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Oct. 25, 2004

Jon Stewart burns up on "Crossfire"

by Grace Harter, Page Editor
Two Fridays ago, "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart took a unique approach to appearing as a guest on the debate show "Crossfire". Instead of merely debating a few issues and exchanging banter as guests have in the past, Stewart took it upon himself to personally attack both hosts, label the show as a miserable failure and inform the viewers that the media was "hurting America." Fortunately, the argument did not come to blows, but it did reach the verbal equivalent.

Stewart's arguments on the show were hypocritical and weak. He failed to offer any solutions. Instead, the only words that came out of his mouth were long-winded complaints about the media and snide remarks to host Tucker Carlson whenever he tried to bring Stewart back on track.

Off-putting behavior aside, Stewart did make some good points. His main problem with "Crossfire" and other shows like it is that it rarely helps or informs the public about politically important matters. "You have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably," he proclaimed on the show to much applause. "The thing is, we need your help. Right now, you're helping the politicians and the corporations." In his arguments, he pointed out how theatrical many of the debate shows on television are today, justifiably saying, "You are part of their strategies." Indeed, it does sometimes seem that shows like "Crossfire" are more about the yelling, the witty replies and the sharp insults than the political content.

Though Stewart must be commended for having the guts to lambaste a show directly to its hosts, he failed to provide a remedy for the problem about which he claimed to know so much. Instead of advising Carlson and co-host Paul Begala on what they could do, he resorted to petty insults. Stewart stooped so low as to call both Carlson, who is a conservative, and Begala, a liberal, "partisan hacks."

The most infuriating aspect of Stewart's appearance on "Crossfire" was the hypocrisy of all of his arguments. Stewart's "The Daily Show" has held the attention of many people for most of this year for its hilarious, over-the-top correspondents and its vicious satire of modern news. However funny it may be, it also employs real issues and real news, educating its viewers on the politics of today. A University of Pennsylvania National Election Annenberg study showed that young people who watch "The Daily Show" were better informed about politics than those who don't. The study also showed that males ages 18 to 34 years old got their political information from "The Daily Show" more than from any other news channel. Though the show is full of jokes and satire, "The Daily Show" is an important program in educating younger viewers about the political issues of today.

Despite all of that, Stewart continued to insist he didn't have the same responsibilities as people like Carlson and Begala because his show was for comedy. Carlson made an excellent point in the show that though Stewart had many high-power guests on his show, he asked them ridiculously weak questions and failed to live up to his responsibility as the host of a show that millions of young people watch. In a time period of two months, "The Daily Show" had such guests as presidential candidate John Kerry, former President Bill Clinton, Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie and White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett. How Stewart could claim to hold no clout and label his show as just comedy is a complete mystery. If "The Daily Show" were simply an extended version of "Saturday Night Live"'s Weekend Update, none of these important political players would agree to appear. And yet they all did, because they knew how important and influential "The Daily Show" really is.

But worst of all, Stewart complained that "Crossfire" is too easy on politicians and doesn't ask challenging questions. However, he himself asked insipid questions in his interview with Kerry. "How are you holding up?" and "Have you ever flip-flopped?" are just examples of the banal queries he made during that show. The fact that Stewart had a man who could possibly be the next President of the United States on his show and resorted to asking such stupid questions shows he has no regard for his audience or his influence on politics. His interview with Kerry was more like a five-minute commercial for the candidate than a hard-hitting news dialogue. Stewart has amazing resources and guests for his show, but he shirks his responsibility to the public by not taking charge of his command over America's media.

Bill O'Reilly probably best expressed the general uneasiness about Stewart's careless attitude when Stewart appeared on his show early in September. "You know what's really frightening?" Bill O'Reilly asked rhetorically. "You actually have an influence on this presidential election." It is scary that Stewart fails to recognize his power over America and refuses to accept responsibility for it. And it's even worse that Stewart feels the need to blow the whistle on these shows that are "hurting America" and not taking responsibility when he shows so little regard for his own audience.

