Posts Tagged ‘Jon Stewart’

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Jimmy Dore is the no-budget version of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, if Jon Stewart had integrity and honesty and wasn’t concerned about being a highly paid tool. Stewart’s show had slick production values, and it also praised war criminals and helped the worst humans in our society peddle their latest books.

 

Tulsi calls out Hillary:

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P.S.

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The Very Very Incredible Deal

 

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Democrats’ hypocrisy on corruption, plus some gags about the email spam.

PS –

I was calling out this email harassment in 2007-8 when Obama emailed me daily, or twice even. Took Stewart long enough.

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by Jeff Cohen

While the U.S. media has some spirited debate over politics and social issues – i.e. Fox News vs. MSNBC – there remains a broad consensus about foreign adversaries whose behavior is almost always cast in the harshest light, a reality that colors how America reacts to the world.

I spent years as a political pundit on mainstream TV – at CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. I was outnumbered, outshouted, red-baited and finally terminated. Inside mainstream media, I saw that major issues were not only dodged, but sometimes not even acknowledged to exist.

Katy Perry during the children's concert at the Washington Convention Center in celebration of military families
Today there’s an elephant in the room: a huge, yet ignored, issue that largely explains why Social Security is now on the chopping block. And why other industrialized countries have free college education and universal healthcare, but we don’t. It’s arguably our country’s biggest problem – a problem that Martin Luther King Jr. focused on before he was assassinated 45 years ago, and has only worsened since then (which was the height of the Vietnam War).

Image: The Daily Show host Jon Stewart is one of the few voices on American television who occasionally breaks with the national security consensus.

That problem is U.S. militarism and perpetual war.

In 1967, King called the United States “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” – and said, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

Nowadays MSNBC hosts yell at Fox News hosts, and vice versa, about all sorts of issues – but when the Obama administration expanded the bloody war in Afghanistan, the shouting heads at both channels went almost silent. When Obama’s drone war expanded, there was little shouting. Not at MSNBC, not at Fox. Nor at CNN, CBS, ABC or so-called public broadcasting.
We can have raging debates in mainstream media about issues like gun control and gay marriage and minimum wage, but when the elites of both parties agree on military intervention – as they so often do – debate is nearly nonexistent. Anyone in the mainstream who goes out on a limb to loudly question this oversized creature in the middle of the room known as militarism or interventionism is likely to disappear faster than you can say “Phil Donahue.”

doc506b5edf440875155838331I know something about mainstream journalists being silenced for questioning bipartisan military adventures because I worked with Phil Donahue at MSNBC in 2002/03 when Bush was revving up the Iraq invasion with the support of Democratic leaders like Joe Biden, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid. That’s when MSNBC terminated us for the crime of JWI. Not DWI, but JWI – Journalism duringWartime while Independent.

JWI may be a crime in mainstream media, but it’s exactly the kind of unauthorized, unofficial coverage you get from quality independent media today and from un-embedded journalists like Jeremy Scahill, Dahr Jamail and Glenn Greenwald.

Unfortunately, many liberal journalists who were vocal about war, human rights and civil liberties during the Bush era lost their voices as Obama continued and, in some cases, expanded Bush’s “War on Terror” policies. It says something about the lack of serious national debate on so-called national security that last month one of the loudest mainstream TV news questioners of the president’s right to assassinate Americans was Sean Hannity on Fox. That’s obscene.

And it says something about mainstream TV that the toughest, most consistent questioners of militarism and defenders of civil liberties are not on a news channel – they’re on the comedy channel. A few weeks ago, I watched a passionate Jon Stewart taking on the U.S. military budget: “We already spend more on defense than the next 12 countries combined, including China, including Russia. We’re like the lady on Jerry Springer who can’t stop getting breast implants.” (On screen was a photo of the Springer guest.)
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What our mainstream media so obediently call the “War on Terror” is experienced in other countries as a U.S. war OF terror – kidnappings, night raids, torture, drone strikes, killing and maiming of innocent civilians – that creates new enemies for our country. Interestingly, you can easily find that reality in mainstream media of allied countries in Europe, but not in the mainstream media of our country. Needless to say, it’s our country that’s waging this global perpetual war.

In a democracy, war must be subjected to questioning and debate. And not just on the comedy channel.

