Jon Stewart, goodbye and good riddance
(9/2015) Just a few weeks ago, while driving home from meeting a client, I turned on my car radio which is permanently tuned to my local public radio station. I long ago gave up on music stations. Ever since I hit my 30s they all started to sound the same.
Radio Times from Philadelphia was on the air. They were crying over the end of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show. The host was interviewing one of the producers of the Daily Show, a TV critic, and a third person who seemed to be no more than a cheerleader for the show. The love affair for the show was sickening. I am not sure, but at one point I think the host
offered to have Jon Stewart’s child. To listen to the three go on, Jon Stewart was the second coming, or maybe the first, depending on what religion you are. It made me sick.
I could never warm up Jon Stewart’s Daily Show or even that other show of lowbrow pseudo-journalism propaganda, The Colbert Report.
Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, is an unapologetic, dyed-in-the-wool, progressive. He has a political agenda that he supports and promotes. The beauty of his show was for him to propagandize, twist the truth, and couch stories and events anyway he wanted. He was unbound by any journalistic ethics or guilt.
His show was laid out like a news program, with anchor desk and all. But it was not a news program at all. He was the left’s answer to Rush Limbaugh (who I have also never really liked for much of the same reasons). He was perfect at it. He was witty and charming. Whenever he was called out for his distortions or propaganda, Jon Stewart would simply
shrug his shoulders and say, "Hey I’m a comedian, I’m not a journalist."
The Daily Show is not alone in this. For years we have had Rush Limbaugh. HBO is continuously rolling out propaganda dramas like "News Room," which covers real events distorted with the progressive’s goal of vilifying anyone who disagrees with them.
What worries me is when, during the course of conversation on current events, someone will start quoting Jon Stewart, as if he is somehow a legitimate source material. Much the same way that I remember in the 90’s some people would quote Rush Limbaugh ad-nauseam.
It is disheartening and scary to hear people say they only get their news from Jon Stewart. They get their news from a comic!
Now, it is not that he is unworthy of his opinion or that his opinion is unworthy of being heard; intelligent people listen to opinions and insights from a wide range of sources. That is the key, a wide range.
It is the dishonesty in how he presents issues and opinions. Rush Limbaugh at least has the honesty to admit that he is a conservative and he represents a specific political view. Jon Stewart hides his agenda and masquerades it as a news show.
John Stewart dresses like your nice uncle who comes into the living room and tells you a few jokes. You cannot help but like him. Then when he has your full attention the propaganda starts. He controls the conversation. Only issues and facts that support his agenda are revealed and discussed.
Then he makes fun of any other perspective on the issue. If you do not agree with him, you are a moron.
Behind him he has a well-skilled team in the editing booth. Snippets of speeches from his opposition gave him an endless stream of video clips to make fun of. God only knows what he would have done with a video of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address (remember, Lincoln was a Republican). I could only imagine he would edit it down to Lincoln saying "Four score
and seven," then Jon would be on the other side of the split screen making faces and saying. This idiot President does not even know we are in a war. He thinks it’s some sort of cricket match."
It reminds me of middle school kids debating or arguing. When one side finds itself outwitted they respond with "Well you’re smelly."
I often hear complaints that today there is no real discussion about issues. The only thing that politicians do is bicker and fight. "Why are we so divided?" The truth is, real discussions do happen. Arguments are formulated. Facts presented. But the public does not want to hear any of it. We think we do, but really, who has time? We get bored after
five seconds. Real news is boring. Jon Stewart seems to know this well and uses it to his advantage.
In the 70s, Saul D. Alinsky, in his book "Rules for Radicals," teaches the progressives not to fight with facts, but rather, fight with emotions.
Alinsky told the left to be funny. He told them to blend into the middle class. Cut your hair. Shed off anything that will give you away as a radical. The American flag has importance to the middle-class and the average American. The Radical must wrap himself in it and pretend to love it as much as those old men in the VFW. The Radical must appear to
be one of the middle class before he can turn them.
Stephen Colbert reinforces Jon Stewart on his show, and Colbert takes it even further. He wraps himself in the American flag. He has flags all over his studio. Colbert mocks conservatives and Republicans by pretending to be one of them.
In The HBO show "Newsroom," the main character presents himself as a Republican conservative. He then spends the show attacking Republicans and Conservatives. Real issues and events are presented in a fictional newscast. Lies are created and presented as facts. underlying events are fictional. It has been wrapped and camouflaged in a compelling soap
opera drama with sex, personal relationship, and some great storylines. But the reality is, it exists for one reason and that is as a political tool of the left to spread lies and misinformation.
If the facts are not on your side, make them up!
So what are we to do? That is a tough question. Turn off the television and pick up a newspaper. But we all know that is not going to happen. The best we can do is to see these shows for what they really are, simple propaganda, nothing more, nothing less.
So to Mr. Jonathan Stewart Leibowitz, here is your hat. I for one am not crying over your departure.
Read other articles by Bill Hillman