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  • Jim Nickel (View Email) on October 25, 2004
    It's far more frightening that Bill O'Reilly has an influence on the presidential election.
  • Danny on October 25, 2004
    Ok, you made some good points, but I really don't agree that Stewart should have to try as hard as he can to inform the millions of people who watch his show. They watch his show because it is funny, and if it became more educational than funny, people would stop watching. Really, no show on Comedy Central should be pressured into being a good source for information.
  • Jason B (View Email) on October 25, 2004
    You are a dope. Jon Stewart has no duty to educate his viewers, they already are. People who watch CNN watch it in order to be educated, and instead they are just handed political commentary handed out by partisan "hacks." If you don't get the difference between the shows, then you must be a O'Reilly fan. Get off the dope, bub.
  • Lorrie Wendt (View Email) on October 25, 2004
    Why can't you get it?!!!!! The Daily Show doesn't claim to be telling us the truth. The "news" does. Just bringing the arguement up on t.v. about the medias bias and sensationalism is part of the solution. Are you suggesting that journalists are too stupid to figure out a solution on their own? After reading your article, maybe they are. It's about time somebody who is on t.v. began talking about what newsviewers were already thinking. And why would Carlson have to "try to bring Stewart back on track"? Back on track to what? Back on track to talking about things the viewers don't care about? This is a real and important issue. The Daily Show makes fun of the media more than anything else. That is part of the appeal. Why do you think the question, "Have you ever flip-flopped?" made so many people laugh? You say "he shirks his responsibility to the public by not taking charge of his command over America's media." Are you an idiot? What do you think he was doing in the Crossfire interview? After watching an hour or two of "news" it is refreshing to sit back and watch the media be made fun of. What would be nice is if people like you would spend some time talking about the "real journalists" responsibilities instead of a comedy shows responsibilities. Or are you just trying to shirk responsibility? This is like Bill O'Reilly trying to sue Al Franken for putting the words "fair and balanced" on his book. The judge basically said PEOPLE AREN"T THAT STUPID. They would get that it was satirical.
  • Jay Allard (View Email) on October 25, 2004

    I recently saw this clip on IFilm. I had the exact opposite view. I thought the crossfire people completely embarassed themselves while Jon Stewart excelled.

    Jon Stewart does have a responsibility to his Daily Show audience: Be funny. Asking Kerry "have you flip flopped" is funny. Asking him tough questions is not. The guests go on his show not for debate, but for some fun and some exposure. The Daily Show is not hard hitting journalism. It's hardly journalism at all; it's funny based on current events.

    Jon asked, at least a few times, if they could have a conversation, but the Crossfire guys kept talking over him and wouldn't let him get a word in without forcing it. Jon was straight forward and trying to get into a dialog, and the Crossfire guys didn't want anything to do with it.

    I have more respect for Jon Stewart than ever, and I will probably never watch Crossfire again. Jon strikes me as more intelligent and informed than them, and maybe he is in the wrong business. Maybe he should be doing real shows with real meaning. However, as long as he's doing the daily show, "have you ever flip flopped" is good enough for me. He is fulfilling his responsibility to me as his audience.
  • tim dooley '01 (View Email) on October 25, 2004
    Perhaps Jon Stewart is hippocritical, but as he so eloquently put it, his lead-in show is puppets making crank phone calls and Crossfire is on CNN. To me, this means Begala and Carlson have a much higher standard to be held to. Stewart doesn't take himself seriously - and makes it a point to mention every so often that he hosts a _fake_ news show - whereas the criticism he levels is completely appropriate because shows like 'Crossfire', 'Hardball' and all the other shout-fests purport themselves to be journalists. Jon Stewart has never claimed to be anything but a comedian. Perhaps Bill O'Reilly should think about that the next time he wants to scream at someone.
  • Steve Lange (View Email) on October 25, 2004
    Your hack job story on the crossfire hacks is a better joke than all of the Daily Shows combined. Stewart is successful and believable because he states it clearly his show is a comedy that uses daily events as its base material. Plan and simple, nothing more.

    The Bill O'Reillys, Crossfire, and pretty much all of Fox news are TOOLS. They are easily manipulated by the political spinners to extract exactly the right tone for their party. When is the last time a news person broke an inside story? they dont they are to worried about losing their access rights to rock the boat.

    So in short get bent you tool.
  • Joe (View Email) on October 25, 2004
    You dumb, The Daily Show is a comedy program. The reason they get the guests they do is because they DON'T rail on their guests or interrupt them while they're speaking. Since when does satire have to be non-partisan?
  • viet (View Email) on October 25, 2004
    i believe his main argument with regard to hypocrisy is that their respective roles are entirely differnet in their intended purposes.

    While Stewart's show is by definition and intention a comedy chow, Crossfire and its kin are by definition and intention news shows.

