February 17, 2008

Ramming Neo-Liberalism Down Our Funny Bones

My Sunday Sermon
Is Jon Stewart a Neo-Liberal?
Watching The Daily Show evolve into a mass media phenomenon has been educational, in many ways. While most leftist initially celebrated the show’s hip, smart and clever manner of exposing political lies and hypocrisies, the past two years of serious celebrity have brought about an evolution in the show’s agenda. It’s taken a bit of time to sort out why and what has disturbed me watching JS go through the paces with his guests, but last weeks’ show with William (Bill) Kristol nailed it
It’s a kindlier, friendlier Project Mockingbird.
We don’t want a terse Tom Brokaw telling us his point of view is neutral (unsympathetic), or cheerleader Katie Couric helping us find the “right” emotions to frame the situation (too chick-eee). We want to laugh and feel together in our solitude as extreme leader of Planet Earth. So, we have voted Jon Stewart to be most popular news mouth for the neo-liberal agenda.
Whow, you say! Do you mean Jon Stewart’s need to be popular might exceed his ability to critically assess the impact of his proclamations on viewers? Or, more cynically, could he be distracting us from digging into real issues as he "plays" with his neo-con adversaries? Imposserass!
Well, look at the record.
Going back into the last century, Mr. Stewart was letting such neo-liberal greats as Madeline Albright appear almost pretty on the show, while never turning the heat up one bit for this lady who easily condemns children to death. Perhaps the most embarrassing interview was with Lynn Cheney, out to shill a book but teased, every so coyly by JS for an invite to meet her Darth Vader hubby.
In the category of truly creepy, for the past few days CNN has run a promo for Larry King’s pre-Oscar interview with Jon, who we hear proudly shouting at Larry: “I will be your monkey!” Now that’s someone I’d follow into the hills! Vive, Jon!
Most sickening are the lost opportunities to truly nail Bill Kristol for the cynical, hypocritical, opportunistic slime that he is. Last week the two of them pretended to be pundits and threw down a verbiage of bullshit so awesome and awful I nearly puked. I couldn’t comprehend Stewart’s responses to Kristol on Iraq by agreeing that: “Violence is way down” in Iraq and shrieking: “I believe that unless we keep 150,000 people there they will slaughter each other…”
That’s beyond embarrassing. That’s propaganda.
The interview continued with wild and crazy sound bites worthy of Faux Noise, beefed up with praise for the “Anbar Awakening,” which led to the finale of hand shakes and agreement on how reasonable they both are.
Reasonable, yes, as long as the United States of America controls the world (and beyond!).
Enjoy your Sunday, Citizens!

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