Bowtie vs. Bluenose

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Using the most newfangled technologies of the World Wide Web (the graphical and multimedia portion of the internet), I have finally gotten around to seeing the widely discussed Jon Stewart slapfest. As I'm sure you've all been on tenterhooks wondering "Which way's Cavanaugh gonna lean on this one?" my two cents:

It's true that Carlson was not well served in the exchange and lost his cool in a fairly uninteresting way, but Jon Stewart comes off as the most sanctimonious horse's ass I've seen in a long time. Could he possibly be any more cutesy with that cherubic look of wounded innocence? It's a wonder Carlson didn't just take a swipe at Stewart's piously pursed lips, particularly when Stewart fell back on his tired "I'm just a simple caveman" routine. As far as TV displays by supremely self-absorbed public figures go, I'll take John Edwards' womanish hair-mussing over Stewart's simpering plaintiveness any day.

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  1. Yep. It’s a real shame that Jon Stewart came onto Crossfire and offered hard-hitting and honest opinions.

    If only he’d made jokes, or simply recylced Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green or Nader talking points at the top of his lungs, he’d have been allright.

    I think this proves, if nothing else, that the last thing we want is people actually telling us what they think. We’re far safer with talking points.

  2. and as to stewart’s point, mr cavanaugh? do you think shows like “crossfire” contribute to the brownshirting of america?

  3. Stewart’s line of “I’m on a show that follows puppets making crank phone calls”, although true, is getting old. He’s used it now in every interview he’s done and folks laugh like it’s a new line. my 2 cents is, if he really wants to pontificate and make fun of the media, which is cool, then he should also be able to take it and not reuse the puppets line over and over.

  4. “Yep. It’s a real shame that Jon Stewart came onto Crossfire and offered hard-hitting and honest opinions.”

    It’s always weird when somebody gets sarcastic about a strawman. Cavanaugh didn’t blast Jon Stewart for offering hard-hitting and honest opinions. He blasted Jon Stewart for being a “sanctimonious horse’s ass.”

    Geez — if you want to rebut somebody’s argument, at least try rebutting the argument they actually made.

  5. That’s too bad you feel that way, Cavanaugh. It’s not often we get to see a little prick like Carlson put in his place with such ferocity and skill. You could have learned a thing or two from Jon Stewart, but… Whatever floats yr yacht, eh?

  6. Jon Stewart in 99% of his appearances is a comedian of the non-sanctimonious sort — isn’t he allowed to go on a show and ball some idiots out every now and then? jeez

  7. Ya know, its hard to top the Carlson v. Stewart slapfest for sheer inconsequentiality.

  8. Yeah, what he said.

  9. What’s the big fucking deal about a guy fixing his hair before a TV appearance? When last I checked, television was a visual medium.

  10. “simpering plaintiveness”

    Witnessing neither lachrymation nor weeping from Stewart, I can only suppose you got onto the Lifetime Channel instead of CNN.

  11. Furthermore, unless Edwards has fair warning that the camera is active, that’s pretty fucking dishonest to record him.

  12. Quite frankly, the entire point is that Stewart likes to lampoon people and then attempt to get away with it by being funny and falling back on the “I’m too stupid to know” routine when someone bitch-slaps him. That’s a pretty disgusting animal.

  13. I enjoy Jon Stewart, but he’s walking a fine line and he can’t expect that humor gives him immunity to scrutiny. What’s *wrong* with Edwards and the hair bit? Maybe nothing – maybe a lot.

  14. The thing that I found ridiculous about that bit was when Steward was begging them to stop what they were doing, and claimed that they were doing harm to America, and the audience applauded. What the hell are they doing there WATCHING it if they think it’s so awful??

  15. “the most sanctimonious horse’s ass I’ve seen in a long time”

    Must not own a mirror.

  16. Let’s see, Tim Cavanaugh, voted for Nader in 2000, voted for Dukakis in 1998, thinks Warren G. Harding was a greater president than Washington, Jefferson or Lincoln because he achieved less for the USA.

    And Stewart is the horse’s ass?

  17. > As I’m sure you’ve all been on tenterhooks wondering
    > “Which way’s Cavanaugh gonna lean on this one?”