 

Jeff Cohen is founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College and an associate professor of journalism there. His latest book is Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media. He founded the media watch group FAIR in 1986. This column is adapted from remarks made April 6 at the National Conference on Media Reform in Denver.

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Egypt Issues Arrest Warrant For Jon Stewart

The Egyptian government has issued an arrest warrant for American comedian Jon Stewart, accusing him of blasphemy and fomenting “anti-Egyptian” sentiment.

There’s that “blasphemy” charge again. Isn’t theocracy grand?

Now I consider Stewart a sold out little shit and a propagandist for the empire, but arrest warrants for “blasphemy?” Really?

“According to a statement issued by Minister of Justice Ahmed Mekki, Stewart will also be charged with “contributing to the delinquency of an Egyptian” for his role in inspiring Youssef to challenge the Islamist regime.”

“Mr. Stewart may think he’s funny. But in reality he is destroying the moral fiber of Egypt with his numerous references to penises and openly flamboyant homosexuals like Larry Craig, Marcus Bachmann, and Lindsey Graham.”

 

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Another film with Iran in the crosshairs: An effing bad idea

by Patrice Greanville

The New York Times headline made me wince:

Jon Stewart to Direct Serious Film, Will Take Hiatus From ‘Daily Show’ 

The news—when read in more detail— was not reassuring. It would seem like one of the most colossal egos in the entertainment world is about to pull an ARGO on us.  No I’m not referring to Affleck, whose Oscar for that perniciously-timed film is the official certification for Hollywood’s willing concubinage with imperial America. I’m talking about Jon Stewart, by far one of the most insufferable and self-impressed personalities in the modern pantheon of cheap idolatry for which American culture will surely be remembered—should the world survive its runaway ignorance and misdirected violence.

The reason for my disgust is that Stewart is about to take a 12-week hiatus from his duties at the uber-adulated The Daily Show to direct a movie whose plot—oh my— he penned.  The movie —”Rosewater”, is reported to be an adaptation of the 2011 book “Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival,” by Maziar Bahari and Aimee Molloy. Hmm. Hold that a cotton-pickin’  minute.  Captivity? A guy named Bahari? Knowing as I guess you do, that the US and its usual accomplices are desperately looking for a way to provoke a fight with Iran, what country do you think will be cast as the humorless heavy in this picture? Yes, that country. The same country already exploited by liberaloid Affleck to excellent “artistic” returns.

“One of the reasons we are in this business is to challenge ourselves,” Mr. Stewart said [fatuously], “and I really connected to Maziar’s story. It’s a personal story but one with universal appeal about what it means to be free.”  Mr. Bahari’s ordeal is familiar to “The Daily Show” fans — in fact, the comedy program played a role in it. (1)

The blooming of this execrable notion took place in a rather serendipitous manner. According to the Times,

A Canadian-Iranian journalist and documentarian, Mr. Bahari was jailed in Tehran in 2009 for four months, accused of plotting a revolution against the government. Shortly before his arrest, Mr. Bahari had participated in a “Daily Show” sketch, conducted by one of the show’s correspondents, Jason Jones, who was pretending to be a spy. Mr. Bahari’s captors used the footage against him. “You can imagine how upset we were,” Mr. Stewart said, “and I struck up a friendship with him afterward.”

Since ARGO was premised on something like a ruse to fool the Iranians, Stewart’s  premise, also packing identity errors, sounds to me derivative, at best. Not so bloody funny. Let alone that original. How many times are we gonna take credit for rooking the Iranians?

One more requiem for liberalism

With this recklessly ill-timed film, Jon Stewart is now clearly joining not only the lot of imperial apologists (which as Abby Martin suggests—see below—was well prefigured by his fawning over Obama and other Democratic politicos), but also proving for the umpteenth time that liberals are either egotistical assholes with the political acumen of a hedgehog or… thinly-veiled groupies for the imperial status quo. So first Affleck, now Stewart, where will it end, this noxious parade of (shall we say charitably) unwittingly self-indulgent “cinematic art”?

Since Stewart  is a comedian, very much the frat-sort, smart-ass, middlebrow American comedian, the kind that the politically illiterate and almost permanently infantilized Generation X finds so damn amusing, albeit one now afflicted with acute auteur pretensions, we can’t tell at this point where this expensive bauble will end, hopefully in the trash, but we can bet that the Iranians will be once again characterized as fanatical ciphers  or dunces—not exactly the image needed at this point to inject some warmth and respect in the American mind toward that tortured nation.

