What would JS do?

on March 19, 2009 with 0 comments » | ,

JS ..as in Jon Stewart! :)
Great article at HuffPost. 
What if Jon Stewart had interviewed Cheney
Stewart kept popping into my head as I watched John King interview Dick Cheney on Sunday. Each time King let Cheney get away with spouting gross inaccuracies and revisionist history, I kept thinking how different things would have been had Stewart been asking the questions. Stewart without the comedy and without the outrage -- just armed with the facts and the willingness to ask tough questions.
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"You are pretending that you are a dew-eyed innocent," Stewart might have said, as he did to Cramer. But even without Stewartesque flourishes, shouldn't King have challenged Cheney's ludicrous claim with some facts about how the fervor for financial deregulation championed by the Bush administration fueled the economic meltdown? Instead, King let Cheney off the hook: "We may get back to how we got here. But let's talk about where we are."

...
This is the problem with King and too many in the Pontius Pilate traditional media: They are so caught up in the obsolete notion that the truth always lies in the middle, they have to pretend that there are two sides to every issue -- and even two sides to straightforward data.


Someone needs to kidnap King and take him to a deprogramming center -- preferably one run by Jon Stewart and his team. That way, the next time a denier of truth or an apologist for the broken status quo -- whether Republican or Democrat -- sits across from him, King can skip the qualifiers and do what journalists are supposed to do: hold public figures' feet to the fire. If it will help, he can even crib a line or two from Stewart's Cramer interview:

KING: Mr. Cheney, these Wall Street guys were on a Sherman's March through their companies financed by our 401ks and all the incentives of their companies were for short-term profit. And they burned the fucking house down with our money and walked away rich as hell and you guys knew that that was going on.
Okay, King could have dropped the "fucking" -- but how much would you have paid to watch Cheney's response to that one?

Until the Jon Stewart Journalism Deprogramming Center opens for business, all TV interviewers should ask themselves a simple question right before the camera goes on: What would Jon Stewart do?
P.S. Cramer vs. Jon Stewart may blow off soon... but the issues remain.
But the larger problem won't go away. And it's not just a matter of people missing the biggest economic story of the last 20 years. It's a matter of those who minimized it and those who blew it off because it didn't fit their worldview continuing in their plum positions of authority. Mr. Stewart wasn't rude enough to ask it, but over all his inquiries there hung the obvious question: Why do you still have a job, Mr. Cramer?
If the world of financial infotainment can itself be described as a "market," it is a market where accountability does not seem to exist, where the heaviest of incentives seems to carry no weight, and where consumers, to judge by what they get, seem constantly to choose the lousy over the good. The old order discredits itself, but the old order persists nevertheless. 
P.P.S. Also, seems Tucker Carlson is itching for his time in the limelight. Tucker vs. JS may be next. 
P.P.P.S.  England wonders where's their Jon Stewart 

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