Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Jon, Jon, Jon...

Ok, I've held back. The last few weeks have given us all such fodder for some rage against the political/media machines, and I've been restraining myself for the sake of good Spring vibes.

But now I'm going to cut loose just a little bit and unleash on one of my fave commentators. (side note: why 'commentator'? why not just 'commenter'?) Mr. Jon Stewart, who has consistently been there to skewer the Stupid - left, right and center - let a big ol' grapefruit of a ball drop last night.

He had Newt Gingrich as a guest on The Daily Show. Yes, that Newt Gingrich: former Speaker of the House, Clinton Nemesis, author of the Contract On America (What? it's Contract With America? C'mon, when you hire a hit man to grease some guy, you don't call it a contract with said guy, you call it a contract ON him), architect of the Neocon Revolution. And I'm thinking: "Yes! Now, in light of all the things that have been happening lately - the economy, the war, the food crisis, the back room approval of torture - you can get in some really good jabs, maybe even land a knockdown or two." And he set it up pretty well, showing a clip of Justice Antonin Scalia insisting, with a straight face, that 'torture' isn't 'punishment' (as, get this, part of his "charm offensive." I have lived too long.)

And what do they talk about? Obama's former minister.


I know, I know - these things are vetted and scripted, or at least outlined. But this was the best outline you could get Gingrich to agree to as he's hawking his new co-authored novel about WWII? Really??

It's not that I don't have my problems with Reverend Wright, who seems extra special self-serving these days. It's not that I don't think it's fair for a Republican to kick the Democrats while they scuffle and scorn. It's not that I don't already have a HUGE issue with this sense among progressives that watching satire on TV is some kind of substitute for real activism. But Jon, if you're gonna hold a satire party and invite a pig, don't forget the meat fork.

The thing that may be bothering me most is that a lot of people would consider me a wing nut for thinking that the fact (fact, people, there's evidence, and they all admitted it) that the Vice President, Secretary of Defense, National Security Advisor and a room full of others, with the President's knowledge, got together and mapped out/approved of processes of torture - I'm sorry, "extreme methods" - that would be conducted by American Soldiers might be, oh, I don't know, MORE IMPORTANT than Bittergate, and who does what shots in what bars, and who eats what kind of cheesesteaks.

Yet there it is, all over the "liberal media": proof, time and again, that accountability, analysis and critical thinking are not part of the game.

Work with me folks. I think it's time to rewrite the rule book.


Anonymous said...

hammer, meet nail. you got it.

but... any suggestions on rewriting the rulebook? I know we ask these questions of each other. Where can we find the answers?

mick said...

I don't think this kind of thing ever ends, but one potentially good place to start might be writing in places other than these blogs (which, let's face it, are read mostly by each other).

Don't let up on your elected reps; and get in the habit of writing to media outlets, mainstream and whatever stream you can find that isn't totally full of wackjobs.

I've had little luck finding a decent 'letters to the editor' link for Daily Show/Comedy Central (interesting that I consider the fake news shows to be a high priority, but I think a LOT of people get their info there) - anybody know of one.

The Times and virtually all 'real' news sources, however, don't keep their mailbox hidden.

Frame your points cleverly and creatively, and just keep at it as you keep yourself informed. Can't hurt, right?