Jon Stewart meltdown

By Michael Vass | June 22, 2011

There are many things that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart does that are funny. Even accepting that the show is focused squarely on bashing Republicans and Conservatives, you have to admit the show does so quite well. And then there is the love/hate relationship with Fox News. Fox allows Stewart to keep his kids in nice schools and the lifestyle he has, while he personally disagrees with virtually every word uttered on the channel.

All that is fine, political satire is needed in a free society. Even when that satire is skewed towards a particular view. But it is quite interesting to watch what happens when the satirist is put under the same microscope he uses on others.

Jon Stewart was on FOX Sunday with Chris Wallace, where he uttered a few absolute facts – in his mind.

After this appearance, Politifact – an independant fact check organization – looked into the claim that Fox News has the most misinformed viewers. That research found that Stewart was wrong, earning him a False rating. Between the interview itself and Politifact, Stewart was not amused.

On his show, Stewart spent 5 minutes reacting to the Politifact smackdown.

It is impressive to watch a man boil in his own juices. It just entertains to watch a spiteful attack and openly blatant act of revenge. As Jeff Labrecque
of EntertainmentWeekly.com stated

“Media accountability is his M.O., and to be held up as an example of what he ridicules and disdains clearly didn’t sit well with him. Responding with yet another attack on Fox News’ credibility may have demonstrated their history of unrepentant misstatements, but in this bizarre through-the-looking-glass scenario, the jester is actually held to a higher standard than the news organization.”

A fair assessment of the situation. But perhaps we cannot get it. As Stewart stated to Chris Wallace

“You can’t understand. Because of the world you live in that there is not a designed idealogical political agenda on my part to affect partisan change. Because that’s the soup you swim in.”

Maybe. Or maybe we can understand when a Liberal and Hollywood personality tries to talk down to us from an elitist perch. It may be great to be the jester and laugh at others expense, but in politics and entertainment it always comes full circle. This just happens to be Jon Stewart’s turn. A thicker skin, that he assumes his show’s targets must have, seems to be needed.

I still find Stewart to be funny, and politically biased, just as he was before. But it does take something away to see he is vindictive and angry as well. I had hoped for more, but like many things in life (Obama Stimulus, Health Care Reform, spending cuts, other promises) I will just have to accept less.

At least Politifact gained a bigger audience from all this.

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