    Now, while Stewart has by all definitions accomplished his ends as a comedy show, garnering numerous accolades; crossfire has failed to achieve its purpose as being informative, enlightening, and condusive to the public discourse.

    The Media has been emphasizing the effects of the daily show, but the fact that Stewart's viewers are informed and well versed in current events is merely incidental. The humor from the daily show, draws from an awareness of current events and a dedication to an awareness of current events. its humor dictates and requires beforehand a knowledge of current events to provide jokes with context. without controversy and conflict, and hypocrisy, the show would simply not exist.

    The political awareness of stewart's crowd is not as a result of his program itself, but stems from the fact that the awareness is a prerequisite to understand the humor of the show.

    Crossfire fails to achieve its standards of a news program, and as long as "The Daily Show" remains a comedy program at heart, it will never need or require any dedication to informative public discourse. The fact that it does is merely an incidental coincidence, but a welcome and refreshing one.

    I am sure that Stewart realizes the influence he has over america, but you are overstating his influence, connotating that he could turn an election

    a jester provides humorous analysis; he does not lead an army.

  • hypocrite on October 25, 2004
    That is the definition of the word hypocrite.
  • Anonymously Liberal on October 25, 2004
    Disagree. Stewart was on 60 minutes last night about this, and he talked about how he enjoys being a joker on his show but felt that since he was there to talk seriously, he would speak his mind. It's a joke! What do you expect? I stand behind this guy.
  • cowboysRule on October 25, 2004
    i whole-heartedly disagree with this article. i think jon stewart's presence on crossfire was far from "hyprocritical" and not at all "petty."

    one of my disagreements...

    saying that jon stewart has a responsibility to ask hard questions to politicians on his show doesn't make sense at all. The Daily Show is a talk show. another talk show is the Late Show with David Letterman. Bill Clinton has been on the Late Show a lot, but how controversial and in depth does Letterman get with him? the Daily Show and the Late Show are both COMEDIC talk shows. Crossfire is a DEBATE show. there's a major difference between the dialogue in each.

    an example of the seriousness: Unlike on Crossfire, i have yet to see one of the correspondents on the Daily Show have a report aired about anything that wasn't at least partially a joke. Crossfire is meant to be tough; the Daily Show is merely meant to be interesting enough for young men and women to follow on a nightly basis.

    you're saying that something on Comedy Central should be as serious as something on Cable News Network.

    Comedy Central vs. Cable News Network?
  • CB on October 25, 2004
    I agree full-on. Stewart just joins people like Franken and Garafalo. Gun for a political side. When people start holding you accountable for what you say, just fall back on the old "I'm not serious! I'm being COMIC!" routine.

    Eh, at least he's a bit funnier than the others.
  • Keller (View Email) on October 25, 2004
    When studies show Stewart to have a better informed audience, it doesnt mean that he himself informed them. In a recent interview, Stewart explained how he simply comically exploits politics; that his show is made to entertain and not to inform. Overall, John Stewart is the host of a COMEDY SHOW. He is commited to humoring the audience, and he has no obligation to ask hard-hitting political questions if he does not desire. As he said on Crossfire about his interview with John Kerry "By the way, I also asked him, 'Were you in Cambodia?' But I didn't really care. Because I don't care, because I think it's stupid."

    John Stewart is a COMEDIAN, and with his spot on a cable comedy channel, he can ask his guests whatever questions he chooses. Interestingly, Stewart is given a different kind of opportunity that no one has addressed: He has the opportunity to ask his guests "stupid" questions no one else might ask. Where else would you learn is Teresa Heinz gets money for every ketchup packet used?

    Ok, you can probably find that ketchup info elsewhere, but im sure you get my point.
  • asdf on October 25, 2004
    um nothing beats crossfire.

