I could say that I missed Jon Stewart and Chris Wallace duke it out on Fox News last Sunday because we were camping, but truthfully I probably wouldn't have watched it anyway. Call me weird, but there’s something about a middle-aged man who Photoshops the Washington Monument into his very own really big penis that I find a tad off-putting. Plus it makes me break out in acne. Plus I really can't stand the guy.
Not that I needed to watch it anyway. After all, it's not like anybody, including my dog Chloe, couldn't have predicted that Stewart would just yammer about how he doesn’t do news, he does pretend news. Oh, and he has no “designed ideological agenda,” and all he really wants to do is just bring a little joy into the hearts of his fellow man. In fact, he’s really nothing but a big, sweet, apolitical clown who just wants to hug us and make us laugh.
Sure. And I’ll believe that when he starts utilizing big red noses, floppy shoes, and miniature bicycles to ply his trade, instead of dishonest editing, context, and paraphrase specially targeted at conservatives.
I mean, come on. If Stewart isn’t an ardent leftist with an inexplicable license to lie with impunity, then why has he dedicated his life to being the curse that the bad fairy cast upon Fox News in its cradle? No “designed ideological agenda?” Yeah right. Um-hummm. Sure, Jon. And Chloe has no designed slobbering agenda toward juicy ham bones either.
I confess, I do slather on the Clearasil and watch the Daily Show every now and then. Including Monday’s episode which delivered vintage Stewart, the Michelangelo of straw men fabricators busy at work once again. It was definitely same old, same old. Stewart picked his target for ridicule (Wallace), played a clip, slipped the straw man in with glib sleight of hand, and then beat it to a pulp in a frenzy of profane hysteria.
You gotta pay attention in order to catch Stewart’s straw men during the nanosecond that he leaves them exposed, so here’s a helpful hint. After Stewart plays a clip of Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly or anyone he disagrees with, watch for such phraseology as “In other words…” or “What he’s saying here is…” or, incredibly, “If he had said…” Stuff like that always signals straw man ahead, because that’s when Stewart plants whatever ridicule-worthy words into his adversary’s mouth that will afford the longest and most profane, spittle-laden, hyperkinetic spasm of invective possible.
Monday’s show certainly didn’t disappoint. In fact it was a classic. First Stewart introduced a clip of Chris Wallace talking about the left wing slant of NBC news. Wallace said, “I think that they have a liberal agenda, and I think we tell the other side of the story.”
After the clip was over, Stewart said: “And if the conservative side isn't being told, what's being told must be liberal.”
That wasn’t what Wallace said or implied, but Stewart discovered long ago that it’s much easier to win a debate when you can write both sides and in effect plant whatever words best serve your agenda (yes, agenda!) smack dab into your adversary’s mouth. Then when you’re finished, you can sit back and milk your self-serving fabrication for all it’s worth, like Stewart did here:
And if the conservative side isn't being told, what's being told must be liberal. Fox News isn't fair and balanced, it's balancing the system, man. Don't you get it? The system's unfair and unbalanced! To balance the system, Fox has to be the purest form of right-wing resin because of how, because of how heavy left-wing America is. Hollywood, comedians, every single news organization, the internet, facts, history, science, it's all just left-wing bullsh*t, man! Each one of those things designed purely to shut down conservatives. left-wing bullsh*t, man! Each one of those things designed purely to shut down conservatives.
No “designed ideological agenda?” Really? Only an accomplished propagandists and liar like Stewart could declare that with a straight face when he does this sort of thing all the cotton-picking time!
Remember the healthcare summit early last year, when for such a neutral, apolitical, fuzzy, harmless clown, Stewart was remarkably focused on decimating the Republicans who were fighting Obama’s socialist invasion into the free market?
For example, Stewart played a clip of Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) expressing concern about government bureaucrats making healthcare decisions for the public. Cantor said, “If we assume that Washington could do that, could really take the place of every American and decide what is most essential, what — what would be the consequences?”
To which Stewart started talking, and straw man ahead gongs started clanging:
“Cantor is basically making the argument that if we want to come together on this we have to agree to keep government out of it completely, because costs will skyrocket. He’s making the never-been-proven argument that smaller government is better because it costs less.”
Stewart’s paraphrase wasn’t just a pack of lies; it was hyperbolic idiocy on many levels. Cantor didn’t mention costs; he was cautioning his fellow Americans about the specter of busybody bureaucrats butting into their personal affairs. And he made a good point, so Stewart replaced it with something that would serve two purposes, (1) keep his audience from hearing and possibly agreeing with Cantor and (2) allow him to ridicule, diminish, and verbally abuse the enemy, in this case Cantor.
Then the shameless liars down at the Daily Show actually edited together a fictional blistering response from President Obama that decimated Stewart’s carefully set up fantasy Cantor statement, driving Stewart and his stoner sycophants into profane, screaming raptures at an exchange that never took place except in their fevered imaginations.
That’s why I’m confused when Stewart insists that he has no “designed ideological agenda.”
But he wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t so, would he?