Monday, March 10, 2014

TODAY IN CULTURE WAR.

At National Review, Kevin D. Williamson wonders why people watch Jon Stewart when they could be reading The Road to Serfdom:
Mr. Stewart is among the lowest forms of intellectual parasite in the political universe, with no particular insights or interesting ideas of his own, reliant upon the very broadest and least clever sort of humor, using ancient editing techniques to make clumsy or silly political statements sound worse than they are and then pantomiming outrage at the results, the lowbrow version of James Joyce giving the hero of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man the unlikely name of Stephen Dedalus and then having other characters in the novel muse upon the unlikelihood of that name.
Ah, Williamson has been to college, I see. Later:
Mr. Stewart is the leading voice of the half-bright Left because he is a master practitioner of the art of half-bright vitriolic denunciation. His intellectual biography is that of a consummate lightweight — a William and Mary frat boy who majored in psychology, which must have been a disappointment to his father, a professor of physics — and his comedy career has been strictly by-the-numbers, from the early days on the New York City comedy-club scene to changing his name (Mr. Stewart began life as Mr. Leibowitz)...
There are plenty of insults here, but nothing that qualifies as criticism -- until Williamson abandons aesthetics, in which he seems to have no real interest, and addresses politics. He is upset that there are so many headlines on internet aggregation sites like "Jon Stewart Destroys Fox News Over Syria Coverage" and "Jon Stewart Destroys Bill O’Reilly."

Williamson seems unaware that headlines on the internet are often calculated to draw the attention of consumers, and thus monetize the enterprise (maybe because he works at a place where profit is not expected); he also seems unaware that other entertainers such as Ann Coulter are frequently portrayed as "destroying" their opponents for a different audience but for the same reason. He thinks "destroy" in these headlines actually says something about The Left:
...there is no substantive difference between what Mr. Stewart does and what, e.g., Ezra Klein does (“Ezra Klein Destroys Romney,” “Ezra Klein Destroys David Brooks,” “Ezra Klein Destroys Republican Opposition to Temporary Payroll Tax Cut,” etc.) because for the Left the point of journalism is not to criticize politics or to analyze politics but to be a servant of politics, to “destroy” such political targets as may be found in one’s crosshairs. For the Left, the maker of comedy and the maker of graphs perform the same function. It does not matter who does the “destroying,” so long as it gets done...
As a close follower of the New Zhdanovites, I often hear the liberal establishment blamed for Hollywood, pop music, the theater, comics, etc. but this is first time I've ever heard it blamed for SEO.

197 comments:

  1. So we are the totalizing manicheans now? I did not know that.

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  2. mgmonklewis1:46 PM

    ALL YOUR DIALECTIC ARE BELONG TO US

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  3. tinheart1:48 PM

    And after writing his epic takedown, he rushed to Money Morning to learn about The Hidden Obamacare Taxes That Will Crush The Middle Class.

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  4. A dumbed-down Democratic party runs out of ideas.

    Sounds like somebody is a bit defensive following CPAC, featuring keynote speaker Sarah Mooselini.
    ~

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  5. DN Nation2:05 PM

    Simple solution. Stop being hypocrites on *everything*, wingnuts. Or if you must, realize that Google exists and past quotes are easily found.

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  6. coozledad2:11 PM

    Mr. Stewart began life as Mr. Leibowitz



    The nerve of that Jewy Jew Jew.
    And Assif Mandvi? BROWN!

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  7. mrstilton2:13 PM

    Kevin D. Williamson, of course, began life as William D. Kevinson.

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  8. coozledad2:19 PM

    I thought he began life as Andrew Sullivan.

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  9. HankP2:27 PM

    "That's not funny" is a particularly weak form of criticism when everyone is laughing at you.

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  10. Bizarro Mike2:35 PM

    The thing is, I don't think Stewart is even particularly liberal. His stitch mostly consists of playing recordings of past and present pronouncements of some public figure that obviously cannot both be true and then making a silly face. Not that I fault the man --- it is a valuable service, and pretty funny. He's also made it clear that he's an entertainer on a channel called "Comedy Central," not a political pundit. Unlike Rush Limbaugh, who reminds people that he's an entertainer whenever some racist joke blows up, it should be obvious that Stewart is just taking the piss out of too-important public figures.


    I think the targeting of the right wing noise machine is more because it is easy prey: the assertions are ridiculous, a little research shows that the evidence is poorly-disguised bullshit, and the blovators spewing the junk are self-important, which makes the take-down all the more fun.

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  11. tinheart2:38 PM

    No, that was his porn name.

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  12. Gromet2:38 PM

    The Internet is a communist plot! SEO geared to promote Alynskyite Jon Stewart is exactly why we need to end net neutrality and get some traditional, God-fearing, American hierarchy re-established! Every day we don't have these things is another day of civilizational decline and anarchy proving that people can't be trusted with a free market. People need rules to live by, they need choices that are in capitalism's best interests (and therefore in everyone's best interests!) which only be devised by proven, stable corporations, such as Viacom (owners of the Jon Stewart show).

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  13. marindenver2:43 PM

    Jon Stewart did pretty much literally destroy Tucker Carlson so there's that.

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  14. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps2:45 PM

    Computer, search for "destroys" in headlines on site Breitbart dot com:

    GOP Destroys Harry Reid in New Ad: 'Now They're Calling The American People Liars'
    Marco Rubio Destroys Sen. Tom Harkin for Praising Cuban Communism
    Politico Destroys White House Claim of Secret Obama-Sebelius Meetings
    Chris Wallace Destroys Screaming Ezekiel Emanuel on Obamacare Broken Promises


    Ryan Destroys Obama, Obamacare in Six Minutes
    Computer, please transmit the following message to Kevin D. Williamson at National Review: "Hello, question mark, hello, question mark, is anybody home, question mark", over.

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  15. Mike McCarthy2:45 PM

    "using ancient editing techniques to make clumsy or silly political statements sound worse than they are and then pantomiming outrage at the results"

    Isn't this 50% of the programming on Fox? Isn't taking things out of context a great deal of what the National Review does?