  • mark (View Email) on October 25, 2004
    Jon Stewart's arguments were hypocritical and weak? No, Grace, it is your argument that is hypocritical and weak. You entirely miss the point of Stewarts courageous appearance. IT'S NOT UP TO THE COMEDY SHOWS YOU MORON, IT'S UP TO THE NEWS OUTLETS TO ASK THE TOUGH QUESTIONS.
    Jon's job is satire, nothing more. The subject matter of his show is not politics. It is mostly the media and how it handles politics that is the subject matter.
    It's not his responsibility as you claim to ask the tough questions. It's a comedy show. Hello? What's truly scarey is you took the time to attack Jon Stewart for pointing out what is obvious to us all: Crossfire is a show hosted by political hacks, not journalists trying to get to the bottom of the story.
    Your article is very much like the Republican party: Let's focus our attention on not those who are truly guilty here, but let's create a distraction and blame the messinger.
    And FYI: One does not need to "provide a remedy" to point out obvious flaws in the system. The reason he didn't provide a remedy is he realized HE'S A COMEDIAN. HELLO!
    Grace has no grace. What an incredibly misinformed person you are...
    I guess the internet needs its' hacks too...
  • Keller on October 25, 2004
    Its funny, this is exactly the same argument the Stewart had with the hosts of Crossfire. Go Figure.
  • Grace Harter on October 26, 2004
    I appreciate the amount of feedback I have received on this article; one of the greatest things about Silver Chips Online is that writers can receive direct comments and opinions from readers. However, we'll just have to agree to disagree on Jon Stewart's appearance on "Crossfire."

    I want to clear up one misconception. I don't dislike Jon Stewart, in fact, I think Stewart is one of the smartest and funniest personas on television today. "The Daily Show" is one of my favorite programs. However, I believe his most of his behavior and comments on "Crossfire" were generally hypocritical and inappropriate. Also, I think it's a travesty that Stewart should also claim no responsibility for his great influence on the American public. Hiding behind the role of comedian is unacceptable; he is a popular public figure, and people listen to him. I would not have gotten so many comments on my article were Stewart an insignificant unknown.

    Similarly, I don't believe all of Stewart's points were uncalled for. He was on target when he told both the "Crossfire" hosts that they were shirking their responsibility to the public. It's true, American citizens do need the help of the media to make responsible and informed decisions about politicians. However, by telling Tucker Carlson that his role in the media was different because he is a comedian, Stewart was also shirking his responsibility.
  • anon on October 26, 2004
    Hey Joe, Grace dumb, but you dumber.
  • Avinash Tyagi on October 26, 2004
    I'm sorry but I totally disagree, first off Neither Carlson nor the rather quiet Begala had any desire to ask him how they could improve their show, rathe rthey not only cut him off and tried to get him to be a "funny monkey"; they also insulted him which led him to fire back.
  • Daily Show Watcher (View Email) on October 26, 2004
    All the media has to do to take the wind out of Jon Stewart's sails is to return to credible journalism. Until that happens, sit back and enjoy the fun.

    Without discussing Jon's arrogance for critiquing Crossfire show, I find it interesting that the Crossfire audience seemed to be in support of what Mr. Stewart was saying. To me, it says that the media is losing touch with its audience. 'The Daily Show' is simply lampooning the media for its inability to deliver a serious discourse on newsworthy topics.

    If you don't believe me, watch the evening news this evening. The main stories will last no more that 10-15 minutes. After that, its the same psuedo-journalistic "Fleecing Of America" or "The Lighter Side Of The News". How else could Bill O'Reilly go from a second-rate "Inside Edition" hack to a leading anchor for Fox news ... but when you think about it, that really is pretty funny.
  • Benjamin Shepardson (View Email) on October 26, 2004
    Asking why Jon Stewart doens't grill his guests, is like asking why Doctor Phil or Oprah don't grill their guest. They are both pretty well know too, I thik

    Don't you get it, the Daily Show is not real news.

    Jon Stewart actually tried to have serious discussion un scripted discussion on crossfire and Tucker tried to put him down ... and failed miserablly.

    Tucker even had the graphics department draw up a graphic for the questions jon stewart asked kerry, in order to ambush him with. Then when stewart turns on him,and he wants him to stick to being a comedian.
  • mc chris on October 26, 2004
    Okay, okay, okay, okay

    Carlson said that Stewart was "sniffing Kerry's throne" by asking him easy questions. Here's my opinion: Carlson has only watched one episode of the Daily Show, the one with Kerry as the guest. Carlson then went on to assume that Stewart was being soft on Kerry because he was a liberal. Well, here's the truth: Jon Stewart never asks tough questions. That's not his job. A week before the Kerry inverview, the guest on the Daily Show was the chairman of the Bush reelection campaign (whose name escapes me at the moment). No tough questions were asked there either. As Jon Stewart said, "My show's lead-in is puppets making crank calls."