    Nope. Didn’t cross my mind. And now that I know, I still don’t give a shit. But, HEY, thanks for sharing.

  18. ahh gosh, stewart was right on, but that douchebag with the bowtie was right in crticizing him, why didn’t he ask kerry any tough questions? It would only be a servicable defense that it’s a comedy show if he didn’t ask tough questions to people he disagrees with. But he does.

    I’m perhaps fortunate in that I don’t have cable presently, but I doubt I’d tune in to the daily show this close to an election. Poltics is funny, but in a repetitous sort of way; it’s all terribly absurd, the shit the pols feed us, but it’s the same terrible absurdity over and over again. And as good as the show might have been or sometimes still is, it usually lost me to family guy on cartoon network anyway.

  19. Damn, folks are getting pretty harsh with Tim Cavanaugh here! So…let me join in! I had to look up what the hell “tenterhooks” meant. Thanks for making me feel like an uneducated rube, you sonovabitch.

  20. I would have been amused by Stewarts appearance on the show if he had said anything that didn’t amount to “I hate your show” over and over.

    Apparently his core issue is to have Crossfire taken off the air since it is to blame for the nations woes. He ceartainly didn’t articulate any other views.

    I’ve seen people disagree with hosts and even entire shows and come off with class. Stewart failed if this was his aim.

    The problem is that he made his point right up front and instead of being clever and subtle about touching on his point a few times more during the show – and perhaps discussing more pressing issues for a few minutes – he just parroted the same drivel over and over.

    Sheesh, don’t go on a show you hate. It’s like going to a restaraunt you know you hate and spending the entire time bitching about the service.

  21. Apparently, the “complexities” of Jon Stewart are a bit beyond some people. I’ll break it down.

    There exists two Jon Stewarts. The character Jon Stewart, host of the Daily Show, and the comedian/citizen Jon Stewart.

    Now, unlike Tom Brokow, Dan Rather, Walter Cronkite, Bill O’Reilly, Tucker Carlson and the rest of the talking heads, “Jon Stewart of the Daily Show” and “Jon Stewart” are not the same thing.

    You see one is a fake anchorman on a fake news show devoted to making fun of media. The other is a comic.

    Now, Tucker Carlson couldn’t tell the two apart, but I expect a bit more of you fellows.

    For instance, “Jon Stewart host of the Daily Show” has no journalistic obligations for the simple reason that he’s not a journalist and the Daily Show is not a news show. Ergo, anything he says and does on the Daily Show cannot be compared to “real news”. It’s not. It’s pre-scripted parody, designed to mock cable news and shows like Crossfire.

    When Tucker Carlson says something on Crossfire, we’re — supposedly — getting his honest opinion on the topic at hand. When Jon Stewart says something on the Daily Show, we’re getting the funny.

    Even if both are talking about the same thing, Stewart isn’t a journalist, pundit or expert spouting his opinion….and Carlson is.

    To compare the two is to, in effect, state that The Daily Show is an actual news show. And if you think that, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell.

    For those of you who are a bit “point-impaired”, I’ll break down Stewart’s complaint (one he has aired over and over and over in interviews): “I run a fake news show. It’s a parody of your shows. When people consider my show a better source of news than your show, one of us has a problem”.

    Also, for those feeling sorry for Carlson: He came loaded for bear. It’s not like he used magic to create that powerpoint slide of Jon’s interview with Kerry.

    I’m guessing what’s pissing Carlson off the most is he was planning to try to put Jon Stewart in his place, show him he couldn’t compete with the “big boys”. The fact that he got schooled like a girl must have stung.

    As for asking tough questions of people he disagrees with, I might point you to the Ann Coulter interview, the Bill O’Reilly interview, and the Ed Gillispie interviews. I think we can all safely assume Jon Stewart does not simultaneously endorse Kerry’s viewpoint and Ann Coulter’s viewpoint.