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  16. liberalrob2:58 PM

    50% would be an improvement.

    Talk about pots and kettles...but the Conservative sense of irony rusted away long ago.

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  17. "Message received. Help is on the way."

    Star Cluster M-113

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  18. liberalrob3:02 PM

    No route to host breitbart.com.

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  19. MBouffant3:02 PM

    "Ancient editing techniques" indeed. Are we to assume, then, that theater maven Williamson has come up w/ (even one) new editing technique? And why hasn't he shared it?



    I await his stirring denunciation of before & after photos. "It's just so tiiiiiirred," he'll say.

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  20. Gromet3:09 PM

    I'm assuming Williamson would like to see a rightwing joke-anchor who'd go for laffs by ridiculing politicians who favor gay marriage and promote the ACA? Problem there of course is that such jokes would be very clearly at the expense of an historically discriminated-against population and the poor and sick. Spending 22 minutes every night punching down hilariously would be, uh, quite a comedy highwire act.


    But we can't expect Williamson to understand that, as evidently he thinks a good laugh line is "Stewart must be a disappointment to his father, because his father majored in physics." Chortle!


    Then I get to the bit where Williamson thinks Stewart's secret Judaism is relevant to the contention that the media are conspiring to bring down the nation, and I can't even guess what he thought he was accomplishing beyond "Jews! Still every bit as bad as they were in Berlin 1932, amirite?"


    I mean what a weirdo. How is it even possible to think this stuff and type it out and then go, "Yes. Nailed it. Publish."

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  21. MBouffant3:10 PM

    Just wondering if Mr. Williamson hisse'f has developed any newer editing techniques to replace the ancient ones he decries.


    What's next? "Mr. Stewart, using the long-passé modes of vision & hearing, has made a mockery of the hypocrisy of people on my side of the aisle. Make him stop!!"

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  22. MBouffant3:15 PM

    How is it even possible to think this stuff and type it out and then go, "Yes. Nailed it. Publish."
    K.D. knows his audience.

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  23. DN Nation3:16 PM

    The right, which relies on James O'Keefe for reporting and Jonah Goldberg for the laffs, has some Jon Stewart Complaints.

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  24. MBouffant3:18 PM

    M.B. fix:
    Jon Stewart ComplaintsEnvy

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  25. tigrismus3:19 PM

    I may only be half-bright(hell, it may be a generous estimate), but even I know ad hominem is not Latin for selling shucks.

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  26. Bizarro Mike3:27 PM

    Yeah, I hope that when Stewart is on his death bed, whatever his other regrets, he can think "I did do for Tucker Carlson, so on balance I lived a good life."

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  27. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.3:30 PM

    Williamson is also, to no exactly ones surprise, a film critic for The New Criterion The Maoist International Movie Review.

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  28. Mr. Stewart is among the lowest forms of intellectual parasite in the political universe, with no particular insights or interesting ideas of his own...using ancient editing techniques to make clumsy or silly political statements sound worse than they are and then pantomiming outrage at the results....

    Yes, otherwise known as satire, you idiot. Blame the Romans and their ancient editing techniques. And when you're done ranting at them and Jon Stewart you might want to turn your wrath to Swift, Pope, Shakespeare, Donne, Voltaire, Orwell, Bierce and Twain, to name a few.

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  29. MBouffant3:31 PM

    I neither knew nor cared, but now Williamson has forced me to dive into this pit, & I despise him all the more for it

    Jon Stewart Wiki-stuff:His father, Donald Leibowitz, was a professor of physics at The College of New Jersey from 2001 through 2008 and then taught an online course at Thomas Edison State College. His father died on June 8, 2013 ... Stewart's parents divorced when Stewart was eleven years old, and Stewart was apparently largely estranged from his father ... [H]is older brother, Lawrence Leibowitz ... is currently Chief Operating Officer of NYSE Euronext (parent company of the New York Stock Exchange) ...

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  30. Halloween_Jack3:31 PM

    So Kevin Williamson is now setting himself up as the judge of Big Ideas and their worthiness? Apparently his recent poverty-porn piece on Appalachia has led him to forget this post of not a year ago. Big Ideas, indeed.

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  31. Gromet3:32 PM

    His intellectual biography is that of a consummate lightweight — a William and Mary frat boy



    Hey, William & Mary is a good school! I know people who went there, and they're all smart. So this got me wondering about Williamson's "intellectual biography." It must be pretty awe-inspiring, right?


    Funnily enough, his bios at NRO, at Harper Collins, and at Wikipedia do not name his alma mater. You think he'd be quick to cite it, since he feels it's a reasonable yardstick to judge people and we should be wary of listening to graduates of schools as "lightweight" as William & Mary. Why doesn't he burnish it?


    Eventually, search turned up a column where KDW mentions his alma mater is the University of Texas. I confess I don't know anything about it. I'll assume it's a good school -- but, uh, does his English degree there make his dad prouder and his "intellectual biography" lots heavier? Isn't he, at best -- by his own standards -- in a tie with Jon Stewart?


    I will say it again: What a weirdo.

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  32. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.3:35 PM

    Williamson probably sees it like this: Everyone who isn't on his side is a manichean, no exceptions.

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  33. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.3:37 PM

    *Cough* You mean M 13. *Cough*

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  34. Gromet3:38 PM

    Yeah but at some point you'll be on your deathbed. Does he really wanna be the guy who thinks "I spent my life writing racisty kinda paranoid bullshit encouraging morons to be angry"? That's the part I don't get.


    Fear of making the world worse and pride in writing well should be bigger motivations than whatever paycheck NRO cuts him for throwing red meat to a zombie horde.

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  35. MBouffant3:44 PM

    He doesn't get that part either. He's goofy/un-self aware enough to believe he's awakening people to the threat of whatever rather than agitating idjits.

