Monday, May 14, 2007

America: It's Entertainment!

If you don't believe me, go google the video clips yourself, but the very liberal Jon Stewart has a soft spot for the staunchly conservative John McCain. In his multiple appearances on The Daily Show, Mr. McCain is unfailingly treated with respect, and his sincerity is never doubted. Had a bad case of malsoundbitis lately? No problem. Do the wry chuckle here, wry chuckle there rope-a-dope for Mr. Stewart and his audience, and he'll make sure that he and the audience will laugh at the latest from that crazy but harmless uncle. Disapproving, yes, but with affection. All is forgiven.

Now you may say; sure, but Mr. McCain is the liberal's favorite conservative, and the conservative the right-wing loves to hate. (Is there something about having walked the walk and the sense of proportion that the experience it gave Mr. McCain that unnerves armchair conservatives? But I digress.) But what then to make of William Kristol, who also has scored multiple appearances on The Daily Show, and is none the worse for it? Surely there must be few neo-cons short of, say, Richard Perle or Bill Bennett, more capable of raising liberal rancor than this die-hard neo-con propagandist?

But Mr. Kristol is also an engaging guest. He may write awful things and cast doubt on the moral probity of all who dares to disagree with him. But he is always entertaining. That must be it, it's entertainment.

It would only be fair to point out that liberals do not have a monopoly on this game. One of right-wing bully Bill O'Reilly's staple acts is to bring on a loopy, hapless liberal academic eager for his 15 minutes, for the sole purpose of tearing him apart and feeding him to the lions. But he can and does treat a Ralph Nader with great deference. Again, entertainment.

But then, Mr. O'Reilly has an excuse; he works for Fox News, and they are up front about it. Let's face it, if people you don't know come into your living room and say they'll put it all out for you, "fair and balanced", you better know they're just kidding, or you deserve every bit of what you get.

But the Daily Show? I mean, if you can't trust fake news, who are you going to trust? Me?

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