  22. Sad.
    I made it through the first eight minutes before clicking the stop button in revulsion. I won’t comment on the comments here; I’ll only say that Stewart should take a cue from the big boys: keep your political yuk-yuk jokes right down the middle, per Jay and Conan, and you’ll have (and keep) a wider audience. He lost me several months ago when he started wearing his leftist sympathies on his sleeve.
    This is what a few populist awards does to a formerly fine satirist.

  23. The Stewart bitch-slap was a total rout. All ‘sanctimonious, horses-ass’ accusations, stink of sour grapes.

    I used to watch the Daly Show every night. The last time I saw it was the Kerry interview. Watching John S. giving John K. a big old rim job, transformed the show from ‘hi-larious yet poignant political satire’ to ‘just another partisan hack-job’ to my eyes.

    What made the crossfire interview score was that John was vulnerable to the charge but still pulled off the bitch-slap.

  24. Not that Crossfire does a good job or anything, it’s pretty awful, but Jon Stewart kept repeating that his show is a comedy show. In my eyes that makes him a comedian. He should have stuck to making pointy little jokes and gotten his barbs in instead of getting on a soapbox. He had a point – Crossfire is not a real debate program – but when he starts talking about how its “harming us” he IS a pompous ass.

  25. I would have been amused by Stewarts appearance on the show if he had said anything that didn’t amount to “I hate your show” over and over.

    He also called Tucker Carlson a dick — which was juvenile, to be sure, but also hugely entertaining. Everyone knows that Carlson is, well, a dick. No doubt many Crossfire guests have felt like saying it. But none that I’m aware of have ever had the balls to tell him to his face, on his air.

    Sanctimonious little prick or not, it was a great line as both a statement of fact and as satire on the subtext of Crossfire and every other combat chat show of its ilk. They all boil down to shouting “Neener Neener Neener” and calling the other guy a dick. Which was Stewart’s point…

  26. “But none that I’m aware of have ever had the balls to tell him to his face, on his air.”

    Why do you say that takes balls? I don’t think it does.

    Any comedian who won’t suffer any serious backlash who’s on Crossfire could get on his moral high horse and call the host a dick.

    And I thought Tucker did fine, unlike Begala who just sat there with his thumb way up his ass while Jon ripped on his own show.

  27. I’ve said it before.

    You and I live in entirely different universes Mr. Cavanaugh. I hope yours at least has decent beer and cheap parking.

  28. I don’t see too many comedians doing brain surgery or planning space launches. Hmm…

    Maybe if prominent journalists did enough of a job calling out prominent journalists on not doing their job, it wouldn’t be something a comedian would have to “get on his highhorse” about.

  29. I thought they were equally silly and utterly boorish.

  30. Everyone knows that Carlson is, well, a dick. No doubt many Crossfire guests have felt like saying it. But none that I’m aware of have ever had the balls to tell him to his face, on his air.

    Oh yeah, that took real balls. Only a brave, brave man would run the risk of not being invited back on Crossfire again.

    Look, maybe Crossfire has gotten a lot more polite since I stopped watching it ten years ago, but back then there was nothing the slightest bit unusual about the guests insulting the hosts, or vice-versa. There was nothing unusual about the guests accusing the hosts of destroying all that is good and decent about the United States, or vice-versa. The entire show should be retitled “My Dick Is Bigger Than Yours”. So let’s not pretend that Stewart did something shocking, innovative, or brave here.

  31. I read the transcript before I saw the clip.
    The transcript sounded a lot better.
    On film Stewart was a bit sanctimonious; wouldn’t go so far as calling him a horses ass, but still.

  32. If you’d seen Team America, you’d know it’s good to be a dick!

  33. Oh yeah, that took real balls. Only a brave, brave man would run the risk of not being invited back on Crossfire again.

    Exactly the point — it risks not being invited back on Crossfire again. And for just about every guest on Crossfire — who couldn’t care less about what they’re arguing as long as they get invited back — it takes more balls than they have to risk banishment.

    That’s the beauty of Stewart’s Crossfire appearance. It’s not sanctimony — it’s brilliant satire of a show that is simply a braying jackass-fest.

  34. Is it possible for us to agree that Stewart could have expressed himself more intelligently AND shows like “Crossfire” are, for the most part, as informative and intellectually stimulating as pro wrestling or an episode of “Friends?”