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  36. tigrismus3:46 PM

    You're either with him or against him. It's all Good vs Evil from where's he's sitting, and those manicheans are the WORST.

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  37. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.3:47 PM

    Actually, I gather that Stewart is a Bernie-Sanders-style leftie. But a rather idealistic one who has little time for the sausage-making and horse-trading which is unfortunately necessary in politics

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  38. This is yet another example of a conservative seeing something he doesn't like and blaming it on liberals, even though it has nothing to do with politics.


    The impetus for this has to be any of the large blogs that have taken to reposting clips from The Daily Show or The Colbert Report as though it were original content. I feel for Williamson - it annoys me, too. The difference is in our perspective.


    I think that these contentless posts are a necessary evil; monetizing large websites these days requires generating a massive amount of content every day, more than the staff could reasonably output if they were writing detailed posts. So the video embeds are a supplement, a supporting feature guided by the truism that short posts are popular and garnished with mildly misleading headlines carefully engineered to attract attention (a concept that's been mocked on TDS, incidentally). It's an unfortunate part of what passes for a business model for the internet and, therefore, another lifeline keeping the husk we once called journalism alive. I don't like it, but it's not going anywhere.


    Williamson, who has a much more mature view of the world than silly ol' me, understands that it's a leftist conspiracy to make everyone stupid so that no one sees that the Koch brothers are visionaries.


    (Speaking of people who don't get it, do you ever think there'll be a time when pundits will stop talking about Jon Stewart as though TDS were a one-man production? Seriously, guys, he's not writing all these bits by himself...)

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  39. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.3:50 PM

    Given that actresses in this industry can and frequently do reject uncomfortable or just plain obnoxious partners, that must have been a shortlived career.

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  40. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.3:55 PM

    Hey, are you THAT HankP from the forvm? How is it going? Has anyone of the conservatives there, in the front of overwhelming evidence. ever admitted that he was wrong?

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  41. smut clyde3:57 PM

    Sounds like the rightwing initiative to embrace humour did not last very long.

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  42. smut clyde3:58 PM

    I did not know that
    It's all there in black-&-white, aimai.

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  43. Mark_B4Zeds3:59 PM

    I went to the University of Texas. It's the premiere party school of the southwestern United States. I studied hard sciences and there were good classes and the faculty was first rate, but the partying was non-stop, and it was a real challenge staying sober long enough to get to class. Unfortunately, I missed the time than Farrah Fawcett was there by a few years. She created quite a stir by riding around in a convertible topless after one of her sorority parties.

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  44. Gromet4:02 PM

    Of course, in the Manichean view you can only be one of two things: the WORST, or the BEST.

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  45. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.4:02 PM

    I must admit that I've missed it. But I surely won't miss the visible
    effort by the GOP to reach out for minorities and rein in the War on
    Women, that is if it ever gets of the ground.

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  46. smut clyde4:02 PM

    Seriously, guys, he's not writing all these bits by himself.
    Does he lurk at Alicublog to look for good jokes? Or is there a staff member assigned to that?

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  47. PulletSurprise4:04 PM

    UT Admission Criteria: Texas HS graduate with a pulse.

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  48. nomoremister4:06 PM

    Oh, for fuck's sake. What do you think Fox Nation does every time Jon Stewart attacks a Democrat or the non-right-wing media?


    "Jon Stewart Destroys Obama Over IRS Scandal."
    "Jon Stewart Destroys Media Over Inauguration Coverage."
    "Stewart Tears Apart Obama>"
    Jon Stewart TAKES DOWN CNN."

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  49. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.4:09 PM

    Bah, only the other side believes in such dichotomies.

    And only a Sith deals in absolutes.

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  50. smut clyde4:09 PM

    Those jokes were probably sour anyway.

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  51. PulletSurprise4:16 PM

    This is the initiative that began with Dennis Miller, right?


    It was over before it began.

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  52. montag24:28 PM

    I suspect from the "jokes" they've made thus far that they think that one's "mission accomplished."

    The problem is that their "humor" is indistinguishable from their rants. Hence, the oft-repeated phrase, "hey, I was joking."

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  53. tigrismus4:31 PM

    Humor filed for a restraining order.

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  54. PulletSurprise5:08 PM

    Did you ever watch The 1/2 Hour News Hour or News Busted?



    Think 6th season SNL without the whimsy, the train wreck without the crunch of metal. Even the laugh track is stunned into silence at their mere mention.

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  55. PulletSurprise5:10 PM

    "Please, quit your day job."

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  56. If Williamson doesn't like the fact that Stewart simply plays wingers just saying things, and then not doing anything at the end except roll his eyes, then maybe Willimason ought to tell the wingers to just shut their yaps and stop saying completely stoopid sh*te. Be good for the economy too: Stewart might have to hire some more writers to fill in for the unintentional comedy droppings left in such abundance by the right wing….

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  57. ^unintentional^ [edit inserted]

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  58. Silly leftist. The entire "rebrand the GOP" is the joke. You know, like the Three Stooges. Hold something shiny in my left hand and poke your eyes out with my right! That's what makes conservative humour so funny.

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  59. Ellis_Weiner5:27 PM

    "...because for the Left the point of journalism is not to criticize
    politics or to analyze politics but to be a servant of politics, to
    “destroy” such political targets as may be found in one’s crosshairs..."


    What an erudite, sophisticated prose style for a twelve year old.



    Yes, it mimics pompous "cultural observations" with its own unself-aware pomposity. Yes, the writer seems not to understand what a comedy show is, what a writing staff does, or the fact that what the "host" of a show says isn't necessarily what he or she makes up on the spot.



    Still, every young writer, when starting out, finds models to imitate, and Kevin has found his. With his obvious talent for empty fulmination, for ignoring the truth and inventing bogus "insights," and for putting a swaggering, confident tone in the service of a deeply silly analysis, he'll go far.

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  60. The ancient technique of juxtaposing two statements from the same person as thought they should be expected to cohere. Who knew the Republicans were so postmodern?