    And Jon Stewart did have a point. WHY DOES CARLSON WEAR A BOW TIE?!?!?!? Good god! Is he ringleading a circus?
  • Bob Thompson (View Email) on October 26, 2004
    Jon Stewart said that his show was a comedy show while Crossfire masqueraded as news... what is this guy missing?
  • Chris on October 26, 2004
    I've often felt disappointed in Jon in that I wish he would do more to solve the problems he so elequently skewers. But then I realize i'm being selfish. You're accusing him of 'shirking his responsibility' but when he takes his argument, the same argument hes been making for years on his show, in interviews, and in his books, to one of the sources of the problem, he gets absolutely no where. Carlson cut him off repeatedly. Jon tried to get a point across and was basicaly railroaded. Don't you think that going on that show an making a direct appeal at people Jon believes are part of the problem is about as unhypocritical as you can get? Should we chide Carlson for not running for political office, since he has such strong opinions about politics? Is he a hypocrit for not getting more involved?
  • STOP REPEATING on October 26, 2004
    I have an idea! How about another person tries to refute Grace's article by using the same reasoning and points that the last HUNDRED people with commments did! You guys need to learn, your not helping anything by repeating the same argument. Your just being annoying
  • Anonymous on October 26, 2004
    if we all wore bowties the world would be a better place.
  • Charles deCarbonnel (View Email) on October 27, 2004
    IF JON STEWART DID WHAT YOU WANT AND TOOK RESPONCIBILITY, HE WOULD BECOME IRRELEVENT. He has authority because he denies he has it (called modesty, in case you're wondering).

    Can't you see it? The whole reason Jon stewart is popular is because he isn't self-absorbed and arrogant.

    It is a catch 22. Should Jon do something to help America (like crossfire) or take responcibility and become irrelevant?
  • Aaron (View Email) on October 27, 2004
    Definently missing the point.

    The people that watch the Daily Show (eg, myself) are not better informed because of it -- they watch it because they are better informed. Use your brain.