Well. What else could we expect? This is the rotten Zeitgeist we inhabit, friends. For ill or for ill.

In the final analysis, however, as even a bright 6-year old could tell, war is too dreadful a matter to be left to mere politicians…or  megalomanic buffoons.  Man, where is George Carlin when we need him!

Patrice Greanville is the editor in chief of The Greanville Post. 

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ADDENDUM


Abby Martin of RT calls out court jester Stewart and his accommodation of Obama.  Hard questions are never asked on Stewart’s Daily Show, particularly when Democrat politicians need votes.  I’ve said previously how Stewart parades a constant stream of establishment war criminals and monsters on his program so they can peddle their books.

SOURCE

Jon Stewart to Direct Serious Film, Will Take Hiatus From ‘Daily Show’

(1) http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/05/jon-stewart-to-direct-serious-film-will-take-hiatus-from-daily-show/

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PS: While you’re on the NYTImes page, be sure to read some of the comments. They’re a hoot, horrifying. I think you’ll probably be alarmed at how  pathetic, needy and undignified Stewart’s following seems to be. Proof conclusive that far too many people these days are simply functional social morons and that the world is doomed.  I read like 20 comments and then stopped with a mild feeling of nausea.  Condensed, in-your-face stupidity does that to me. At any rate I verified that none of the commenters mentioned the possibility that this new film is just another ludicrous concept likely to increase the tensions and gross misperceptions about Iran and that it should not be celebrated.  And that someone would see the obvious and call Stewart on it, that to pick—of all possible subjects, many much more urgent—this particular plot to sink a pile of greenbacks in it, is simply obscene. Well, about that I suppose I was being way too optimistic.

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Will have more on this in the coming days. Another anti-Iran exercise, as Israel and the US push for war against Iran, as they have done for over a decade. Imperial court jester Stewart apparently finds something funny about further demonizing the Iranians, and has bought the rights to this:

“Stewart has adapted [Maziar] Bahari’s 2011 book “Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story Of Love, Captivity And Survival,” a fascinating and suspenseful true story about the journalist’s 2009 arrest during the Iranian election protests, which led to him spending 118 days in jail.

I caught several problems with Bahari’s Daily Show interview, which I’ll comment on shortly.

Stewart evidently couldn’t find any stories in the United States itself worthy of his directorial debut.
 

 

Abby Martin of RT calls out court jester Stewart and his accommodation of Obama.  Hard questions are never asked on Stewart’s Daily Show, particularly when Democrat politicians need votes.  I’ve said previously how Stewart parades a constant stream of establishment war criminals and monsters on his program so they can peddle their books.

 

 

 

Watch the Stewart / O’Reilly debate here ($4.95 download):
http://secure.therumble2012.com/f/watch

by Peter Michaelson

Insight is a good thing, and insight into where our laughter comes from not only can spare us a lot of misery but is worth a laugh in itself. Still, as one witty writer said, “Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.” Despite the risk, I’m putting humor and laughter on the dissecting table. I love humor as much as any cutup, and obviously I have no wish to fracture its funny-bone or see it croak.

Humor, bless its existence, is often a byproduct of the clash in our psyche between inner aggression and inner passivity. The voice or “intelligence” of inner passivity (our unconscious ego) often produces humor for the purpose of deflecting and reducing to absurdity the harsh pronouncements and judgments of inner aggression (our inner critic or superego). Last week’s online “Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium” between TV personalities Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly serves to illustrate this point.

From the perspective of psychoanalysis, Stewart, the easy-going liberal humorist and host of “The Daily Show,” sees and relates to the world from the vantage of inner passivity. He generates much of his humor by cleverly mocking the pretensions and inconsistencies of the establishment and the right wing. O’Reilly, of course, is the gruff Fox TV commentator known for his denouncements of liberal positions. His persona, while capable of humor, is a caricature of our authoritarian inner critic. Each man represents an opposing side of the major clash in the human psyche between inner aggression and inner passivity. Stewart provided some evidence of this unconscious connection when he said, O’Reilly’s “like comfort food for me. I feel like I grew up around these guys. He’s my shepherd’s pie.” Since O’Reilly is the embodiment of Stewart’s inner critic, Stewart obviously feels right at home dueling with him.