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  61. Smarter than Your Average Bear5:30 PM

    such political targets as may be found in one’s crosshairs.


    Oh my shades of Mama Bear herself - this penchant Reichwingers have for gun violence I say.

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  62. M. Krebs6:14 PM

    Stewart's primary target is cable news, and god bless him for that. He fairly often has conservative hucksters on as guests and goes out of his way to be friendly and fair to them, which I find a little annoying, but that's his bag. I think he just wants politicians and the press to do the jobs they're supposed to be doing, but the main thing is that he has a trademark schtick, and it's earning him a good living.

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  63. M. Krebs6:25 PM

    I'm assuming Williamson would like to see a rightwing joke-anchor who'd go for laffs by ridiculing politicians who favor the ACA?


    Didn't Fox try something like that several years ago? What was the name of that show?

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  64. Aw, Man! You just DESTROYED Williamson!!!

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  65. M. Krebs6:36 PM

    Yep. It's always projection with these people.

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  66. M. Krebs6:39 PM

    I usually take a pair of tweezers to my crosshairs.

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  67. M. Krebs6:50 PM

    I'm beginning to think that Kevin must have been an actual participant in the Dunning-Krugger study.

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  68. Christopher Hazell7:11 PM

    "Mr. Stewart... [uses] ancient editing techniques to make clumsy or silly political statements sound worse than they are and then pantomiming outrage at the results, the lowbrow version of James Joyce giving the hero of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man the unlikely name of Stephen Dedalus and then having other characters in the novel muse upon the unlikelihood of that name."



    Uh, no, not at all. While I haven't read any Joyce, I can tell you that when an author has a character comment on the unlikelihood of something in their fiction, the effect is to make you more aware of the contrived nature of fiction. The lowbrow version of that would be Bugs Bunny's asides to the camera.


    Meanwhile, by Williamson's lights, Stewart is engaged in propaganda, trying to make a contrived, fictional scenario appear to be real and natural. In other words, the exact opposite of Joyce's technique.


    BOOM! HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT, COLLEGE BOY!


    Anyway, I can kind of see where Williamson is coming from; The Daily Show does use propaganda techniques, and Stewart, while a funny guy with a clear sense of fairness, is also a softball interviewer without many interesting political ideas.


    So, basically, the Daily Show is The National Review, if it were funny and fair.

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  69. It's been a while, and your base-10 numeration system is still hard to learn.

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  70. willf8:15 PM

    "Mr. Stewart is [one of] the lowest forms of...


    Not "among", unless "Mr. Stewart" is somehow plural. Oh wait, this is like that "Liebovitz" crack, isn't it?

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  71. willf8:21 PM

    (To be picky, I guess that would also be "sorts" or "types", rather than "forms", but same diff.)

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  72. satch8:49 PM

    Nah... when Kev is on his deathbed, he'll still be eagerly anticipating being enfolded in the loving arms of Jeebus, for whom he worked so tirelessly.

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  73. satch8:51 PM

    "The Half Hour News Hour"? I know... and it went down hill from there...

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  74. satch9:01 PM

    Y'know what gets me about the "War on Women"? Though Terry McCauliffe won the overall women's vote in Virginia, he actually lost among white women. To this day, every time I think of that little factoid, it makes me want to pound my head on a stump.

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  75. MikeJ9:19 PM

    should be bigger motivations than whatever paycheck



    Commie. A capitalist would know that money trumps everything. There would be no Republican party if people were concerned about making the world worse.

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  76. MikeJ9:21 PM

    I could swear they had one on at something like 3am.

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  77. Shakezula9:35 PM

    To review:
    Liberals think they're so smart but really they're just boogerheads.
    Nuh-uh. Did not. Did not!!
    In conclusion, I am rubber you are glue. Cut it out. Stop it. Maaaaaaam!

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  78. smut clyde9:36 PM

    the lowbrow version of James Joyce giving the hero of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man the unlikely name of Stephen Dedalus and then having other characters in the novel muse upon the unlikelihood of that name.
    There's a scene on Portrait where other schoolboys at Belvedere College use Stephen's surname to tease him, but I can't see how this provides a parallel to Williamson's dissection of the workings of "satire".
    I suspect that Williamson, consciously or not, is still obsessing on his conviction that Jon Leibowitz Stewart is the one with an unlikely surname.

    his comedy career has been strictly by-the-numbers, from the early days on the New York City comedy-club scene to changing his name


    So "changing one's name" is an obligatory step in a comedy career? I did not know that.

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  79. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person9:45 PM

    It isn't, but for just the few seconds a reader might believe it, it allows Williamson to bring up the fact that Stewart is Jewish, without having to use the J word. A fact that I thought everyone already knew, but I suppose the rubes have to be reminded once in a while.

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  80. Bethany Spencer9:47 PM

    Also Jon Stewart is stupid and stinky and he farts a lot and his farts smell like eggs.

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  81. smut clyde9:47 PM

    majored in psychology, which must have been a disappointment to his father, a professor of physics


    At this point it becomes fair to ask Kevin Williamson's parents how they feel about their son's choice of careers.

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  82. Spaghetti Lee9:50 PM

    University of Texas? Isn't that just the front for Austin's NFL team?

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  83. Spaghetti Lee9:52 PM

    Actresses?

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  84. M. Krebs9:55 PM

    Well, white women are sort of responsible for white men. If they'd just stop fucking them, we might see white men begin to behave differently.

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  85. Spaghetti Lee9:58 PM

    Ancient editing techniques! What, did he Indiana Jones his way into a Sumerian temple and fight a minotaur to retrieve the scrolls that contained them? There are so many hilarious things about right-wing whiny-ass resentmenteers like Kevinson that most days I can't begin to rank them. But treating basic rhetorical and comedy skills like they're some kind of depraved black magic? Up pretty damn high on that list.

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  86. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person10:00 PM

    Mr. Stewart is among the lowest forms of intellectual parasite in the
    political universe, with no particular insights or interesting ideas of
    his own, reliant upon the very broadest and yadda-yadda, hooobafooba, ARF!ARF! Gleeble-fwap! Hommina-hommina, Faaaaaaart, etc.


