Nothing fake about it
: Thanks to my friend Joe Territo, I finally got to see the Jon Stewart takedown of Crossfire on Crossfire.
This is the single best piece of media criticism I have seen in years. And it’s all the better because it’s face-to-face.
I know I’m late to this party because I didn’t see the original. If you haven’t seen it, watch the clip and read the transcript here. Great lines here (with annoying transcripty things excised):
STEWART: I felt that that wasn’t fair and I should come here and tell you … it’s not so much that it’s bad, as it’s hurting America…. Here’s just what I wanted to tell you guys…. Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America….
See, the thing is, we need your help. Right now, you’re helping the politicians and the corporations. And we’re left out there to mow our lawns.
BEGALA: By beating up on them? You just said we’re too rough on them when they make mistakes.
STEWART: No, no, no, you’re not too rough on them. You’re part of their strategies. You are partisan, what do you call it, hacks….
CARLSON: But you can ask him [Kerry] a real question, don’t you think, instead of saying…
STEWART: I don’t think I have to. By the way, I also asked him, “Were you in Cambodia?” But I didn’t really care.
STEWART: Because I don’t care, because I think it’s stupid….
STEWART: But the thing is that this — you’re doing theater, when you should be doing debate, which would be great…. It’s not honest. What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery….
You have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably.
CARLSON: You need to get a job at a journalism school, I think.
STEWART: You need to go to one.
The thing that I want to say is, when you have people on for just knee-jerk, reactionary talk…
This is such a great opportunity you have here to actually get politicians off of their marketing and strategy….
You go to spin alley, the place called spin alley. Now, don’t you think that, for people watching at home, that’s kind of a drag, that you’re literally walking to a place called deception lane?
The most pathetic thing about the segment is that the hosts would not talk. They couldn’t. They could shout. They could joust. They could joke. They couldn’t talk. They proved that they do not know how to have a conversation. News is supposed a conversation. But not on Crossfire.
But what’s so wonderful about this is that a viewer get to confront the viewed, media on media. It’s every blogger’s wet dream.
Pity that the boys on TV don’t know how to listen.