    Maybe he would have been able to present a solution to the problem he was talking about if the cross-fire jokers has let him speak his mind.
  • Trina on October 27, 2004
    I just wanted to say that i applaude mr.stewart for what he did. I mean a lot of late night shows have more power to blast the media and in the mist of their nightly monologes you do find the truth, even though it's part of the joke. Finally when someone is fed up and has the opportunity to share their opinion on a partisan themed show, and when the opinion is not your common left or right, its a problem for the crossfire jerks. Just because he's a comedian doesnt mean he has no opinion, i mean he has to watch all this crap filtered news we get and make a show out of it, so if in the end he's fed up, who can blame him? we all are at this point, especially when it comes to political discourse. I mean they expected him to come on and be their monkey and of course he got pissed because of that, i mean yes, he has to say his show is a satire of news, because if he was to ask the hard-hitting questions, his show would be like a real news show that could be on a channel like cnn, and thats not what the show is about. These people just have to lighten up, they probably were just appauled that he would come on their show to burn them a little, if they actually watched the daily show they would know that jon felt this way and they wouldn't have been so suprised. Its just sad , that media has become this world of hypocrisy and the partisans are the leaders, who just want to gets ratings and entertain. I mean when Martha Stewart is the top news story of the day, then we have a problem. So hats off to Jon, ..someone had to do it.
  • Jen Moyle (View Email) on October 27, 2004
    The arguments that keep being made about Jon being politically powerful and relevant hinge on how many viewers and how successful he is. Now that he does has an impact on the election as a satirist, the media suddenly wants to hold him to a higher standard than they do the Letterman's, Leno's, and Dr. Phil's of the world. Journalists were perfectly willing to tout Jon Stewart and his show as brilliant and funny as long as he was skewering politicians. Once Jon turned his focus to the media, then the media wants to call him a hypocrite. I think Jon is doing exactly what they are asking him to-- use his newfound power for good instead of evil. Jon's point is that politicians can only be as shady as the media allows them to be. If the "real" journalists turned their focus to the talking points of the current administration, the way they have towards Jon, then we wouldn't all be looking to fake news for the truth. We would be able to find the truth on a news channel. I watch the Daily Show because it is the only place that doesn't just regurgitate everything the politicians feed the media. Journalism used to be reporting and investigating. The media has made it into rewriting the press releases they get from biased sources. In other words, do you blame the people who are lying or the people who bring the lies to your home everyday? Wouldn't the messages have to change if the media wasn't eating them up? Love you Jon.
  • :o) on October 27, 2004
    Jon Stewart is god. I loves that man!
  • John Stewart on October 28, 2004
    I have no impact on this election. I don't know what ya'll are talkin' about.
  • Terencio (View Email) on October 29, 2004
    In the media today we are seeing the distinction between journalists and, "news personalities" such as the anchors of Fox news. John is neither of these things. He has a commitment to his show, and that commitment is to perform, not inform. If he decided to take his show into that of a real news outlet he, and the show, would probably lose the affection and support they now enjoy. So what is this, "responsibility" that he has? He is filling his niche, and if as a side effect he is informing some of the population, neither he nor the show can be held accountable for people mistaking satire for news.
  • Leah (View Email) on October 29, 2004
    I'm not American, and not familiar with any of these shows, but it does occur to me to wonder why Stewart's show, which he himself said is a comedy show, is supposed to be of the same investigative calibre as that of a debate show. I assume that everyone who watches Stewart's show knows that it is a comedy show and not meant to inform on current political news. If America's young people are actually turning to The Daily Show for information, well that's another problem entirely.
    And anyway, would these politicians even show up on The Daily Show if they knew they were going to be hit with tough political questions?
  • Sam (View Email) on November 1, 2004
    Jon Stewart is meeting his obligations! His show is a comedy show. If you laugh even once while watching it... he has met any reasonable expectation you should have when watching his show. The Crossfire guys say that their show is a debate show. This is where you should find your hard hitting questions and reasoned debate.
  • Nathan Bell (View Email) on November 8, 2004
    I would just like to comment on the perspective of this piece in defence of Jon Stewarts "journalistic integrity" and as a matter of flawed arguement. Editorialists who have reacted negatively to Stewart's performance all commend him for the effort and basically pointing out of a simple truth. However, they appear to ally themselves to the same argument that Mr. Carleton failed to articulate in the Crossfire appearance: that Jon Stewart has some responsibility to the public in his own show which he does not live up to in the way he conducts his show. The claim is that now that he has captured the hearts and minds of a significant percentage of the public he ought to fight for his own cause on his show. That is assuming that Stewart's aim as he became a greater part of the public discourse scene was to eventually completely change the focus of the show from "comedic fake news show" to what he expects out of shows that actually advertise themselves as useful, truthful, and objective shows such as Crossfire. The Daily Show has its purpose and it lives up to that. Crossfire IS disingenuous, and Mr Carlson did whatever he could to avoid answering to Stewarts claim. He walked around it by proposing they "see the pictures of the supreme court naked!", and redirecting the conversation by pondering why Stewart was not being funny. He did not address Stewart's claims, and therefore did not give him the time or opportunity to give any solutions. As a matter or personal opinion as well, I don't think that it takes a brilliant analyst to see what he is proposing: A debate show. Did either of the Crossfire hosts even try to deny the accusation of spin alley? They appeared defenceless and guilty as they confronted this point. I think even Stewart would have been too nice to suggest what we all ought to be thinking: firing these poor pundits who have lost their grasp of honest and objective debate, and creating a true debate show.
    Jon Stewart did not expect to achieve this change, but to raise public awareness of the political treachery that is rapant among the cable news channels. These stations will not end or change the shows that are bringing them viewership, and Stewart ought to know that that is an impossible dream. I have never before known such an over-reactment to a celebrity expressing a political opinion. Stewart actually has some stake in political discourse as he deals with the issues every day at his job. This begs the question, do we give too much faith in celebrity endorsements such as Bruce Springsteen, and Ashton Kutcher?
  • Jeff Lewis (View Email) on December 9, 2004
    Dear Grace Harter.
    You have done a disservice to journalism. As you critique Jon Stewart's influence you completely destroy your credibility. This is something that people are so quick to jump on democrats for. Kerry never flip-flopped, but rather is diverse. Open up a newswriting book and read it before you critique only one side. See you in a low market T.V. Station some day, loser!
  • Carolyn (View Email) on January 7, 2005 at 11:35 PM
    What sort of influence over people do you have politically if your show is on Comedy Central. It's not influential, it's just that educated young people who get into politics like to see it made fun of once in a while. I should know. Maybe you should think a little before you write your next article, or don't write any at all. I'd suggest the latter.
  • Joseph (View Email) on January 8, 2005 at 2:35 AM
    It is very obvious what the solution is. I won't even tell you because it could smack you in the face and give you a heart attack when you see the light.

