Via this article
on the episode in Slate, here are blogger Jim Treacher's thoughts
. He sums up the point I was trying to make in the other threat much better than I could:
Stewart's been bugging me... I've been getting more and more annoyed with him trying to have it both ways, being an increasingly self-righteous advocate and yet deflecting criticism with "It's just a comedy show!" Which is pretty much perfectly encapsulated in his 15-odd minutes on Crossfire. I remember when he was a lot more convincing about being a moderate, not that long ago. And I think his interview with Kerry is certainly fair game for criticism. But then again, calling Tucker Carlson a dick? Right to his face? That is a Golden TV Moment.
He quotes Stewart from a few months ago:
No matter what side of the political spectrum you're on, if you are incapable of feeling at least a tiny amount of joy at watching ordinary Iraqis celebrate this, you are lost to the ideological left. And let me also add, if you are incapable of feeling badly that we even had to use force in the first place, you are ideologically lost to the right. And I would inform both of those groups to leave the room now and do not watch the program. It's like ice-skating: We throw out the high score and the low score. The rest of the people, you're welcome at the table.
--Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
Somehow I can't envision Stewart saying this today, though. Can you?
More from Treacher:
And unlike some of his critics, I don't think he necessarily needs to choose between pundit and comedian. He can do both. Just maybe not in the same breath. It was maddening when he lectured those guys and they wanted to talk to him about it, and he kept going, "Wait, I'm just a comedian!" Clown nose off, clown nose on, clown nose off, clown nose on... It's just as much of a defense mechanism as his tie-straightening and that schmendrick voice he goes into (Art Fern?), and it's every bit as annoying. I still like the guy, and I agree with his point on this one, but I wish he'd quit falling back on that trick.
Say he's not funny, he tells you he's a concerned citizen. Try to engage him on the point, he tells you he's a comedian.
Yep...that's pretty much the point I was trying to make. Treacher still remains a loyal fan. I have to admit to a bit of souring.