Stewart vs O’Reilly pt1

Last night was the first part of a debate between 2 of the most well-known and respectively reviled (by the extremes of the opposing political views) men on television today. From the center-left, or perhaps a bit farther, is Jon Stewart. On the center-right is Bill O’Reilly. The result was interesting to watch.

For just a view of the enertatinment value, I suggest you look at my Black Entertainment USA. This will be a more political review.

The interesting thing about this interview may be what it reveals about the motives of both men. Their core beliefs that provide the foundation of what their programs do. Neither is a serious news program, though they deal with critical news items daily. Both present facts, and encase them in a context that is veered towards their ideology.

The Daily Show is far more liberal in its standpoint. It delights in focusing on the absurdity that is politics mostly when done by a Republican. It seems more akin to other news commentary programs due to the general center-left leanings of most of television today. Thus it makes it’s populist counterpart, the O’Reilly Factor, look that much more to the right. And the Daily Show does not provide an opposing side to the satire it provides, though it does take on the Democrats and left occasionally, especially if the actions are not inline with their views.

One of the most telling comments of the interview so far has to have been when Jon Stewart, who is an intelligent and passionate man, detailed the flaw of President Obama. He clearly states that President Obama has not used or taken enough power from Congress. Not leading Congress but power of that branch of Government. He was very clear in his statement.

Jon Stewart is a well known Democrat and Liberal. He is personally far closer to the extreme left than center. His audience, though comprised of more than the “stoned slackers who love Obama” that Bill O’Reilly called them, is predominately left of center and Democrat. So he draws well in the key demographics television loves. Thus his views give more than a little influence to the audience he brings in. An audience that the Democrat Party drools over.

So when I heard him state that President Obama needs to control Congress I was taken aback. Wasn’t it Jon Stewart who was opposed to the expansion of Presidential power that he claimed President Bush was taking? Didn’t Stewart make daily commentary about how so much power in one part of the Government was destructive to the nation? Yet it’s ok for so much power to be in the hands of a Democrat, particularly one that has failed in the overwhelming majority (roghly 90%) of his campaign promises?

Stewart went on to say that Fox News

“…have taken reasonable concerns about this president and this economy and turned it into a full-fledged panic attack about the next coming of Chairman Mao.”

An obvious dig at the highly popular Glenn Beck.

But that statement just feeds into the thought process that I have found many liberals and some democrats have which is “Fox News isn’t real”. It’s a type of thinking that President Obama wanted to promote when he was being criticized by Fox News as other news agencies lauded him for breathing. Well maybe only MSNBC went that far, but the others were to an extreme as well. Yet I notice that those very same people rarely have ever seen Fox News commentary programs or news coverage.

Stewart dislikes the nature of the programming of Fox News. Which I find odd, since it is similar to that of Headline News and MSNBC (just watched by far more people, including a very healthy portion of Democrats). All the cable networks have commentary programs in addtion to hard news, unless Chris Matthews is to be taken as a straight news reporter. And if Matthews is regarded as such his credibility is even worse than it is now, with his many comments of “tingle up his leg” and “forgot he was Black for an hour”. Thus if this is what hard news is supposed to be, Fox News is a gift to be unlike it.

Like the jesters in courts of kings of old, Jon Stewart holds incredible power. Unlike in those times this jester cannot be removed at the whim of the king. Which grants him even more power. Which is fine, satire and political commentary are important elements of America. But I think it’s equally important to recall where that jest is coming from and what it seeks to bolster. Because even when you are laughing with something, you are also laughing at it.

Here is the full part 1 of the interview. Let me know if you share in my observations.

About the Author

Michael Vass
Born in 1968, a political commentator for over a decade. Has traveled the U.S. and lived in Moscow and Tsblisi, A former stockbroker and 2014 Congressional candidate. Passionate about politics with emphasis on 1st and 2nd Amendments.

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