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Jon Stewart: Media Powerhouse or Rank Partisan?

Jon Stewart's influence is a point of much debate of late. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The clash between "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart and "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer has, yet again, raised the question of just how powerful Stewart is when it comes to influencing the national political debate on a daily basis.

Past polls have shown that Stewart's audience skews young and liberal but, as the Cramer episode demonstrates, his "speak truth to power" approach has the potential to become the story on any given night.

Of the Cramer clash (kerfuffle?), Arianna Huffington wrote:

"Jon Stewart's Jim Cramer interview was a pivotal moment -- not just for Stewart, Cramer, and CNBC but also for journalism. It was a bracing reminder of what great research and a journalist more committed to getting to the truth than to landing the big get -- and keeping the big get happy, and ensuring future big gets -- can accomplish."

She adds, later in the piece, which is roundly critical of CNN's John King for his interview with former vice president Dick Cheney, that all television reporters should ask "What would Jon Stewart do?" before conducting an interview.

Tucker Carlson, who lambasted Stewart during an appearance on CNN's "Reliable Sources" on Sunday, agreed in a chat on yesterday that the Daily Show host is a "player in the national conversation" but argued that Stewart's stature means that he should "be held to the same standards everyone else at his level (including Jim Cramer) lives by."

Throwing some cold water on the power of Stewart is new data from a poll commissioned by Research 2000 for the liberal blog Daily Kos.

Roughly two-thirds of the poll's national sample said they didn't know enough about Stewart to offer an opinion. Of those who did register an opinion, 22 percent regarded Stewart favorably while 11 percent saw him in an unfavorable light.

Those numbers, not surprisingly, bifurcated along partisan lines; Democrats viewed Stewart favorably by a five to one margin while Republicans saw him negatively at a three to one pace. Independents were more favorable (26 percent) than not (10 percent) toward Stewart.

So, which is it? Is Stewart the last honest man in the news(y) business? Or is he, as Carlson famously/infamously put it, a "partisan demagogue?"

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 17, 2009; 2:51 PM ET
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Testing comments.

Posted by: Bob Greiner | March 20, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

All interesting questions asked. More interesting if this kind of reporting was done before people were feeling the effect of this crisis.
Any one paying attention to the way that large business has operated for years knows it was not sustainable. CNBC’s owner, GE, is notorious for sucking the life out of the companies they buy and in many ways manipulating the value of their stocks. There are just so many American jobs available to send out of the country and only so many world resources to burn.

Posted by: imagine1 | March 20, 2009 3:06 AM | Report abuse

I hardly even know who Jon Stewart is, and I don't watch his show, but I did catch his interview with Cramer, and, from now on, I think I'll become a fan. HE WAS GREAT!!! As for Carlson, does anyone really listen to that know nothing?

Posted by: nwsjnky1 | March 19, 2009 4:53 AM | Report abuse

out here in the real world - eg outside the beltway - i'm startled by several points. 1) i love stewart's show for the satire but would never confuse it for "hard news." 2) our second paper died yesterday which means "hard news" is evaporating. 3) that a "hard news reporter" (for whichever outlet) would raise a comedy show to the level of a program like meet the press makes me wonder if he shouldn't take a paternity leave for lack of sleep. but most important of all is this: stewart does more interview prep for his guests, hence the amazing results most times. the confrontation w/ cramer (who sadly was once a respectable wall street journalist before turning into an entertainer, and a bad one at that) was probably stewart's finest. i've seen worse, and some bombed. but even HE will tell the audience this: HE IS AN ENTERTAINER. out here, we would like serious journalists to get to the core of the financial crisis so that our citizens can get back to work....

Posted by: davidarosy1 | March 18, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Stewart is a card carrying member of the Hollywood Left elite. Come of out the closet, John, and admit it. It's ok to be a liberal, just come out and say it. They you can join your buds in Liberal Pride Day and fight for Liberal Marriage.

Posted by: kenpasadena | March 18, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I saw the interview and can say I was profoundly impressed with Stewart's comments. The MSM today is less about informing the public and more about either selling it's corporate message or increasing it's ratings via the infomercial mentality. I say good for Stewart. He spoke the truth regarding the 'dumbing down' of the American public. The airways belong to the American people yet those who have a license to broadcast seem more concerned about the needs of the very wealthy to screw us into a financial abyss while they can make an obscene profit. Enough! We need more Jon Stewarts and fewer Madoffs, Cheneys, Phil Grahams, AIG's in the world.

Posted by: Ederlore | March 18, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

"I remember seeing the scrivner50 schtick before. It was on the Carol Burnett Show when Mr. Tudbol wanted to reach Mrs. Wiggins on the intercom, but couldn't because she kept her transmit button pushed down. Scrivner is on full transmit mode, unable to receive anything but the doses of radiation directed continuously at him. Poor fella.

Posted by: optimyst'

Sadly, Scrivner's gonads have shriveled too from the radiation. |

Posted by: leapin | March 18, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

It is a JOKE that ANYONE would THINK or believe that Mr. Stewart is anything but an entertainer/comedian on television making a lot of money....The American people not being able to tell the difference between entertainment and REAL journalism should give you an idea why we ended up with GWB for President for 8 years, and now Obama, who thinks the press dinner with ACTUAL long-time REAL jourtnalists, is not important, but finds it important to show up on the Jay Leno show.
A country that spends most of its time watching fantasy/reality t.v. shows, American Idol, pseudo news/ journalism, etc deserves no better than Bush or Obama. And you guys WONDER WHY??? this country is denigrated now by the rest of the world. America has become one big joke because the American people are so easily persuaded by propaganda, whether by Bush, Obama, etc.

Posted by: librairie | March 18, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: opp88 | March 18, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I remember seeing the scrivner50 schtick before. It was on the Carol Burnett Show when Mr. Tudbol wanted to reach Mrs. Wiggins on the intercom, but couldn't because she kept her transmit button pushed down. Scrivner is on full transmit mode, unable to receive anything but the doses of radiation directed continuously at him. Poor fella.

Posted by: optimyst | March 18, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Please. Please. Please. Jim Cramer is a droll, he has led many an unknowledgeable investor down the wrong road and his blasting "Sell!, Sell! Sell Everything! did nothing but cause a lot more anxiety than anyone really needed that week. Have your watched, really watched his body language, his facial expressions, this guy is not really confident, or he wouldn't feel the need to do the ol' screaming, look at me kind of production all the time. He seems genuinely hurt that people don't like him, which again, is not what people watching his show need, he shouldn't say what he thinks his fans want, but what they need. He stinks and they should take his show off the air. They might as well put Jon Stewart in his place as he seems to know more about how to be a better financial info-mercial than Jim Cramer does.

Posted by: ncarvill1 | March 18, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Stewart wiped the floor with Cramer. And it is not the first time he is doing a much better job than more serious people in debates. And in this particular case he is doing a wonderful job in highlighting media job as a watchdog. But isn't it scary that Comedy Central which usually make "fart sounds and funny faces" are a factor in the world of politics?

Posted by: h4x02 | March 18, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart is a comedian.

Jim Cramer is a clown.

Chris Cillizza is a prostitute.

Posted by: nleibowitz | March 18, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

get a 3rd hand Chris. the answer is: neither.

Posted by: tedri50 | March 18, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: opp88 | March 18, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

First off, let me just point out that polls are conducted on landlines. Who has a landline anymore?

Posted by: opp88 | March 18, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cilizza presents a false choice. Regardless of Jon Stewart's position on the ideological spectrum, It is the factual accuracy of his material, the depth of his research and use of this to challenge his guests' assertions that separate him from many "serious,professional"

The MSM, by comparison, frequently looks like slobs, bozos and shallow sycophants. It has failed to create value for itself by advancing substantive information and discussion of important issues. Why John Stewart performs this role better than others right now is what you should be asking.

Posted by: midwest4 | March 18, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

The media wants to attack people who criticize the media for being stupid, uninformed, thin skinned, overpaid, neurotic prima donnas.

They want to attack so they don't have to defend themselves from the charges that they stupid, uninformed, thin skinned, overpaid, neurotic prima donnas.

Unfortunately, that puts them in the position of attacking and insulting their customers, which is never a good business model.

Posted by: BurfordHolly | March 18, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I used to read the fix everyday during the primaries until I started noticing pretty sloppy background and poorly founded assumptions. This is a perfect example of that.

Come on, everyone knows Stewart emasculated Carlson on his own show by saying screamfest programs like Carlson's were the problem with politics and a few days later that same show was cancelled.

Don't you even have interns at the Post who can keep you up to date on current events? Do your editors not have TVs?

Jeez quoting Carlson without noting those events is really, really sloppy or incredibly biased. Your column is often a pretty good read, but get your act together.

Posted by: liberalart | March 18, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Stewart made a powerful point: That "news" media like CNBC occasionally need to act as if they were real journalists, not just entertainers and cheerleaders.

Posted by: maris9 | March 18, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I'd say that relying on Tucker Carlson for comments regarding Jon Stewart rather makes YOU the rank partisan.

You know, what Jon Stewart does shouldn't even be necessary, and wouldn't be if you folks in the MSM DID YOUR JOBS!!!!

ps: Is Matt Drudge a rank partisan? I ask because you seem to worship the ground he walks on....

Posted by: rochrist | March 18, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Jon was a little harsh with Cramer but the the end result is a powerful lesson in the realities of investment and should cause investors to be more cautious going forward. CEOs of some of the failed banks have lost fortunes. If these people aren't smart enough to bailout early, it makes me a little more sympathetic with Cramer and his bad predictions. He absorbed a very public thrashing like a man and that says a lot about his character. I totally agree with his advise about putting responsible people in low interest homes as fast as possible. Until housing stabilizes, we will be in for a long recovery wait.
The Jon Stewart show is a good show and provides a very important service with its ability to emphasize important issues that our media sometimes glosses over.

Posted by: dfitzsiga | March 18, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I've agreed with Jon Stewart on most political issues, but I still am not crazy about him AS A COMEDIAN. I find him a bit embarrassing. But I think he's got to decide if he's a comedian or a serious journalist. He has never been as passionate about a subject as he is about the current financial crisis, and consequently, he has lost his focus...and whatever humor he had. When you lose your objectivity, you lose your humor.

Posted by: caesarganz | March 18, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Is Stewart a partisian hack? He is comedian a comic a showman that lampoons the national media. He points out that the press has a constitutional freedom aloteed to it for the purpose of informing and by doing so protect the public. When media like CNBC makes it's ratings by hiring hacks that scam the system like Cramer did and admitted to in the videaos shown on the Daily show it should be brought to the publics attention. A that is what Stewart did he opened the window and screamed, "Cramer is one of those guys that manipulated the system of the free market for personal financial gain at the expense of the American people and he is unwilling to expose those that are still doing it he is a snake oil salesman and should not be trusted. Now if Cramer comes out now and reveals just how Hedgefund Managers manipulate the system costing the mases their 401K's value for personal gain of a few of the wealthy then I say good Cramer is now worthy of his constitutional freedom of the press but as now he is an exposed joke.

Posted by: JamesS3 | March 18, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

So the recent CNBC/Daily Show kerfuffle has you asking whether Jon Stewart is a "Media Powerhouse" or a "Rank Partisan?" How, exactly, is Stewart's questioning the accuracy of CNBC's financial reporting "partisan?" It seems to me that Republicans should want financial reporting to be accurate even more than Democrats, since they tend to have more money in the stock market. I think Stewart answered your question best by suggesting, when he had Jim Cramer on his show, that if Cramer and CNBC were to focus on real reporting instead of pumping up Wall Street, Stewart could go back to making fart jokes.

Posted by: gregoryrobertson | March 18, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

For someone who is supposed to clued in as to who's who, the headline shows that Chris Cilizza is a total moron (okay, maybe just the headline writer). Yes, Jon Stewart is a media giant -- the Daily Show has become a go-to interview. Jon Stewart is asking questions that our emasculated press stopped asking 20 years ago.

Posted by: EAHarrison | March 18, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Give Jon Stewart credit not just for his skill as a comedian, but also for that deep-thinking, fast-moving, detail-comprehending brain of his. I watch him to laugh and I watch him for his smarts. His best interviews are the ones in which I learn something from his guest and Jon asks the questions that I'd like to ask -- or, even better, that I wouldn't have known enough to ask. This guy is the definition of "up to speed."

His worst interviews are those in which he steps all over his guest and I don't get the depth of what the guest is trying to say.

Jon Stewart has the skill to interview someone with whom he generally doesn't agree and to have both sides well expressed. It's an authentic version of Fox News' slogan, "We report. You decide."

Posted by: dognabbit | March 18, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Chris Cizzilla: Clueless hack or conservative tool?

Not mutually exclusive, actually.

Posted by: PeterPrinciple | March 18, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

So you went to Tucker Carlson to get an opinion on Jon Stewart? The same Tucker Carlson that Stewart gutted like a pig on national TV? Oh yeah, THAT'S a good source for an unbiased opinion.

Stewart called Carlson out for being a fake, a fraud, and a debaser of political discourse, all of which was absolutely accurate. The result of that moment of stunning truth was the deserved death of Carlson's little shout-fest of a show.

And now you share Carlson's views on the man who deboned him like a chicken, and THIS is supposed to matter?

Like Carlson's old show, asking his opinion on this was just another pointless waste of time.

Posted by: WaitingForGodot | March 18, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

It is interesting that the press is attempting to categorize Jon Stewart...put him in a box so they can attack the box!

Jon Stewart did exactly what someone in the "regular" press could have done, but as the "regular" press are "beholdin" to their boss, no one would take on this topic.

So bashing aside, Jon simply replayed the video's of the CNBC pundits. Somehow it went "uncommented" that he apologized IN PUBLIC for an inaccuracy, which is more than we had seen from the pundits.

Of course, no one likes to be ridiculed, especially in public, but Stewart didn't create the mayhem, the CNBC pundits were merely called to task for what they said.

Posted by: axf56730 | March 18, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse




Posted by: opp88 | March 18, 2009 4:07 AM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart is an intelligent critic and saterist. Democracies have always needed people like him to look at our weaknesses and foibles. Ever hear of Will Rogers? Stewart is a liberal. He doesn't hide the fact. However, he hosted McCain many times and handled him with respect.
The MSM has a hard time handling Stewart and Colbert. Truthiness hurts. They would rather depend on hacks like Drudge (so unpartisan). Tucker Carlson, who defended Scooter Libby for months on his now defunct MSNBC show without revealing his father's role in Libby's defense, is not a journalist. He is still smarting from his takedown by Stewart on Crossfire. Chris you might look at motives. You also might spend sometime watching Stewart. A survey last year found his audience more informed than any group watching "real" news programs.
Also, Stewart may not be widely known. Are you?

Posted by: jeanne33 | March 18, 2009 3:42 AM | Report abuse

See how (in)accurate Jim Cramer's Mad Money recommendations for Google stock were... Cramer's stock calls shown visually on the chart over a two-year period -

Posted by: jhakhosla | March 18, 2009 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Would love to see you do a story about the CFR and who employed at WAPO has been to the meetings and hey here's a novel idea, why don't you attend a CFR meeting with the rest of the independent journalists and report an actual story traitors?

Posted by: dawnisis | March 18, 2009 1:41 AM | Report abuse

First off, let me just point out that polls are conducted on landlines. Who has a landline anymore? Seriously, your poll and any other poll is based on the elderly only. Who hasn't heard of Jon Stewart?
This is the 2nd "hit piece" I've read at WAPO on Stewart methinks you have had your butts handed to you by a comedian who just showed you what journalism is supposed to be. I hope it stings cuz just like Iraq you so-called journalists couldn't find a story if it hit you in the face.
We are being eaten alive by the bankers and this is what we get from you?

Posted by: dawnisis | March 18, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

when Stewart notes tanks used against groups of school children and the parallel non-shoe-throwing press not reporting on this then you would be part of the debate. Jews criticize only non-Jews.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | March 18, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse











Posted by: opp88 | March 18, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse








* Silent, covert microwave radiation weapons (D.E.W.) assaults on innocent but "targeted" U.S. citizens;

* Terroristic vigilante community gang stalking, surreptitious home entry, police-tolerated vandalism;

* Secret federal "programs of personal financial destruction" that have used the IRS as an ideological tool of "social cleansing."

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 17, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting when a nation turns to a legitimate news show for truth about the country. These shows in fact as it turns out is mostly fake or too lazy to care about real issues. They have sponsors to take care of.

Even more so it's absolutely complementary to see a Nation which turns to an announced fake news show that many times actually finds the truth. These shows are admitidly
flawed, but contain more Truthiness than the proported "Real" News shows.

Who is good and who is bad does not matter to me.

Does this really say much about either show?, or more about what our Media and country has become?

So what are we choosing to be? Do we want to be this way? Where will we end up?

Posted by: LordD | March 17, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Well, look who went really hard after Obama today.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 17, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Tucker Carlson?

Didn't he get his show canceled because he got told off by Jon Stewart?

No conflict of interest there.

Posted by: mason08 | March 17, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Stewart is playing the role of a whistle blower.

If he comes out and yells someone in a ski mask is dumping barrels of dark liquid in the stream that feeds the drinking water supply in the dark of the night:

a) he doesn't have to know the name of the chemical in the liquid
b) He doesn't have to report exactly how many barrels are being dumped.
c) He doesn't have to know how to run the factory that dumps it.
d) he doesn't have to report how it can be cleaned up
e) He doesn't have to have an idea of who will pay for the clean up
f) He doesn't have to propose a solution that will prevent future such happenings.

In fact, he doesn't have to do a damn thing other than what he is doing right now.

I don't know what "standards" that Tucker wants to hold Stewart to. Whatever they are they must be so low as to not register on any scale. They let Tucker be "journalist", didn't they?

Posted by: kblgca | March 17, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

For anyone concerned, or burned, by the current economic meltdown, the satisfaction that comes from Jon Stewart's clash with Jim Cramer is to hear him bring down Cramer to admit that financial news and their anchors are well aware of the business shenanigans going on, and not reavealing them. They may not have the power to change the behavior, but the fact that millions of people watch CNBC and rely on their analysis and reports, should be able to expect straight reporting. The hedge funds, short selling, derivatives and credit default swaps went on unregulated making the market a gambling site with big big stakes. The fact that Cramer acknowledged that he was not a good overseer meant a lot. Stewart had good intentions that worked; he wasn't playing comedian - just probably so worked up, he used his "bully pulpit" to extract some facts. Cramer's meltdown was a nice contrast to his normal hyper-self. He is as he is, but he admitted to some weakness. As for Tucker Carlson, less said the better.

Posted by: jbleenyc | March 17, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

quick. Messiahs stump speech is old and tired and full of holes and lies and expired empty promises. Refill the TelePrompTer and get leno and oprah on the horn. Before the ratings fall through the floor. Hurry.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 17, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

"So, which is it? Is Stewart the last honest man in the news(y) business? Or is he, as Carlson famously/infamously put it, a "partisan demagogue?""

I don't think anything Carlson does can use the root "famous" in it.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 17, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

"the incompetant messiah is now down to 56/43 approval ratings. His entire schtick is in disarray. The lies are catching up. "

Are you doing an experiment to answer your earlier question on how gullible Americans are?

Posted by: DDAWD | March 17, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

the incompetant messiah is now down to 56/43 approval ratings. His entire schtick is in disarray. The lies are catching up.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 17, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart pointing out that the hacks who work for CNBC are nothing more than shills for the Republican loving Wall Street fatcats...makes him a partisan?

Ha ha ha!!

Posted by: DrainYou | March 17, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

TUCKER CARLSON...since when did he come back public after getting his ars whopped by Stewart and loosing his show as a result.

Posted by: reddy531 | March 17, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

All of us on this blog get our news from several sources - New York Times, Washington Post, CNN. Fox News is blasting in every doctor's office on big screen and I'm forced to listen to it. Lou Dobbs takes a postion to appeal to the worst in viewers and get ratings. Jon Stewart is such a breath of fresh air. I saw the Jon Stewart vs Cramer program and didn't enjoy it very much. I like Stewart less serious as well. But Cramer has my pity in the same way that Bernie Madoff does. I understand more of what caused the finanacial melt down and can explain it better than 90% of the news commentators. There in lies Stewart's appeal - he doesn't think his audience is stupid. And I'm not in the young and innocent age group.

Posted by: txajohnson | March 17, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

"I used to enjoy the Daily Show when it dished-out its snideness with at least a semblance of evenhandedness."

Really? It seems like it has gotten LESS partisan now. When the Republicans were in power, they were the only ones to make fun of. Now I see a lot more fun being made of Obama (as opposed to when he was an unknown state Senator) And you still have Republicans being idiotic and loud, so that's a gold mine. But before, the Democrat jokes were pretty much about John Kerry's boring speeches.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 17, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Come on, Cilizza. You don't want to sound like a hack Washington dinosaur/insider like this. Compare the Daily Show's record of asking honest questions and pointing out obvious absurdities versus the Washington Post's record of passivity and braindead acquiescence for the sake of preserving access to politicians and elected officials. Then consider which one better serves the public discourse. The Republican party in particular espouses a host of childish and immature policy positions that the mainstream media is too timid to question.

Posted by: johnc_80 | March 17, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe he's just a bright guy pointing what the "real" media failed to do. Now, how long is the media going to beat this dead horse is the new story."

Funny thing is that Stewart actually mocked the media coverage of the spat between himself and Cramer. Specifically how everyone referred to it as a "War of Words"

Posted by: DDAWD | March 17, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

TO: All intel analysts/agents/operatives [EYES ONLY]

RE: "Target" surveillance/profiling

For cautionary example of what unrepentant dissidents term "lame psy ops," you are directed to recent entries in "comments" section of internet "blog" "articles" linked below.

When analyzing said humint responses to "target" postings, reference this exigent statement of inquiry:

Is this statecraft?

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 17, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

it seems mr tax spend and regulate will not hear of lower taxes and less spending. Even with those enormous ears.

Can libs really be THAT gullible?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 17, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I used to enjoy the Daily Show when it dished-out its snideness with at least a semblance of evenhandedness. Since this last election cycle Stewart has become such an overt partisan (McCain could do no good, Obama no wrong) that it has lost its appeal entirely. Too bad, really. It's not as if we didn't already know Stewart's political leanings. Being pounded over the head with them just makes him boring.

Posted by: jocali | March 17, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Guys, people don't really get their news from Jon Stewart. His show isn't funny if you are not up on the news. That is why his (and Colbert's) viewers routinely rate so highly on their knowledge of news events: the more you know, the funnier these guys are because they are relying on a ground-base of knowledge for their humor.

With that said, the typical interview involves the interviewer so far up the interviewee's butt that you can hardly hear the questions. The media failed us a long time ago - and it isn't because of any "media bias" other than a corporate bias. They work for a conglomerate, not for us.

And as for Tucker Carlson, have we all forgotten that he is far from an objective observer where Stewart is concerned? Of COURSE he hates Jon Stewart. I think that the feeling is probably mutual . . . . .

Posted by: badmommy | March 17, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

"First of all, is Cramer even a Republican? I think he's claimed to being a Democrat."

As he put it, he supported Obama very staunchly and was in favor of his agenda. He says that he is still in favor of the agenda, but now is just a terrible time to do it.

I disagree with him, but I think he's genuinely speaking his mind.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 17, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he's just a bright guy pointing what the "real" media failed to do. Now, how long is the media going to beat this dead horse is the new story.

Posted by: whocares666 | March 17, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

now dodd denies knowing anything about the dodd amendment. Meanwhile the incompetents get us into a trade war with Mexico and allow bombers from Russia to base in Cuba. Jimmy carter must be happy his title of worst president is in jeopardy.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 17, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Drivl's meds are clearly running low as indicated by the hyper-posting of nonsense.

Given your family proclivities, should you bring up goats? I mean having your spouse prefer barnyard animals is not surprising, given your disposition, but shouldn't this conversation remain strictly between you and your therapist?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 17, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

What a thrill to join in an unenlightening and fruitless conversation.The world is on the brink of Armageddon and a leading topic among the journalistic elite is the weight and measure of the words of Jon Stewart.
God,I wish I had become a journalist and been paid for offering in print nothing of value to the nation on a daily basis...what a gig!
By the way,Jon Stewart claims to be a snake oil salesman.When are the rest of you media elites going to 'fess' up?
Barbecuing burgers in Indiana,
The Biscuit

Posted by: klowry57 | March 17, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

There are those who believe that Stewart's job is to be funny. Sadly, a significant portion of our younger people DO rely on him for their news. The fact that they get it is a good thing. Satire is probably the most powerful way of actually jogging someone into THINKING.

Tucker Carlson seems to forget that Crossfire went off the air within two weeks after Stewart criticized it for being mindless. The observation that the emperor had no clothes has been made again and I suspect that the outcome will be the same: Stewart will have pointed the finger...and then everyone else will take heed.

Mr. Cramer is just another symptom of the problem: a bunch of greedy and nasty people know how to game the system...he among them. He then denies that he knows how the game is played. THEN, he was shocked, shocked (!) to learn that others found even more ingenious ways to steal than he ever did and that he had been lied to about them. Did Cramer have it coming? Yep. Is he alone? Nope. Will his show die? We'll see. Another week to go!

Posted by: BobfromLI | March 17, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

What this poll tells us? Independents seem to want their news minus spin and straight up with a chuckle on the side.

Posted by: judyol | March 17, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Is Stewart as "Carlson famously/infamously put it, a "partisan demagogue?"

Wow, is THAT the pot attempting to call the kettle black!

First of all, is Cramer even a Republican? I think he's claimed to being a Democrat.

Second, when Stewart laid the wood to Carlson and Begala, it seems to me he didn't single either one out for his derision.

Soooo, it looks like Tucker's still in a hissy fit from being called out and then having his show cancelled. What did the young folk used to call this? I think Tucker got served and still hurts.

Poor baby.

Posted by: RealCalGal | March 17, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Before calling someone a powerhouse they have to detail what infuence the person actually has. Has Stewart changed minds, swayed elections or debates? Probably not. Has he increased insight some and caused laughs a lot? Yes. There have been comedians lampooning politics for years. Even whole programs (I'm old enough to remember the old, old show "That Was the Week That Was"). Yes, Stewart is biased. But he's a whole lot funnier, and more insightful, than Rush Limbaugh (though doesn't have the head of the Democratic Party grovelng at his feet).

Posted by: Sutter | March 17, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart is a man who focuses on the contradictions that public figures, whether they be politicians, journalists, or celebrities, make with public statements and actions. His comic critic of the President's address to Congress was very effective. One of the most powerful images I have seen on his show was a split screen of the current press secretary Robert Gibbs being compared to the Scott Mcclellan, Dana Perino, and Ari Fleischer from the Bush administration. Making the Obama administration look bad is not something a "partisan demagogue" would do, and that is exactly what Jon Stewart did with those two episodes as he continues to do so daily.

Posted by: jameshauser | March 17, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

--"when is going after obama?

Posted by: tru-indy | March 17, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse "--

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Obama is like Mr. Rogers. He's many things, but a rich source of comedy material he's not. Some of the amateurs try – ‘Barrack the Magic Negro’, but the professionals know when to pass.

Mocking African American’s used to be funny but stopped sometime around WWII. It’s not likely to be funny (again) in my lifetime.

Posted by: DonJasper | March 17, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

"To save their ratings and their profits, American news organizations intentionally blurred the lines between news and entertainment. Most of them are now incapable of recognizing either when it walks up and slaps them right in the face."

very well put. the problem began when news divisions were forced to make a profit, rather than being seen as a public service. degradation was inevitable. we once were a country that valued truth and public service -- and now we live in a 'reality show' that has nothing to do with reality.

Posted by: drindl | March 17, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

As for Stewart's role as a media figure, he is a comedian and that's all. Many news figures are trying to hold him to a higher standard as a way of excusing themselves of failing to reach those standards. That has become a common criticism. "If he isn't held to a higher standard then why should we?" That being said, one of Stewart's favorite devices is to play clips one right after the other of a politician contradicting himself. Now there's absolutely no reason mainstream media can't do the same thing. It provides a powerful visual and it's not something that only works in the context of a joke. It's not a partisan tactic either.

Honestly, I find Stewart a lot more enjoyable as a media critic than a government critic not that he doesn't do a good job at both. I suppose its that I know what the government is doing since I read the paper, but I have not much idea of what the media is doing since I don't watch cable news. The buffoonery is fresh to me. I don't find the media to be biased, but I do question the competency a LOT.

As for whether Stewart is partisan, it seems on first glance that he is. However, there is a good possibility that he simply represents reality well. One of the irritating habits of the press is to give equal attention to the flat worlders, so it seems as if there's a debate as to whether the earth is a globe or a pancake. I mean, who cares what Cheney has to say about Obama's policies? Was it necessary for every cable network to carry Limbaugh's CPAC speech?

Stewart doesn't really feel the need to do that, so that may be why his show feels a little partisan.
Also, Obama isn't a very unintentionally funny person. You can't really do scathing satire on him either since his policies are generally sound. He did do a scathing bit on Obama's continued commitment to Iraq, but other than that, its tough.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 17, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

OMG Cillizza is an idiot.

Stewart is a COMEDIAN and his shtick is producing SATIRE of modern cable news organizations. That his comedy is topical, current (and sometimes prescient) is simply the mark of a master at his craft.

That American media (and politicial columnists) see Stewart as either a "news(y)" or "demagogue" says MORE about the current state of American INFOTAINMENT organizations than anything else.

To save their ratings and their profits, American news organizations intentionally blurred the lines between news and entertainment. Most of them are now incapable of recognizing either when it walks up and slaps them right in the face.


Posted by: dastubbs | March 17, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

'Dick' cheney spent 8 years kicking sand of the faces of the press corps, lying to them outright, and making them grovel at his feet. Guess they liked it!

Posted by: drindl | March 17, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart is no more a media powerhouse that Tina Fey.

Some people don't seem to understand that Stewart's mocking and parody is grounded on calling out clowns. One example: those that think that they can engage the brains of reasonable adults with a bow-tie. Entertainers aspiring to the professional of journalism are half of Stewart’s bread-and-butter, the hypocrisy of politicians providing the other half.

The only difference between this and Stephen Colbert's White House press corps facial - is that the called-out didn't slink away –stung because the mocking had a valid point and (optionally) wiser - but came back for seconds.

Posted by: DonJasper | March 17, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

For you, CC--

"The scribblers from the White House Press Corps have dropped their teacups and opened windows for air after the vicious, uncouth attack on their dear friend Dick Cheney by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Rick Klein, chief towel-washer at ABC's The Note (they still print that?), exclaimed "Wow—we’re talking about the former vice president here." NBC's First Read (Facebook to The Note's MySpace) tut-tutted about the return of "petty political squabbling." And Chip Reid, bravely bold Chip Reid, after choking back tears and bolstered by the support of his fellow Villagers, stood up to that horrible bully and gave him a piece of his mind (hopefully he has some left):

Reid: Can I ask you, when you referred to the former Vice President, that was a really hard-hitting, kind of sarcastic response you had. This is a former Vice President of the United States. Is that the attitude—is that the sanctioned tone toward the former Vice President of the United States from this White House now?"

The DC pundits are clutching their pearls and wringing their white-gloved hands - how dare anyone criticize a republican!

Posted by: drindl | March 17, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Leibowitz is almost as fuuny as dribl.

Posted by: leapin | March 17, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

thanks, nemo. it's fun to have zouk's head to play with, isn't it? sort of like that game they play in afghanistan using dead goats.

Posted by: drindl | March 17, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"On CNBC just now, Larry Kudlow just predicting the coming historic rally in bank and financial stocks now that the "jack boot" of regulatory oversight was being lifted."

Incredible, isn't it? This is your MSM. These people must all be on drugs. Here we have the meltdown of the world economy -- caused by deregulation -- and this clown wants more deregulation. How many people are going to lose more money because of this amoral channel? Maybe some of their irresponsible commentators might like to do a little jail time, along with folks from AIG.

Posted by: drindl | March 17, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

drivl efectively demonstrates why the Libs will only be in power for a short two years. they are angry, spiteful, disgusting and envious. Despite all the empty promises they thrive on hate and stupidity and total ignorance of any facts or knowledge. they pretend to lecture on economics, military, ethics and are considered jokes. they can't solve any problem that doesn't have the answer spend more. Even the limp press will no longer be able to bail them out, which they use the government to do to help their friends, because all the Lib papers are broke, just like the unions, the rabid enviros, the rable rousing community organizers and the total loons - like drivl.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 17, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

king is on percocettes

and Jon Stewart just turned into Keith Oberman.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 17, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

king of zouk effectively demonstrates why the republican party is out of power and will be for generations. what a tragic case. and really, talking about foools and stooges, well, that's just embarrassing yourself. but you can't stop, can you?

be kind to him, people, his brain is so damaged.

Posted by: drindl | March 17, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

drindl brightens my day

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 17, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

As in shakespeare any fool is smarter than the King, or should I say messiah. and the loudmouth drivl is perpetually revealed as an ignorant stooge.

Hey drivl, your hair is on fire.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 17, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Bowtie Carlson has an axe to grind with Stewart, who effectively got Crossfire canceled and Carlson canned. Why is Carlson remotely worth considering in this analysis?

Posted by: soonerthought | March 17, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

"What I really fear is that by the time our children grow up there will be no real news but only entertainment news. We wil have bloggers and columnists who sometimes get it right and sometimes get it wrong but there is no penalty for their getting it wrong."

How is that different from now, peter?

When one of the most credible national news sources is a comedian, and the leader of the republican party is a drug addict shock jock, you know how miserably the national press corps has failed us.

Posted by: drindl | March 17, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

for example:
Tina Fey

does a hell of a Palin, no?
But put her on a ticket....

come on now.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 17, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

uh hello!
Jon Stewart is a comedian
and yes
Rush Limbaugh is a disc jockey with a radio show.

We can get opinions from anyone who steps up to the microphone with a SHOW!!! Whether one changes their own opinions based on watching these people is up to you.

I am all for taking a certain "format" for a show, as Stewart did with Cramer, but to rely on Stewart or even Rush
for your knowledge...
oh god, get a grip.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 17, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Those who criticize Jon Stewart as partisan miss the point. A comedian's jokes are funny to the extent that they expose some absurd truth that resonates with a given audience. To me, Jon Stewart is hilarious not because he is always right, but because he smartly ferrets out and exposes much of what I agree is nonsense in politics and media. He has, and must have a point of view to do this. Though his own views slant left, the left's own foolishness is not spared, and conservative guests generally are treated with congenial respect.

Posted by: MShaughn | March 17, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"Who am I???"

You're the village idiot, zouk. Haven't you figured that out yet?

Posted by: drindl | March 17, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

times are tough, times are good. spend like crazy, be frugal. joe is in charge, joe is a joke, hillary serves tea, hillary is world class. transparency, shuttered doors, nancy in charge, a real leader, war to end, more troops, close gitmo, do nothing, end earmarks, 8500 earmarks,time is money, I'm on vacation, kids get a dog, after he's thougroughly vetted. the best and only man for the job is... a guy who can't operate turbo tax, give the bonuses, stop the bonuses..

Who am I???

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 17, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Not sure this post can be lamer. When will Cilizza and the rest of the Beltway media stop fluffing Cramer, Cheney, et al? It's really getting embarrassing to watch.

Posted by: BillB9 | March 17, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

John Stewart ended Tucker Carlson's career in one fell swoop.

Anyone here who claims Stewart is "just a comedian" is a fool. Ditto with Colbert. Colbert's performance at the Gridiron Dinner was bland by TV standards but shocking to the journalists at hand. Jon Stewarts interviews with foreign policy writers are more detailed than ANY NEWS SHOW OUTSIDE OF C-SPAN.

Journalism as it is now is completely dead. Newspapers are collapsing. Journalists trained in the classical and boring model are all soon to be out of a job.

If you look at the New Journalism of the 1960s, the Joan Didions and Hunter S Thompsons of Esquire, New York Magazine and the like took regular jouranlism ideas and threw them on their heads, creating a new-for-the-time well-respected kind of journalism. Jimmy Breslin interviewed Kennedy's grave digger in a story that still brings me to tears.

Quite simply, in the last 10 years all journalism has started to suck really bad. The public was stung by the run up to the war in Iraq and then stung again by pseudo-Journalists like Jim Cramer, Santelli and CNBC, let alone Fox News which many days makes no logical sense. The news media has been printing lies and the public has grown to distrust it.

Jon Stewart, under an active journalistic system would be marginalized like a Smothers Brothers or Saturday Night Live weekend update. In today's weakened journalistic environment where journalists refuse to ask tough questions? He and Colbert have become the icons we know today.

Calling Stewart a comedian is like calling Rush Limbaugh a disc jockey.

Posted by: bbcrock | March 17, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Let's not be silly...Jon Stewart is a comedian that pointed out the ridiculousness of the financial industry. Something 'reporters' were loathe to do. Tucker Carlson is a baby...he has been whining for years and when people (Jon) don't act like he wants them to, THEY'RE wrong. What we need to do is all PAY ATTENTION and stop the sniping...

Posted by: Mego1 | March 17, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

John Stewart is both. And he is a comedian. So who cares. We are so dumbing down our society that some look to Stewart for news and the President goes on Jay Leno to reach people with his point of view.

Cramer is also an entertainer and the people to attack are the owners of MSNBC who pretend they have a news show. Cramer wasn't any worse than the people running our banks. They fed him a line and he didn't know the difference between truth and advertisement. But he is still entertainment.

Guess we can't get a discount or refund on our taxes like we will be able to get when our investment advisors run Ponzi schemes or sell us a fraud by claiming that Cramer sold the same fraud But then he is only in the entertainment business and therefore no one should really believe what he says.

Like Stewart he has a point of view and is trying to entertain us with it.

What I really fear is that by the time our children grow up there will be no real news but only entertainment news. We wil have bloggers and columnists who sometimes get it right and sometimes get it wrong but there is no penalty for their getting it wrong.

Posted by: peterdc | March 17, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

stewart is a rank partisan.

when is going after obama?

Posted by: tru-indy | March 17, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Stewart always does a fantastic job of cutting through the smoke and facing the jesters and illusionists who control the floodgates of knowledge. He's not afraid to call people out on anything that stinks, and we need more muckrakers like him in the business.

Hopefully, with the help of people like him, we can turn this economy around and actually focus on solving the deeper, systemic issues for why we're in this situation. Obviously bad banking's a good place to start, but there are other issues, like global poverty, that have huge economic and geopolitical ramifications.

The Borgen Project ( has some interesting insight into addressing the issues of global poverty, something we can remedy easily and sustainably.

Some interesting figures to ponder:
$30 billion USD: The annual shortfall to end global poverty.
$550 billion USD: The annual US defense budget.

Posted by: concernedcitizen1111 | March 17, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

What does Rush say, what did Jon Stewart say, what did so and so blog... Look at the size of their audience and then divide by 300 million. People keep looking for the next Walter Cronkite, but the days of an honest talking head followed by a significant percent of America are over. As in the days before the rise of the radio, and the national networks, the media landscape is splintered and no one gets an audience of any size. Hence the Daily Kos poll that showed nearly no one knows who Stewart is.

As for Jon Stewart and the Daily Show they are sadly a legitimate source of news. Even sadder both the Daily Show and the Colbert Report get a constant stream of news guests rather than the entertainment guests you would expect. While the networks seem to only want to interview entertainers who have a contract with a corporate parent's music, tv or movie arm, Comedy Central gets ambassadors and ranking civil servants, heads of state, academics, former military, the increasingly rare real journalist and only occasionally an entertainment guest. It is a testament to how poor the rest of the media is. As for Stewart asking the hard questions that is a fallacy purported by so called journalists who are incapable of lobbing soft balls. Stewart is soft on his interviewees (friends like Dennis Leary excepted). Last night he had former chairman of the joint chiefs General Myers on. He asked if anybody had pointed out possible downsides of invading Iraq and General Myers says the President was presented a list of pros and cons. The cons, the ones that developed on the ground, had been identified before the invasion. An even mediocre interviewer would have followed up with a "And so you developed contingency plans for the cons before you invaded???" Stewart, in his incessantly be kind to guests I don't agree with interview style, let it slide. While he will stray from the comedy, he never strays too far.

Posted by: caribis | March 17, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

What does it matter? Stewart was brilliant.

Posted by: zen99 | March 17, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I am a huge fan of Stewart's, but even he admitted during the interview that Jim Cramer sort of accidentally became the face of the issue.

I also like Cramer, but as any savvy investor knows, past performance is no indication of future gains.

For anyone who has watched Stewart's show, you know that he points out inconsistencies among public figures, Republican and Democratic. A number of year's ago public realization of these kinds of inconsistencies would have been scandalous. Now they are just common place. Many people consider this the only place they can get the news that let's them know whether they are being consistent.

Tucker Carlson, on the other hand, is just a foolish partisan hack who really has nothing of value to say.

Posted by: chibeardan | March 17, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Tucker Carlson is a silly little boy dressed up as a political commentator. He's never been more than that. He knows how to smirk and look smug, but any idiot -- and certainly anyone in the Bush family -- can do that.

He has nothing to offer but attitude -- and he's got precious little of that.

Forget Tucker. He's yesterday's news(guy).

Posted by: kjohnson3 | March 17, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Media Powerhouse or Rank Partisan? Why can't be both. Chris Matthews is.

Posted by: billyc123 | March 17, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I don't watch cable news, but I do watch Jon Stewart pretty religiously, so I can comment on this.

A lot of people are missing the point of what he was trying to do with the CNBC thing. Yeah, people got facts wrong, but the main issue he was having was with the fact that the journalists seemed to be more interested in coddling the big businessmen than in conducting hard interviews. These had the tone of Sean Hannity interviewing Dick Cheney or something. Stewart started cursing right after the clip of some CNBC person asking a crooked businessman what it was like to be a billionaire.

And the same themes came through with the Cramer interview. The gripe wasn't so much with the incorrect facts, but more with
1) their portrayal as a cabal of omnipotents
2) their lack of investigation and simply accepting what they were told and even coddling their high powered guests
3) The turning of such a serious matter into an entertainment venture

And these complaints aren't limited to the financial news media. Everyone in the world believes that the press uncritically transcribed everything that was told to them about Iraq in the run up to the war.

Yes, Stewart made some noise about getting individual facts wrong, but that wasn't the main gripe. A lot of people are missing the point.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 17, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Here's a good example of why Stewart is so popular:

"Yesterday, ThinkProgress noted that Fox News spliced a six-month old clip of Vice President Biden to misleadingly imply that he recently said the “fundamentals of the economy are strong.” Today, Fox News’s Martha MacCallum apologized to viewers and said it was an “inadvertent” error:

MacCALLUM: Yesterday during a segment on the recent change in tone from President Obama’s economic team, we inadvertently used a piece of video of Vice President Biden saying “the fundamentals of the economy are strong.” This video was from the campaign trail when the vice president was a candidate and was actually quoting Sen. John McCain. When we get something wrong we admit it. We did so yesterday, and for that we apologize."

He's a comedian, but he's pointing out that many in our national media are clowns.

Posted by: drindl | March 17, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

who let the looney moonbat out of its padded cell?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 17, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Was there a question?

Oh. Right. One of each, please.

It isn't difficult to ascertain Mr. Stewart's political leaning, is it? I think it's safe to say that he plays it to the audience in the studio and the audience at home. Entertainer first. He rather fancies himself a media "player."

So does Arianna Huffington.

When they really go over the line is when they take themselves so seriously that they lose their perspective to see that they are just as intolerant of those they claim to be better than. That is where the real laughs are.

Posted by: beebop1 | March 17, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"It looked more like a Cheney infomercial instead of a news interview."

Funny how no matter which party is in power, the 'news' still looks like a cheney infomercial....

must be that old 'librul media.'

Posted by: drindl | March 17, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Tucker "Hey, where's my bow tie!?" Carlson really seems to have a problem with Stewart. He once threatened a local video store employee who joked about sending a few thousand copies of America (The Book) to his house...

Posted by: NotForYou1 | March 17, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart never professes to be a journalist. But, he does see inconsistencies in statements made by public figures --- whether they are policiticians or journalists reporting on politicians --- and has a forum to point them out.

And Arianna was right, King was too easy on Cheney and should have asked tougher questions. Or, at the very least controlled the interview. It looked more like a Cheney infomercial instead of a news interview.

Posted by: Aminie | March 17, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart is not a "rank partisan". A partisan is someone who supports a party. Jon Stewart is obviously a liberal, and he obviously votes Democrat. But that doesn't make him a Democratic partisan.

The Daily Show criticizes the Democrats when they deserve it. Stewart points out when they're cowardly, or corrupt, or when they make stupid mistakes. These aren't the actions of a partisan. A partisan supports the party all of the time, no matter what they do. Whether or not you like Jon Stewart's comedy or his political beliefs, he's definitely not a Democratic partisan.

Posted by: Blarg | March 17, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

First of all John Stewart is a comedian. He is paid to make us laugh. The fact that he does so by pointing out the obvious stupidity and absurdity of our national "movers and shakers" is time-honored tradition in this country. See Will Rogers, for example.Cramer says he never encouraged people to by Bear Stearns, Stewart shows the video clip where he did just that. Does anyone think they can get away with blatant falsehoods in this era where everything is recorded and posted for all to see. Cramer got what he deserved.

I enjoy Jon Stewart because 1). he makes me laugh when I want to cry, and 2). he asks the questions that I can only hope the "MSM" will but never does.

Posted by: caebling | March 17, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart has something that Tucker Carlson hasn't.
A job.

Stewart's staff did an excellent job of researching and Cramer was damned with his own words and his whoopie noise machine.

Posted by: Canonera | March 17, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Poor Tucker; he's still po'd that Stewart stood up to him on crossfire and cost him and his pathetic ego a job. Hardly a realiable person to quote. He's worse than Hannity, if that's possible.

Of course Stewart is a voice in the political discourse; he actually has staff do research; he shows clips of what officials say now as opposed to what they said a year ago (gasp!). He's prepared. He's a lot better than pretty much any 'real' journalist on tv.

Posted by: hacksaw | March 17, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Jim Cramer and John Stewart are both very good at their jobs.I watch John Stewart because I want to laugh. I watch Jim Cramer because I want to learn what is happening on the Street. John Stewart was good at trying to make Jim Cramer look like fool. I would like to see John Stewart on Mad Money, then we would see who looks like a fool.

Posted by: ddh2006 | March 17, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I do not think that John Stewart is a political hack. I think his criticism of CNBC and Jim Cramer was offbase but he did have a valid point to his rant. Journalism has made serious errors in the most recent past with the most glaring example being Iraq. Richard Cohen's oped in todays Washington Post is right on point. Who cares what Tucker Carlson thinks anyway.

Posted by: kristilj | March 17, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Neither partisan nor powerhouse. Just a bully who decided to abuse his status to vent his anger on someone who was just doing his job. Not impressive, at least to me.

Posted by: qball43 | March 17, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

oh criminey sakes...
Jon Stewart is a comedian.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 17, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

TO: Jay Leno/"Tonight Show" writers (webmaster types: Please forward to the scribes)




The mainstream news media is AWOL on what could be the story of the century.

So Jay, top Jon Stewart on the "boom goes the dynamite" scale.

You will make news -- and serve the cause of justice.

See: RE: Seymour Hersh
OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 17, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Tucker Carlson? Jesus, that guy is certainly no honest broker. You MSM types seem to protect each other as much as you do Dick Cheney.

Posted by: havok26 | March 17, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

The Fix asks
"Jon Stewart: Media Powerhouse or Rank Partisan?"

First off, the conditions are not mutually exclusive. See: Limbaugh, Rush.

Regarding Tucker, when a partisan demagogue calls someone a partisan demagogue, that isn't exactly unbiased analysis.

Posted by: bsimon1 | March 17, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Look, the fact is that Stewart ocassionally (which is why it retains hi power) holds people's feet to the fire in a way that few others do. Cramer showed he deserved it when he called the current crisis "a one-in-a-million event." It wasn't anything of the sort. It was instead the logical and forseeable conclusion conclusion of a brand of under-regulated, imaginary asset based capitalism that CNBC, among many others, had cheerleaded for for years.

Stewart can be partisan - as he says, he's a guy who does fart jokes and only rarely gets this serious. Tucker Carlson lost his show after Stewart made him look completely ridculous. How is he non-partisan in this debate and, more improtantly, why should anyone care what he has to say about anything when events have proven him to be so completely wrong. This is Stewart's primary function: to point out how wrong all these people, on both sides, are and to ask us why we still care what they say.

Posted by: billyverona | March 17, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

'Jon Stewart is the live-action version of a political cartoon."

No, that would be all republicans.

Posted by: drindl | March 17, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

He is a COMEDIAN! Even he admits he is a "Snake Oil Salesman". The fact that he asks better questions then the "real" journalists, is what appeals to me! There are times when they mention a news story and I wonder if it is true. So, I check the facts and find out that the absurd story they mentioned actually is true. That is more of a critic of society then anything else. The absurd news stories that are reported.


Posted by: DDS112097 | March 17, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Stewart's job is to be funny. He mostly does a good job at it, thanks to all the low hanging fruit from media and politicians. I find it strange that anyone would expect more from him than that.

Posted by: petey5 | March 17, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart is the live-action version of a political cartoon.

So you have to ask yourself if Tom Toles or Ann Telnaes had done Cramer/CNBC specific cartoons along the same lines that led up to the Cramer interview, would CNBC have complained as loudly?

That Jon Stewart has any sort of influence on the national political and news scene is because MSM has ceased to ask the very basic and simple questions he raises.

He's not always right, and sometimes sanctimonious, but as other articles have noted, he plays the role of Court Jester, pointing out the obvious in humorous form. It's because the MSM have the past 8 years or more have acted as a group of self-interested flattering courtiers who didn't want to piss their king off (i.e. - they read their bullet points and went partisans for ratings) that have led the Court Fool to look more sage and serious than Stewart really is. (Which he readily admits.)

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | March 17, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Is Charlie writing your headlines?

Jon Stewart is definitely a media powerhouse and arguably a rank partisan. Your piece seems ask whether he is an honest newsman--which has little to do with being a media powerhouse.

Get some sleep, Chris.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | March 17, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"Is Stewart the last honest man in the news(y) business? "

There's 2 or 3 others.

Poor hapless loser and partisan demagogue Tucker Carlson, cancelled because no one watched his show. And then Stewart with stellar skyhigh ratings. must s*ck to s*ck.

Posted by: drindl | March 17, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

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