    Mr Stewart is a cable-TV comedian whose politics are somewhat to the Left. While he's funny--and occasionally very funny--on the national political stage, he is almost meaningless. Yet this Williamson person goes full-metal Buckley (in his own mind) on his ass, like Bob Hope had just whipped out a CPUSA membership card. Dude. When you have writer's block, hammering randomly on the keyboard isn't the answer...

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  87. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person10:01 PM

    You left out double-dork buttrash...

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  88. Spaghetti Lee10:02 PM

    I don't even get the point of the Jewy-Jew-Jew dig, given that conservatives are always bitching about how everyone who doesn't praise the Israeli government is an Anti-Semite.

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  89. Spaghetti Lee10:04 PM

    Whenever Kevin D. Williamson is mentioned, I feel obligated to bring up the column he wrote in 2012 where he argued that Mitt Romney would be a better president because his manly sperms produced only sons while Obama, mincing little queen that he is, had daughters. Har! Seriously, that was his argument. The dumbest kind of caveman sexism combined with a bronze-age medicine man's understanding of biology. He has lost whatever privilege he ever had to call someone else stupid.

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  90. Spaghetti Lee10:10 PM

    On the topic of "Things that are stupid even if Kevin Williamson also thinks they're stupid (for the wrong reasons)" the takedown/smackdown/destroys/FUCKING EPIC CRUSHED IT BRO style of journalism is a fucking plague, and does make people stupider, because it reinforces the idea that politics is a football game with rooting interests instead of a set of decisions and plans that are supposed to make the world a better place. That's a common mindset these days, but those sorts of headlines jack directly into the apeman-with-big-stick part of the human subconscious and FUCKING DESTROY BRO the ability to think calmly or rationally about the topic. "Their guy just crushed your guy! Are you gonna take that!?"

    Also, they're disappointing. When I click on "Jon Stewart crushes Paul Ryan", I want to read about Stewart breaking into his house and knocking him out with a lead pipe or something. (Confidential to Kevin D. Williamson: This is not satirical! We liberals want to murder our political opponents! All of us! For serious!)

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  91. M. Krebs10:11 PM

    Strictly by the numbers: Some time doing stand-up followed by a show on MTV, Death to Smoochie, and then TDS. Exactly like Benny, Hope, Lewis, Sahl, Bruce, Cosby, Foxx, Dangerfield, Pryor, Klein, Carlin, Letterman, Belushi, Hicks, Murphy, Kinison, Seinfeld, and Louie CK.

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  92. smut clyde10:14 PM

    For some reason the character of Hitmouse comes to mind:
    Hitmouse, a wretched little person who is the chief reporter on the
    Badfort News and who lives in a Nissen hut outside Badfort, was sitting
    by Hateman. He was bristling, as usual, with skewers and writing in a
    hating book.
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nG4hliALqp8/TiCrsfaKnaI/AAAAAAAAE_g/Mm1CtQOPIqg/s1600/hitmouse.jpg

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  93. hellslittlestangel10:15 PM

    Jon Stewart only seems funny, while the hilarious Sarah Palin only seems utterly fucking obnoxious.

    And yet right-whingers are accused of failing to understand nuance. It's so unfair.

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  94. M. Krebs10:15 PM

    Eggs? More like cream cheese and lox.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Spaghetti Lee10:21 PM

    Also, the Klein comparison is interesting, because they're both Je--I mean, because they're both kind of milquetoasty from the perspective of the actual left, not the provides-bumper-for-right-wingers-to-bounce-off-of left in mainstream pop culture. And it's not like that's some horrible thing: real hardcore firebreathers don't make it to national mainstream media often because, well, they're not appealing.

    As y'all have pointed out, right-wingers at Williamson's own place of employment, including Williamson himself, do everything they're accusing us of (personal attacks, scorch-the-earth aggression, mindless rah-rah faux-journalism), but I think it may have finally clicked for me why right-wingers always whine about being persecuted and attacked by empty suits in the national press and evening news. Go on any mainstream right-wing site and you'll see really violent rhetoric really quickly. There's some of that on the left too, but you have to look harder, in my experience to actual communist or socialist affiliated sites. You don't usually get the really crazy stuff on DKos or FDL, the calls for armed revolt and expulsion of subversives and so forth.

    And of course the right knows this and of course they know on some primal subconscious level that it's embarrassing, so they cloud the waters, as always, by accusing the bland middle-of-the-road types of being hateful, vicious liberal attack dogs. It's fucking ludicrous, but there you are. And it wouldn't be so annoying as all the other evil shit they do if it weren't so damn whiny. Seriously, you assholes, nut up and deal with it. Stop whining about how the world is so cruel every time we don't bow down and kiss your feet.

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  96. smut clyde10:23 PM

    you might want to turn your wrath to Swift, Pope, Shakespeare, Donne, Voltaire, Orwell, Bierce and Twain, to name a few

    That whole business of having Mark Anthony repeat Brutus' professions to honorability, in a way that highlighted the contradictions with his other statements? An ancient editing technique to make clumsy or silly political statements sound worse than they are and then pantomiming outrage at the results.

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  97. M. Krebs10:24 PM

    Maybe they think that no one but the faithful ever scans the comments to their posts.

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  98. M. Krebs10:42 PM

    Ha! I thought for a minute that by "Klein" you were referring to Robert Klein.

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  99. Bitter Scribe10:49 PM

    I don't think Stewart destroyed Carlson. I think people just got bored with him. He's not funny, or incisive, or even interestingly vitriolic.

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  100. FMguru10:54 PM

    Stewart is a Sensible Centrist with a fetish for bipartisanship and a love for orthodoxy-breaking aisle-crossers of either party. Check out his address from the "Rally For Sanity and/or Fear" that he and Colbert put on. Pretty much purestrain "both parties need to come together and stop jerkin' around and get serious about fixing our problems", of the sort to bring a tear to Zombie David Broder's eye.