  35. Exactly the point — it risks not being invited back on Crossfire again

    Yes, exactly. And if Stewart is never invited back again, it will have exactly zero effect on his career. Ergo it took no courage for him to risk not being invited back again.

  36. Morat- That’s some good word usin’ there. I might use mine like yours some day, and by mine like yours, I mean Ctrl+C -> Ctrl+V… Nevermind, but good work all the same.

    Stewart has no obligation to anyone.

    He doesn’t have to do anything, including defend his views, because quite simply, he doesn’t give a fuck. It’s not that he can’t (and it’s not that I necessarily agree with all of them either, that much is for sure), which has now been demonstrated pretty clearly (in this interview, and others). Respect the fact that he doesn’t bitch and moan thoughtless, tasteless, boring dribble like some others.

    It’s kind of like humility, but better, and with more pronounced pundoit panic/terror.

    On his show, he tries to be civil with people. That’s because he has a lame-as-fuck couple of minutes for an interview. Besides, the same could be said of most late night talk show hosts. Let’s not put him down simply on the basis that he doesn’t agree with the rest of our views and therefore must be criticized. That’s not only ridiculous, it’s redundant, a lot like cracking fat jokes on Michael Moore, but with just a bit more taste.

    With the latter: Yes, he’s fat (…we’ve noticed)

    With the former: Yes, Stewart doesn’t often divulge many details of his opinions (and when he does, it can be ugly).

    Now, to be totally clear, I’m not saying they have many other similarities at that. In fact, I had to get pretty abstract with that bitch [of an analogy] since the difference between the two [Stewart and Moore] is as wide as Anna Nicole’s minge at a crowded group fisting festival.

    Still, the point remains. Criticizing Jon Stewart is pointless. You might be right, he might be wrong, vice versa, perhaps, but he still sodomized that bowtie-sporting bitch on Crossfire, sometimes known as “Tucker Carlson.” His intention was, nor does it appear to have ever been, “right or wrong.” It’s always been far less in depth than that. Criticizing him for criticizing someone else is retarded.

    You people are trying to argue with a Democrat named Jon Stewart, not just Jon Stewart. Yet… I’m not reall sure that such a thing truly even exists (less obscure: I don’t think you’ve got him figured out enough to bitch and moan).

    Stewart is just out to make money, make you laugh and maybe get a few hits in on someone he disagrees with, if he hates them enough (most importantly, in that order).

    When he releases something more resembling a Poli-Sci thesis, we can really chat about his views. Right now, just fucking laugh. The whole thing was probably scripted to some extent, anyway.

    Until then… Cease these verbal convulsions. It is most wasteful, like lighting yourself on fire, or most of these comments (especially this one)! 🙂

  37. It’s all show biz, despite each side’s occasional protestations that it isn’t.

  38. Jon Stewart is laughable. He, a TV host (regardless of others attempts to separate the man from the show), goes on another program and claims it’s their fault that the political landscape is what it is. This coupled with the fact that every time someone points out how wildly hypocritical he is, he plays the victim to a tee. “Don’t harm me, I’m just a lowly comedian on a crappy network.” Can he possibly be a bigger pansy?

    Anyway, just two questions Jon –

    Since you have a show, why not become part of the solution instead of part of the problem?

    Secondarily, if your show is crappy and you’re just a lowly comedian, why should anyone take you seriously?

  39. Jon Stewart is a middle-aged man who demands to be treated like a petulant, sulking teenager.

    Secondarily, if your show is crappy and you’re just a lowly comedian, why should anyone take you seriously?

    Why would anyone take a comedian seriously at all? TDS is an excellent, humorous fake news program hosted by a smartass liberal.

    Did anyone really take the Dixie Chicks’ blasting of Bush as some kind of serious social commentary? Anyone with half a brain knew it was a bunch of variably fuckable country stars opining on something they – like most of their fans – probably don’t know shit about. Fame seems to give people credibility for some reason…try to remember they are entertainers. If you are more than entertained, you’re giving these people too much credit.