    After all, look what has happend now. Crossfire is cancelled in part because of Mr. Stewart. CNN seems, for now to want to go back to telling actual news.

    He is a satirist. Doth ye know the word meaning? Ought I to be offended at your ignorance?

    Satire, in the literary dictionary (if you have one) is basically making fun of an institution in order to bring about change. Huckleberry Finn is satire. The Wizard of Oz is satire. You make me want to bang my head against the wall. He is not a journalist, but an observer.

    This solution that you speak of, sir, is right in front of your face like a giant fat kid saying "look what i can do!" and jiggling his man boobs in front of you. Forgive me, but could think of no analogy other than that, at this time of night.

    Fake News - 1
    Real News - 0
  • first time random reader (View Email) on January 9, 2005 at 4:04 PM
    You are damn right but your readers dont want to know, because there are less then 10 % of people who would agree with you about your oppinion of Jon Stewart.

    If Jon would read it, he would agree.
  • dperino (View Email) on January 23, 2005 at 1:16 AM
    it appears many have taken quite the exception to your screed, and while it is unfortunate that some have gotten quite personal, i must say that i too disagree with your article.

    admittedly, i am neither a fan of "the daily show" or "crossfire". while stewart seems pleasant enough, i really don't care for the humor on his show.

    and "crossfire"? egads. what a pathetic excuse for what is referred to as "news" programming these days.

    what is remarkable about your argument is that you take programs such as "crossfire" seriously. you lend credibility to this form of programming as if it is hallowed and sanctified.

    and while i can't write on behalf of those who don't fall for the pap and vehenement swill these shows serve up, there is absolutely no way i would refer to them as "journalistic".

    idiots like tucker carlson need a can of whoop ass thrown their way. carlson and his ilk, producers of such programming and the sponsors who pay them are far more responsible for the corrosion of political discourse in this country than any nabob politically-correct fob was and is.

    jon stewart made no mistake and, contrary to your position, is not hypocritical in his approach or position. he was spot-on in his analysis.

    perhaps what you meant to say is it didn't matter whether he was right or wrong, when he stepped out of the boundaries you had set for him, he burst that fantasy vs. reality bubble you and many others insist on maintaining.

    it then became much easier to indict stewart than question the validity of poisonous programming such as "crossfire". yours is a status quo critique of someone who did a very brave thing. it's just a shame that stewart sells soap too.

  • Alexander Gold (View Email) on January 25, 2005 at 6:05 PM
    Grace, I must say that I do agree with many of your points. I just finally saw this show online, and I thought that Stewart was often hypocritical and uninformative about what he actually thought. While that might have been the fault of Carlson and whatshisface interrupting him, he seemed to actually say little about what he felt was the problem and what any viable solutions could be. Good article anyway.

    Even if he goofed on Crossfire, Jon Stewart is still a beast.
  • Ace (View Email) on February 8, 2005 at 6:26 PM
    As was shown in the poll, Daily Show viewers are generally more affluent, educated, informed, etc, regardless or race, sex etc than O'Reilly viewers.

    As someone already posted below, we are not more informed because of the Daily Show, we watch it because we are better informed, and can therefore understand the satire and humour of it all. If we had no understanding of the political system, we would find nothing on the Daily Show entertaining.

    Indeed Ms. Grace, it seems that you too have missed the point stressed upon the Crossfire show. He's on Comedy Central, his lead in is sock puppets. He was introduced ON CROSSFIRE as a comedian! Yet he for some reason has a responsibility to the people now? No he does not. Much as the Charles Barkley "role model" debate, just because someone is a celebrity, or wields influence, does not mandate that they have to use it.

    Again, comparing a fake news show on Comedy Central with shows that claim to be reputable journalism is laughable, which clearly the audience during the taping of this show agreed with, as they enjoyed the roasting of the hosts. If Stewart was a politician, and did what he did, then perhaps your stance would ring true. But he never was, nor claimed to be.
  • josh on March 11, 2005 at 3:18 PM
    if there is anyone today that can make sense of america through thier words than it is jon stewart
  • yo on March 14, 2005 at 1:10 PM
    dont insult the writer unless you know her. Grace happens to love Jon Stewart but she was just telling it like it is
  • steve (View Email) on March 16, 2005 at 10:16 AM
    He did offer a solution to the problem presented by crossfire and shows like it..

    He said to stop..