    Speaking of, I see there's yet another attempt at a right-wing Daily Show, this one titled "NewsBusted". It's every bit as cringeworthy and unfunny as the last eleven or twelve wingnut efforts to clone TDS, It'll meet the same fast as them, too, so enjoy (or "enjoy") it while you still can.

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  101. smut clyde10:58 PM

    These astronomical catalogs are too judgemental for me. Messier than what? How much tidiness is it fair to expect from a nebula?

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  102. smut clyde11:01 PM

    IIRC, that was later explained as Humour.

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  103. bulletsarepeopletoo11:20 PM

    Eh...Jon's just holding up the mirror and Williamson obviously won't admit seeing all the ugliness reflected back at himself, so this is his hammer trying to break the glass.

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  104. DocAmazing11:27 PM

    Wait--you mean the host of The Daily Show isn't heir to the throne of Scotland?

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  105. Williamson would have kinda-sorta had a point 50-60 years ago, when actors with "ethnic (nudge, wink)"-sounding names were strongly encouraged to get new ones. He still would've been an asshole though, since he seems to think they were changing their names just to be trendy or something rather than in response to prejudice.

    In any case, IIRC, Stewart has said that his name change was for personal reasons-- distancing himself from a family member, etc.

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  106. davdoodles11:28 PM

    Talk about being a day late and a dollar short. Some right wing bloviator has just now noticed that Jon Stewart says things that make right wingers get annoyed and whiney, and then he bloviates whinily about it.

    Next, he'll be breaking new journaistic ground by taking Janeane Garofalo to task over the views she's been expressing since 1993 or something.
    .

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  107. smut clyde11:30 PM

    An innovative new style of performance art -- Stand-up Paint-by-Numbers.

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  108. DocAmazing11:33 PM

    Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld, which had more laughs per hour than a funeral procession.

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  109. smut clyde11:39 PM

    I understand that Greg Gutfeld subsequently had a road-to-Damascus epiphany when he realised that Mockery and Coolness and Laughing and Snark are all tools of the Left, or at least of hipsters. But not because of his own failure in that genre.

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  110. DocAmazing11:41 PM

    Lysistrategy!

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  111. DocAmazing11:45 PM

    Resentmenteer roll call! Count off now!

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  112. Spaghetti Lee11:52 PM

    I remember some other Williamson column that got ripped up here where he accused Sarah Silverman of 'cultural appropriation' on the basis of non-stereotypically-Jewish background. Now he's using 'frat boy' as an ipso facto insult. I just find it...odd, is all, because those are both arguments I associate with Tumblr or Gawker than with NRO. Could they be trying to mold him into the new model hip young conservative, who's down with all this social justice shit and will explain to you, paradoxically, that liberals don't really support it and that people who do should be Republicans?

    I'm just asking, because that would be the most hilarious thing ever.

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  113. JennOfArk12:21 AM

    Outreach to women and minorities IS how the GOP does comedy.

    ReplyDelete
  114. JennOfArk12:22 AM

    Oops, should have read the thread first. GMTA and all that.

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  115. AGoodQuestion12:25 AM

    Some day the swelling will go down on Williamson's hemorrhoids and he'll never write another word.

    ReplyDelete
  116. JennOfArk12:28 AM

    Thread winner.

    ReplyDelete
  117. AGoodQuestion12:29 AM

    Thank you, but I've already read enough of the thread to know it's not.

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  118. AGoodQuestion12:30 AM

    You mean the car had its top down or...


    Oh. Oh my.

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  119. AGoodQuestion12:34 AM

    When I saw that Williamson was using "frat boy" as a slam against Jon Stewart, I did a quick Google search to see if he had been similarly scathing in regards to Delta Kappa Epsilon alum George W Bush. What I found will shock and amaze you.

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  120. Yeah … like El Rushbutt does when called on his gargantuan auto-intercourses.

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  121. AGoodQuestion12:45 AM

    Yeah, it turned out to be so bad that it even depressed Roger L Simon. Which actually may be the best thing about it.

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  122. ken_lov1:03 AM

    Well give the man credit - no parasite he! Williamson invariably writes columns full of "particular insights or interesting ideas of his own". Like the one that went into tedious interminable detail about the way a woman annoyed him by texting in the theatre, so he grabbed her cell phone and threw it away. Because she was demonstrating the rudeness that liberals have inflicted on the contemporary American theatre-going public!


    No, Kevin is always prepared to grapple with the Big Issues of Our Time.

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  123. Speaking of people who don't get it, do you ever think there'll be a time when pundits will stop talking about Jon Stewart as though TDS were a one-man production? Seriously, guys, he's not writing all these bits by himself…

    Oh, no, not at all. He has a dedicated staff of conservatives that just go on writing his stuff for him. Like this guy (seriously, folks, check it out). Amasingly enough, they don't even demand to be paid. Some capitalists they turned out to be….

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  124. Daniel Björkman1:19 AM

    I get the impression that conservatives aren't quite sure what to make of Jews these days. Traditionally, they have hated them for being peaceful, and of course anyone who is being peaceful must be up to no good, especially if they look smart and rich.


    But then Israel happens, and suddenly Jews are going around being warlike, and of course anyone who is warlike is an honest, red-blooded comrade in arms for conservatives.


    So now they are torn between knee-jerk loathing and knee-jerk support, especially since there's still plenty of those shifty-looking peaceful Jews left causing confusion about whether Jews are treacherous peacemakers or noble warmongers. (it's almost like they aren't one homogenous mass or something...)

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  125. Daniel Björkman1:23 AM

    Yes, it's amazing how people on both side of the aisle can be destroyed so often and still go on without any adverse effects, isn't it...

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  126. Happenstance1:35 AM

    Conservatoids are still in a confused transition between Jews as another The Others We Can't Trust; before there was a Liberal Media, media was "controlled by the Jews" and every Jew IN media was proof of the conspiracy.