  40. Not too bright there, SixSigma, are you? The answers to your questions are self-evident.

    1) What the hell do you think he was doing on Crossfire but trying to get the responsible parties to fix it?

    2) He’s pissed because people DO take him seriously, despite the fact that he’s a comedian with a fake news show.

    You seem to have some sort of weird cranial-rectal loop there. People do take him seriously, so he tries to fix what he consider a serious problem. And because of that, you accuse him of NOT trying to fix the problem and ask why you should take him seriously.

    Weird.

  41. Why do I get the impression that a good number of you guys prefer Bush to Kerry?

    And Stewart did make a great point on his appearance – he pointed out that the pundits all go hang out in “Spin Alley” after the debates -“Deception Lane,” as he termed it. Essentially, this is not productive.

    Also, Stewart doesn’t generally ask tough questions of anyone – his talent lies in getting people to reveal more than they normally would about their attitudes. McCain, for instance, appeared a couple of weeks ago, and I can’t remember exactly what was said, but Stewart managed to get him to hint that, no, he doesn’t much care for Bush. Who else could have got McCain to say that during the damned GOP Convention, when McCain himself was speaking on behalf of Bush?

  42. Why do I get the impression that a good number of you guys prefer Bush to Kerry?

    Don’t confuse preference with grim acceptance of marketing and mathematics. One of these fucktards will win. Either way we’re screwed, but so far (to me) it seems we will be slightly less screwed with Bush. A lot of Kerry’s campaigning so far has boiled down to complaining about the effect without talking about the cause and how he would improve it, implying that Bush alone is the cause and that by electing Kerry you’ll remove said cause and fix all your problems. It sounds too much like snake oil, and Kerry doesn’t have the credibility to win the White House on snake oil.

  43. I don’t understand the argument that Stewart is hiding behind being a lowly comedian.

    He is a lowly comedian. He doesn’t want to be a journalist or anything other than the left-leaning host of a left-leaning comedy show. His show happens to to have an audience that seems to prefer his left leaning tendencies. He caters to a very specific market. That’s his job–his job isn’t to do hard-hitting interviews, it’s to do celebrity interviews of people who have gained their celebrity through politics rather than entertainment.

    The way I figure it, two mistakes were made: the Crossfire people mistakenly believed that he would be “in character” for his appearance on their show. And Stewart mistakenly believed that Crossfire is a news show hosted by people with an interest in substantive debate.

    His criticism that shows like Crossfire are largely useless and even detrimental to the level and tone of political discourse in this country was an entirely fair point–he was just making it in the wrong forum.

  44. Hey Ed, rst and the others, Stewart should keep his comedy down the middle but shows that purport to be news can have an opinion no matter how absurd? And since he’s a comedian you can dismiss what he says if you don’t like it? Shakespeare knew that sometimes only a comedian could get away with saying the emperor has no clothes. How about this: if an opinion is valid it doesn’t matter who stated it. I’m amazed that people who listen to O’Really, Colter and Limbaugh don’t realize that it’s the crap that is spewed and not the direction of fire hose spewing it that matters.

    I think you prove his point, dude.

    BTW, Stewart, Franken, and Moore and a WHOLE lot funnier and more accurate while being so.

  45. Hmm, Jon Stewart is a COMEDIAN. He hosts a fake news show, which is based on the absurdity of the media, government and public figures.

    The whole point of their show is peeking behind the curtain of the “talking points”, lies and buffoonery of current politics. And the fact that mainstream REAL journalism has stopped doing it’s job and allows politicians to just proffer their usual BS.

    Crossfire is one of the symptons of the problem with today’s media. A platform for the theatre of “spin alley”, posturing and empty sound bytes.

    The guys on that show, along with shows like Hannity and Colmes ARE part of the problem.

    Given that Stewart has referred to Novak as a douchebag, what did the staff and hosts of crossfire expect from him?

    That he’d come on board and play their games?

    “The Daily Show”‘s schtick IS about the crap these guys perpetrate. And somehow you call hiim a horse’s ass for staying on message about that? *Amazing*.

    His pleas to them are true–REAL journalists need to stand up and take back their profession. They need to ask the hard questions and not get sidetracked by the spin and bobbing and weaving of politicians et al. It’s devolved into punditry, spin and theatre.