The two men are friends, and it’s a tribute to them that they’ve connected with some measure of goodwill, despite coming from opposing positions in the psyche. Still, when watching their “rumble” we’re like children giggling at two quarreling puppets when we don’t appreciate the “intelligence” (unconscious dynamics) pulling the strings behind the scene. Deeper awareness makes humor an even better medicine.

Humor comes in many guises, among them wit, irony, sarcasm, jocularity, buffoonery, and whimsy. Jocularity often holds people up to ridicule; someone is made the butt of a joke. Yet why should human foolishness or suffering be laughable at all? Instead of laughing, we could be callous, scornful, or compassionate, as indeed we often are. However, we very much desire the delightful pleasure of laughter, and we grasp for it when we can. Laughter comes easily as an intense momentary release of inner freedom, like the toot of a safety valve or the exalted cry of an escaping prisoner. We’re liberated momentarily from the considerable weight of inner reproach and disapproval that comes at us from our ubiquitous inner critic. When a joke identifies someone else as the fool or failure, he or she is offered up as a prisoner to our inner critic: “This person is obviously a better object of ridicule than I,” we unconsciously proclaim, “and much more deserving of disapproval.” In that moment, we’re experiencing sharp relief that someone other than ourselves has been “captured” by the inner critic.

TV comics Jay Leno and David Letterman nightly roast celebrities and politicians on their shows. Leno cracked me up a few years ago when he said, “Today, Mick Jagger is 65 years old–and it’s also the 30th anniversary of him looking like he’s 65.” The laughter is all sporting, good-natured fun; the iconic singer himself would probably chuckle. Still, technically, the joke is at his expense. For the joke to work, he’s sacrificed for our emotional relief. I laughed gleefully because I felt in that moment: “Imagine looking 65 when you’re only 35. I never looked that ridiculous.”

This reveals the degree to which, on an inner level, we live under the inner critic’s constant, hostile surveillance and oppression. Our inner critic is the giant of the psyche and the hidden master of our personality. It constantly holds us accountable and questions our actions and decisions. It’s important for us to know this. Otherwise, we function to a considerable extent in a state of inner passivity, unable to neutralize our inner critic and continuing to waste much mental and emotional energy doubting and defending ourselves against its relentless assault.

Like Leno and Stewart, people who become comedians have from an early age made a fine art of deflecting inner attacks by directing them on to others or by reducing them to absurdity. While such people can confound the inner critic as well as authority figures in society, the effect is temporary. Their unwitting use of political and sarcastic humor is not going to overthrow the tyranny of the inner critic, nor will it trouble the economic and political establishment. Their humor, when unconsciously employed, is simply too defensive. The court jester, a specialist at self-preservation and a dogged approval-seeker, is no threat to the king.

While some humorists present artificial victims to their inner critic, others present themselves as the victims. This is the Rodney Dangerfield self-derision persona, where a comedian makes himself an object of ridicule. Once again this humor gets laughs because people are happy to see someone other than themselves–it doesn’t matter who–dangling from the butt-end of life. This formula applies, too, to the “insult comedy” of Don Rickles and the “big oaf” persona of Jackie Gleason. Some humorists of the Rush Limbaugh school practice an especially vicious variety that’s fired off like cannonballs of cynicism, with hostile sarcasm for gunpowder. Their explosive cynicism draws in people who are eager to blame others for their own suffering. This “humor” registers high collateral damage because it serves not to placate inner aggression but to direct it unmercifully and unjustly toward others.

Humor as a form of defending ourselves from the inner critic is passive and unstable. It’s like playing chess against a supercomputer–one nervous twitch and you’re done. Some famous comedians have died young from drug abuse–notably, Lenny Bruce, John Belushi, and Chris Farley–because intense inner conflict undermined the power of self-regulation.

When we become stronger on an inner level, we don’t compulsively resort to humor as a way to maintain our inner equilibrium. Nor will we laugh at stupid jokes that present the folly or misfortune of others solely for our selfish glee. In inclusive laughter we express the spirit of joyfulness.

http://www.WhyWeSuffer.com

Peter Michaelson is an author, blogger, and psychotherapist in Ann Arbor, MI.   He believes that better understanding of depth psychology reduces the fear, passivity, and denial of citizens, making us more capable of maintaining and growing our democracy while flourishing in our personal life.

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Jon Stewart finally takes off the gloves: