Sunday, August 17, 2008

Is Jon Stewart The Most Trusted Man In America?

Hi everybody. Since I know a lot of 360 fans also watch The Daily Show, I thought I'd give you a little weekend reading. The New York Times has a pretty good profile of Jon Stewart in Sunday's Arts and Leisure section. I've been watching Jon and company since 2002, a time when the only guests they were able to book were B-list celebrities. To watch them evolve into such a political and cultural tour de force has been quite the trip. I will forever be indebted to them for helping me to hang onto my sanity during these mind-boggling and soul-crushing Bush years. I'll never forget discovering this little show and realizing that it wasn't just me who thought the world had gone completely insane. And of course, given my feelings about the news media, Jon's Crossfire appearance was a kind of catharsis like no other. So anyway, give the profile a read. A couple of my favorite paragraphs:
Given a daily reality in which “over-the-top parodies come to fruition,” Mr. Stewart said, satire like “Dr. Strangelove” becomes “very difficult to make.” “The absurdity of what you imagine to be the dark heart of conspiracy theorists’ wet dreams far too frequently turns out to be true,” he observed. “You go: I know what I’ll do, I’ll create a character who, when hiring people to rebuild the nation we invaded, says the only question I’ll ask is, ‘What do you think of ‘Roe v. Wade?’ It’ll be hilarious. Then you read that book about the Green Zone in Iraq” — “Imperial Life in the Emerald City” by Rajiv Chandrasekaran — “and you go, ‘Oh, they did that.’ I mean, how do you take things to the next level?”

TO the former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, Mr. Stewart serves as “the citizens’ surrogate,” penetrating “the insiders’ cult of American presidential politics.” He’s the Jersey Boy and ardent Mets fan as Mr. Common Sense, pointing to the disconnect between reality and what politicians and the news media describe as reality, channeling the audience’s id and articulating its bewilderment and indignation. He’s the guy willing to say the emperor has no clothes, to wonder why in Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “It’s 3 a.m.” ad no one picks up the phone in the White House before six rings, to ask why a preinvasion meeting in March 2003 between President Bush and his allies took all of an hour — the “time it takes LensCrafters to make you a pair of bifocals” to discuss “a war that could destroy the global order.”


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