck, one way or another.

You say “We may not agree with Stewart’s total dismissal of the conservative insight that progressivism leads to totalitarianism … ” We also might not agree that Stewart’s desperate mocking of conservative concerns derives from thoughtful insight or results in intelligent comedy. His hyperactive routine was predictable and stale, even if the potential for synergy between Stewart and the material was great.

LA replies:

I agree his performance was spastic rather than well crafted. And I overstated when I said “hilarious.” What I really meant to say, but hadn’t thought out fully until I read your comment, was that it could and should have been hilarious, but it wasn’t, because of the crude and unfinished way it was done. But still, there was an almost demonic energy to it which was the last thing I expected to see in today’s sub-sub mediocre cable television.

James R. writes:

I hadn’t known you had watched enough of Beck’s program to evaluate whether Stewart’s parody of it hits home or not.

LA replies:

I’ve seen a few minutes of Beck now and then. I can’t stand watching him. I find him an embarrassment. I realize there are people who have found value in his explanations of politics and American history. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t watch him. I’m just expressing my opinion and saying that I can’t stand him.

Mark Jaws writes:

Hannon beat me to the punch. But I totally concur with his comments. John Stewart is overrated big time. He draws laughs from the young white progressive crowd, simply because he is the only one on the left side of the political spectrum who tries to defend the PC narrative while employing humor. Young white liberals have little to laugh about these days, so let them find comfort and solace in Stewart, who when confronted with the likes of a Bill O’Reilly (who is no intellectual giant himself) renders himself ineffective.

As I have said before, white liberals under the age of 50 who came up through the ranks of the liberal education system, are so incapable of advocating for—and defending—liberalism because they have never had to fight in the arena of ideas. It is why liberal talk shows fail miserably, and why Stewart can thrive only in the Blue State echo chamber.

Paul K. writes:

Hannon chooses his words well when he refers to “Stewart’s desperate mocking of conservative concerns.” That is one of the reasons I can no longer stand him. It’s not funny to me to hear him dismiss as fools, bigots, or lunatics people he disagrees with on issues like immigration control.

You refer to Stewart’s “demonic energy” and that’s another reason I don’t watch him. He reminds me of those manic morning DJs who think everything they say will be funnier if they say it really loud and laugh at their own jokes.

I used to watch Stewart’s show regularly six or seven years ago and found it amusing. I don’t know if he changed or I did. He is obviously an intelligent man, but whether he truly can’t understand the other side of issues or has chosen to cater to a liberal audience is hard to say.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 08, 2010 10:25 AM | Send

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