  • Dr. Edwards (View Email) on April 26, 2005 at 10:30 AM
    Jon Stewart recognized that he could have asked more hard hitting questions however in the program he expressed they were a comedy show... (paraphrased)"The show that leads into me is puppets making crank calls" He is arguing that his show doesn't need to be valid or ask "hard-hitting questions" however a REAL news show or "debate show" (as he hoped it could be) such as Crossfire has a direct prerogative to be true and honest to the american public. That we deserve un-biased information and debates that inform and do not condemn either OPINION.
    Thanks, Dr.H.Edwards.
  • Eddie O. (View Email) on August 4, 2005 at 2:02 PM
    I can only wonder WHEN more people can understand that what The Daily Show incorporates is truth about the policies of the administration. Leaving us to make our own opinions. The stories on the show are given without bias. What you then receive, is an audience that has been brought to thought. Point being, it makes people think outside the box. The so-called biasness comes from the audience reactions to the topics, which will basically result in laughter. For instance, we are dealing with a leader who says he believes Rafael Palmeiro when he said he didn't knowingly take steroids.
  • Dylan Michael (View Email) on October 8, 2005 at 12:58 AM
    You say that he should ask more hard hitting questions to his guests, and I disagree. If he did this he would become nothing more than the pathetic debate shows he is complaining about.
  • Trevor Sand (View Email) on October 26, 2005 at 9:10 PM
    The problem with comparing "The daily show" and "Crossfire" is the simple fact that one is one is on Comedy Central and the other is on the Fox News Channel. The Daily Show doesn't claim to report relevant news, Crossfire does. Some People think that Crossfire is the best place to get political information, mostly uninformed conservatives, and that is probably why George Bush is still our president.
  • Jasna (View Email) on November 20, 2005 at 1:33 PM
    well doesnt the simple fact that Crossfire is no longer on air prove that as Stewars said it is a "miserable failure"...?
  • Jaremy (View Email) on December 21, 2005 at 1:01 PM
    The question at hand was not whether Jon Stewart's show is a proper use of its power, the issue was whether Crossfire was. To respond by attacking Stewart's own show is a ridiculous retort. Were it any other guest questioning Crossfire, that wouldn't even be a valid response - basically it was arguing that Stewart was wrong about Crossfire being a waste of space because The Daily Show is also a waste of space. ... Does that argument seem slightly shaky to anyone?

    With regard to the comments made by Bill O'Reilly, let's ponit out that he also said that Stewart's demographic was "stoned slackers". Now that seems slightly contradictory to the idea that Stewart's viewers are educated political voters. Don't you think?

    I don't claim that The Daily Show does a great job of using its political force, but to be honest, if all it did when Kerry and Clinton, etc. came on stage was ask serious questions, then they might as well have been on a different show. But the fact is they chose to come on The Daily Show because they knew that they were going to be able to reach the 18-35 voting demographic, and to be honest, when John Kerry bypassed O'Reilly to get to Stewart, it really should have been an obvious move - the people who watch O'Reilly and Fox News really aren't the type of people he was trying to convert. Not that it mattered since he lost anyway.

    One more point about that is if you remember, Bill Clinton came on the Arsenio Hall show in '92 when he was running... do you think that when he came on to play saxophone for a couple songs. Do you think Arsenio Hall was debased for "shirking his responsibility to the public"? Come on.
  • Josh MM (View Email) on January 25, 2006 at 2:44 AM
    First of all, I disagree with the assertion of this article. But I would, more importantly, like to note that it is not impossible to get unbiased news. The news that people often turn to is on the major television networks. I have been disappointed by their coverage of daily events. Jon Stewart was right to lambaste them. However, I have found that The New York Times is a fabulous source of news. It is not only unbiased, but every story is filled with background information and quotes from a variety of sources. If you want the truth in news, not the "partisan hackery" of shows such as Crossfire, turn to written news such as The New York Times. Subscribing to it online is free. There is one solution that circumvents altogether the disingenuous shows on prime time.
  • NonStewartFan (View Email) on January 25, 2007 at 11:50 PM
    The feigned attempt to appease to his adolescent minded audience was a farce. The man is barely able to speak the lines written for him between [censored] much less form an actual opinion. All banter aside, Stewart is merely a propositional tool used to appease the need for under active liberals to laugh at thier own lack of intellect.
  • Jeremy L (View Email) on April 18, 2007 at 11:46 AM
    His solution to the problem with the shows, is as obvious as how I am using a keyboard to type. Cancel......
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