    On the other hand Israel keeps the shit stirred in the Middle East, and if there's anything Conservatoids hate more than The Jews, it's The Browns*, so they feel compelled to play "The enemy of my enemy is my friend until my enemy is dead and this guy turns his back on me and then I'll knife him and take all his stuff."



    *and The Poors, and The Gayzos, and whomever they feel is standing between them and complete domination of everything ever

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  127. smut clyde3:30 AM

    Mark_BZeds had my full attention there.

    ReplyDelete
  128. MikeJ6:09 AM

    I've heard that Ezra also has trouble stopping his leg.

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  129. Chocolate Covered Cotton6:30 AM

    Stewart also destroyed Jim Cramer in a way that should have left him penniless and reviled, living out his days washing windshields at intersections with a paper bag over his head, yet the guy is still on tv doing the same old pump-and-dump fraud.

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  130. William Miller7:23 AM

    In UT's defense, their law school did refuse GWB's application. "Damn. I guess I'll just have to go to Harvard then."

    ReplyDelete
  131. William Miller7:25 AM

    Do you think those are real orgasms?

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  132. William Miller7:46 AM

    You didn't know? From Red Skelton, Phyllis Diller and Jack Carter to Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, Lily Tomlin and Robin Williams, to Chris Rock, Paula Poundstone and Stewart and Colbert--they're all the same. What a drag.

    ReplyDelete
  133. The thing is that regular right wing news is already as hyperbolic, meanspirited, parodic, and fantastical as a viewer can manage. What is left over, stylistically, for the fake news asters when their shtick is just daily bread to a "real" megyn kelley or etc.. ?

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  134. You cant save people who prefer to drown in their own stupidity.

    ReplyDelete
  135. One weird truck to knowing when a conservative is lying! Google.

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  136. Its mudwrestling for them. Not an embrace.

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  137. I also think that coming up from clubs in comedy is rather more difficult than mr. Williams pretends. Many are called. Few are chosen.

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  138. And he would have done it, too, if he only lived in florida.

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  139. Jon Stewart plays clips of political figures making fools of themselves, and often follows up with an expression of stunned disbelief.


    He lets the clips speak for themselves. The people in those clips who are saying foolish things have no one to blame but themselves. How is it Stewart's fault?

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  140. Halloween_Jack9:33 AM

    If Cramer promoting Lenny Dykstra, of all the fucking people, as a financial genius didn't end his finance pundit career, absolutely nothing will.

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  141. Halloween_Jack9:38 AM

    It's a very old, very WASPy sort of thing to do: accuse someone of being a Jew trying to pass as gentile. Think The Great Gatsby, for example. Of course, now that that's Simply Not Done anymore, they can still flip it around, so the subtle accusation here is that Stewart is a self-loathing Jew, which fits in neatly with the line of thinking that any Jew who isn't a hard-core Zionist must really hate their heritage.

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  142. BigHank539:44 AM

    If that's what Williamson can come up with when he's trying to be funny, it's no wonder that Stewart sends him into a monumental sulk.

    ReplyDelete
  143. mrstilton9:51 AM

    Sometimes a milky load is just milk.

    ReplyDelete
  144. Did Williamson follow up his characterization of Jon Stewart with a call for a "conservative Jon Stewart" to step up?

    ReplyDelete
  145. He changed his name so nobody would confuse him with the patron saint of engineers.

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  146. XeckyGilchrist10:25 AM

    that was later explained as Humour


    Which one of the four? Choleric, I'm guessing.

    ReplyDelete
  147. XeckyGilchrist10:27 AM

    Surveyor's marks!!!1

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  148. This wheeze is so old its a constituent part of several Dorothy Sayer's novels. The good Jew is the one who maintains his obvious Jewishness while marrying out and, posthumously, marrying his daughter to a non jew. The more classic type is the moneylender who changes his name to something Scottish.

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  149. Aristophanes was well known for scraping, cutting, and pasting his scrolls. Its how he achieved his effects.

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  150. Not to mention bathos and litotes.

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  151. Is this the right moment to pull out that LGM favorite "Shut up" he explained."?

    ReplyDelete
  152. XeckyGilchrist10:37 AM

    This is why they're hoping Twitter, or one of the contard knockoffs, will replace Google.

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  153. dstatton10:41 AM

    Williamson is smart! He read Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man!


    I always thought of frat boys as very conservative, but maybe that's just because I went to LSU.

    ReplyDelete
  154. Shakezula10:47 AM

    Somebody hasn't noticed that M. Colbert is taking the piss out of them at the rate of 2,000 gallons/minute.

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  155. Magatha11:10 AM

    Do you think they remain confused by Stephen Stephen Stephen? Dude is amazing. I like Jon Stewart a lot, despite his sometimes wimpy interviews, but Colbert: his show is like the Superb Owl of late night.

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  156. That's pretty nuanced, alright.

    I stopped and thought about it for a minute, and I have to admit that I can't see the difference between seeming funny or obnoxious, and actually being either of those things.

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  157. Mooser12:42 PM

    The more they decry Stewart's abilities, the more it shows just how easy it is to take the piss out of them.
    I agree with Mr Williamson; even a man of modest abilities can see how screwed-up they are.

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  158. Mooser12:45 PM

    Are we really in competition here? Or all contributing for the common good, each in the way he or she does best?

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  159. Mooser12:50 PM

    "I can tell you that when an author has a character comment on the
    unlikelihood of something in their fiction, the effect is to make you
    more aware of the contrived nature of fiction."



    Like when the Camel says: "This is the screwiest picture I've ever been in!" at the end of "Road to Morocco?"

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  160. Mooser12:51 PM

    Actually, few are called, and many call, begging for a shot at the mike.

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  161. Mooser12:54 PM

    I'm sure Williamson believes Stewart (nee Leibowitz) is heir to the throne of Palestine, tho.

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  162. Mooser12:57 PM

    "Though Terry McCauliffe won the overall women's vote in Virginia, he actually lost among white women."