    The horses ass was Carlson, it was obvious he was laying in wait to ambush Stewart and was unprepared for the bitch slapping he got in return. All Carlson could muster up was to call him Kerry’s butt-boy and try and put journalistic responsiblity onto a comedian.

    All Carlson could offer was: “What about O’Reilley’s vibrator story”? Stewart shut him down on every other typical bait the guest query.

    But the real thing to consider is, Carlson and Begala aren’t journalists–they pundits–and acurrately called what they are–partisan hacks.

    Too bad that douchebag Novak wasn’t there to take his beating like a man either. Now THAT would have been priceless.

    The horses asses are the cast of Crossfire, for continuing to waste airtime with the BS they offer AND for being offended when someone calls them on it. Stewart gave them a beatdown, stayed on target and showed them to be empty suits when it came down to reality. All the huffing and puffing from them wont change that

  46. but shows that purport to be news can have an opinion no matter how absurd?

    Absurdity is kind of a relative thing, especially when you’re talking about opinion. I think most of us happen to find the opinion that beating your wife for going out in public unaccompanied as a religious duty to be patently absurd; over in S.A. the right wing probably finds our opinion on that matter to be absurd.

    I wouldn’t exactly call Crossfire news. Generally if you’re watching a discussion on Crossfire, you’ve already heard the news on the topic. You’re tuning in for opinions, and at least one of those opinions is going to sound absurd to you anyway.

    And since he’s a comedian you can dismiss what he says if you don’t like it?

    No, it means whether I like it or not, he’s got no more credibility on these topics than I do. He’s a professional entertainer, and as such I’ve no reason to believe that at any point in time the net effect of his actions or intentions will exceed entertainment. I think Stewart, his fanbase, and his detractors are taking him far too seriously.

    How about this: if an opinion is valid it doesn’t matter who stated it.

    That’s a big If. Who decides whether an opinion is valid?

  47. [Stewart’s] talent lies in getting people to reveal more than they normally would about their attitudes. McCain, for instance, appeared a couple of weeks ago, and I can’t remember exactly what was said, but Stewart managed to get him to hint that, no, he doesn’t much care for Bush

    Wow, that’s cutting-edge stuff, there. Maybe for a follow-up he could get Elton John to hint that well, actually, he does kind of like to have sex with men.

  48. “No, it means whether I like it or not, he’s got no more credibility on these topics than I do. He’s a professional entertainer, and as such I’ve no reason to believe that at any point in time the net effect of his actions or intentions will exceed entertainment. I think Stewart, his fanbase, and his detractors are taking him far too seriously.”

    That’s it! He has exactly the credibility that you, or I, or anybody else does. The difference is that he has media access. Whether he’s a professional entertainer is as irrelevant as your beliefs as to his intentions (purely speculative) or effects (debatable but evident). That doesn’t mean he can’t have a valid point. And he should be taken just as seriously as his statements merit. Apparently a lot of people are deciding that this “fake news host” has as much credibility as “serious” pundits because of what he’s saying. The irony is that he has noticed it and also considers it strange but thinks it is because of the poor condition of the discourse on said tube (not just because he is a comedian). Labeling him and then dismissing him avoids the point.

    I don’t agree that the side of a debate you disagree with has to be absurd. In fact, I think the best debates are the ones in which each side is presented thoughtfully and skillfully and real examination is the result. Nevertheless, I see a lot of absurd debate on TV and the Crossfire incident is a great example. While Stewart made his point crudely, all Carlson could do was snipe back at him rather than engage him in a discussion about the issue. The way they both reacted proved the point in a way.

  49. First of all,Jon stewart is a comedian,not a journalist.If anybody thinks Jon is a real journalist,then they’re half retarded,I’m sorry,but come on hes on Comedycentral!Hello.
    Comedy,not cnn.Comedy,not CNN.Comedy,not CNN.
    I’m I getting through to you?And btw if you vote for a Democrat or a Republican,doesn’t mean you’re a Democrat or a Republican!And you shouldn’t hate a person for voting for a candidate you don’t like!

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