Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
March to Keep Fear Alive
www.colbertnation.com
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I've said this before but it's important to understand just how far ahead Stewart and Colbert are of "serious" "intellectual" liberals.
The last time Stewart went on Fox, he managed to broadcast more criticism of the channel on the actual channel than anyone could remember, accusing it of being a "cyclonic perpetual emotion machine" that has "taken reasonable concerns about this president and this economy, and turned it into a full-fledged panic about the next coming of Chairman Mao".

Stewart is a master of comedy but he is also seriously influential. When he blasted CNN's dog-pit-style political pundit-fight Crossfire programme back in 2004, saying it was "hurting America" with its mindless, partisan bickering, the show was eventually cancelled, with Stewart's criticism cited as one of the reasons.
Stewart and Colbert are probably the only liberal figures who actually confront their opponents rather than merely commenting for their own audience. It's not that either of them are more to the left than straight liberal pundits, but they're less superior, less aloof, and therefore more engaged. They're comedians not college professors and even sympathetic academics and experts don't quite understand how and how much they've usurped political, academic and journalistic authority. Stewart and Colbert are on the side of historians against philosophers, but thats another discussion.
Less self-consciously intellectual, what they do carries more intellectual weight. Jon Stewart will outlast John Rawls.

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