    There's nothing like intellectual consistency, Satch! Good to see that your view of the War between the Sexes is analogous to your analysis of the War of Northern Aggression.

    ReplyDelete
  163. Daniel Björkman1:07 PM

    not that I'm some prohibitionist, I just don't like the stuff. Seems like I'm the only one.


    You're not. :)

    ReplyDelete
  164. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.1:15 PM

    If you mean that he may as well have performed in gay porn and that I should have used the gender-neutral perfomers instead then you're right and I admit that was awfully heteronormative (as the kids say these days) of me.
    If you're bemoaning that I accused the participants of this genre of being less than authentic than I must say to you that I'm sorry but it's mostly not real sex.

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  165. Editing stone tablets has got to be a lot more work.

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  166. I agree with that.


    It's like the composer Bela Bartok once said: "Competitions are for horses, not artists."

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  167. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person2:49 PM

    I think Stewart's "wimpy" interviews result from the fact that they can't write jokes beforehand to fit the interview, not knowing what the subject will actually say, combined with Stewart's view of himself as a comedian (funny, that) rather than an in-your-face destroyer-of-the-enemy. IANAMR, but it's possible he doesn't see his enemy as the person, so much as the stupid things the person says on Fox, CNN, MSLSD, wherever. Also might just not have the stomach to disembowel a guest right there on stage. A character flaw in a journalist, but not in a comedian, I'd say.

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  168. satch3:09 PM

    It's not the line, it's the delivery, which has to be in an oppressed, whiny, "why are you picking on me" sort of voice.

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  169. satch3:15 PM

    Hmm... what do you suppose HIS name was before he changed it...

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  170. William Miller3:18 PM

    Shyloch?

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  171. satch3:22 PM

    Huh? I was just stating a fact, and thinking that I didn't understand white women as well as I thought I did.

    ReplyDelete
  172. I'm not seeing William Miller's Shyloch post but I wish to upvote it. So consider this my thumbs up.

    ReplyDelete
  173. FlipYrWhig3:30 PM

    Second oldest university in the nation, bitches.

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  174. FlipYrWhig3:32 PM

    Nah, he's not a lefty. He's way too susceptible to arguments about waste, fraud, and abuse, about Social Security bankruptcy, and so forth. He's more like a compassionate libertarian, if there could be such a thing.

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  175. Satch is right about the numbers. But the explanation isn' t so much that white women are dumber than non white women, or than men, its that voters tend to be older and whiter than non voters, and older white women tend to be more conservative than younger and/or non white women. So the kinds of women who get out to vote are already voting Republican, regardless of policy issues.

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  176. That is a very good point, MMTAP. Also I agree that it can be very hard to be agressive and awful to a person who has been kind enough to come on your show. Bill O'Reilly can do it, and does, but you can even see that he has to psyche himself up to do it and that its an ugly, ugly, thing. And its not easy to climb down again if you make a mistake and overshoot. Even in the famous "destruction of carlson" Stewart remained calm and courteous. And if anyone deserved the full force of brutal, comedic, sarcasm, it was him. Its just not Stewart's style. Colbert can do it, as much as he does, because he's managing to pretend to be on the person's side rather than on th eopposing team and he lets his agreement do the work for him.

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  177. bekabot4:18 PM

    "At National Review, Kevin D. Williamson wonders why people watch Jon Stewart when they could be reading The Road to Serfdom"

    Yeah, 'cuz:

    1. Jon Stewart = funny, but
    2. Friedrich Hayek = even funnier.

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  178. smut clyde4:20 PM

    For a journalist to invite on guests only to expose them to the full force of ridicule and scorn, sounds career-limiting. Eventually you run out of guests.

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  179. I like that term "resentmenteers."

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  180. He certainly doesn't work in any kind of merit-based system.

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  181. TomParmenter11:36 PM

    I love Wonkette, but those comments . . . suck.

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  182. TomParmenter11:39 PM

    All Jewish?

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  183. AGoodQuestion11:56 PM

    Jackie Mason is a walking NRO column and he was born Yacov Moshe Maza. Changing your name is obviously another one of those things that's evil when liberals do it.

    ReplyDelete
  184. freq flag12:09 AM

    Yeah, no dumbing down or running out of ideas from that pie-hole.

    "Green Eggs & Ham" and a Big Gulp soda = suck it, libs!

    ReplyDelete
  185. realinterrobang7:54 AM

    Given that he and I share a last name, and my longstanding fascination with Judaism, I hope someday to merit this comment.

    There is an Israeli comedian named Yisrael Campbell. It happens. (He's a convert.) :)

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  186. realinterrobang8:04 AM

    Ah yes, Donald, a good Ashkenazi name...if by Ashkenazi you mean "Scottish." :)

    ReplyDelete
  187. newnumbertwo11:37 AM

    Given the quality of weed in Columbia (at least when I went to school there in the early 90s), I'm gonna guess cough syrup must've been your thing.

    ReplyDelete
  188. AngryWarthogBreath1:42 PM

    Unless it was discovered by a mom and bloggers hate her, I have no interest.

    ReplyDelete
  189. Tehanu1:58 AM

    More like projectile vomiting.

    ReplyDelete
  190. apocalipstick10:15 AM

    I don't understand why people often wish that Stewart would tear "Jonah Goldberg/Andrew Napolitano/Bill O'Reilly/etc." a new one. His polity and seemingly benign questions that often follow the guest's lead and try to follow their logical thread have punctured more wingnuts than any amount of screaming and yelling. It's not Stewart's fault that many of his guests are incapable of shame, self-awareness, or reflection.

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  191. apocalipstick10:17 AM

    Stewart is probably more like the average American than we would like to think. I'm surrounded by people who believe things need to change, they just don't want to change things, iykwim. They are very susceptible to "common sense" arguments about Social Security and the like.

    ReplyDelete
  192. apocalipstick10:19 AM

    Israeli's are not Jews. I guess.

    ReplyDelete