A Day of Mourning for the Left

 

Obama abandoned our embassy in Yemen today, three honors students were murdered in North Carolina, and Boko Haram has kidnapped 270 more girls in Nigeria. All terrible stories, but the American press is mourning another tragedy that hits much closer to home.

Jon Stewart is leaving The Daily Show.

On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow commiserated with Lawrence O’Donnell that Stewart does news “better than us.” A Washington Post columnist asked “where will young liberals get their news now?” Time magazine called it “a sad day for anyone who cares about news — fake or otherwise.”

Our media elites on Twitter were morose:

The online press was even more devastated, perhaps because a Stewart clip usually serves as at least one of their posts each day. Mashable headlines included “How Jon Stewart lifted America out of the gutter” and “The 10 stages of grieving Jon Stewart.” Huffington Post insisted that “Jon Stewart leaving his fake news desk is a loss to real news” while Deadspin claimed that “Jon Stewart should run for office.” From now on these sites will need to get all their “Watch Jon Stewart DISEMBOWEL the GOP on Top Marginal Rates!” stories from John Oliver instead.

It’s odd to see the hold that this aging comic with drooping ratings has on the leftist media/political complex’s self-identity. During the dark days of Dubya, Stewart comforted out-of-sync liberals as a nation supported the knuckle-dragging Texas cowboy. As the GOP fell from grace, Stewart gleefully spiked the football on Team Bush to the cheers of loyal Democrats. He preened as Obama took power, mocking all detractors as obvious racists and dunces. Even when the progressives took an obvious misstep, he would spin the error in a flattering way to point out the real enemies of progress.

Stewart’s formula was simple: he would play an out-of-context clip, stare at the camera, widen his eyes, tap his pencil and smirk. The audience would howl their approval, with more hooting and clapping than laughter. To quote an attendee at a progressive comedy clinic, “what makes Jon Stewart brilliant is that he only has to say the first line and the audience starts laughing because they already know the punchline.”

At its heart, Stewart’s schtick wasn’t comedy to progressives but reassurance. They’re dumb; you’re smart. They’re evil; you’re good. They’re square; you’re hip, you’re now, and you’re in on the joke. To be fair, liberals have needed Stewart more as the Obama era predictably lost its luster. In his first couple of years, Democrats could plausibly claim that their President’s actions would lead to positive outcomes. But now, you can tell that even Obama’s most ardent fans have trouble believing that.

The world is in flames, the economy lackluster, corruption epidemic and Obamacare a disaster. Why think deeply about these failures when you can just listen to Jon Stewart tell you that you’re better than those mean people who predicted the disaster all along?

There are 26 comments.

  1. James Gawron Thatcher

    Jon,

    Hot off the wire: Court Jester to Nero has retired.

    Somewhere lefties are laughing. Somewhere progressives shout.

    But there is no joy in Obamaville mighty Stewart has opted out.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #1
    • February 11, 2015, at 4:36 PM PDT
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  2. MikeHs Inactive

    yawn….

    • #2
    • February 11, 2015, at 4:37 PM PDT
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  3. MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chri… Coolidge

    Jon’s leaving to volunteer to join the armed forces to fight ISIS as his President is finally now agreeing he has to do, put boots on the ground?

    Kudos to the American hero, Jon Stewart.

    • #3
    • February 11, 2015, at 4:47 PM PDT
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  4. AmishDude Member

    Didn’t Jonah Goldberg…well…destroy Stewart so badly, the segment was edited beyond all recognition?

    • #4
    • February 11, 2015, at 5:18 PM PDT
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  5. Doug Watt Member

    I’ve never seen Mr. Stewart’s show, some people are best left unseen and unheard.

    • #5
    • February 11, 2015, at 5:23 PM PDT
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  6. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Chief
    Jon Gabriel, Ed. Post author

    AmishDude:Didn’t Jonah Goldberg…well…destroy Stewart so badly, the segment was edited beyond all recognition?

    He certainly did. After Jonah and NRO repeatedly shamed him, Stewart posted the full interview online, if memory serves.

    • #6
    • February 11, 2015, at 5:23 PM PDT
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  7. David Williamson Inactive

    I hope he doesn’t let the screen door hit him on the way out.

    • #7
    • February 11, 2015, at 5:29 PM PDT
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  8. Profile Photo Member

    The three “stories” you mentioned aren’t really stories at all:

    -Yemen is an Obama success story.

    – The honors students weren’t shot by Republicans.

    -We already have a hashtag for the Boko Haram kidnappings. #bringbackourgirls Problem solved.

    • #8
    • February 11, 2015, at 5:36 PM PDT
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  9. Profile Photo Member

    The American media are in love with themselves.

    This past Sunday, I was on the treadmill and CNN was going on about the Williams guy who I don;t know as Canada does not get that channel. Who cares?

    How about the media giving some stories about business people doing well and how they did it?

    • #9
    • February 11, 2015, at 6:03 PM PDT
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  10. Paul Erickson Member

    To quote an attendee at a progressive comedy clinic, “what makes Jon Stewart brilliant is that he only has to say the first line and the audience starts laughing because they already know the punchline.”

    Isn’t the fact that there is such a thing as a “progressive comedy clinic” testament to utter cultural bankruptcy?

    • #10
    • February 11, 2015, at 7:12 PM PDT
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  11. Hammer, The Member

    I remember having a discussion with a guy (wasn’t sure of his politics at the time) and I made a casual remark about Stewart being a knee-jerk liberal. The guy took offense, and said he thought Stewart was the most unbiased news source out there. He was dead serious. Needless to say, that friendship didn’t last, and has given rise to a few Ricochet posts…

    • #11
    • February 11, 2015, at 7:12 PM PDT
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  12. Fake John/Jane Galt Thatcher

    Jon Stewart is leaving, were will my liberial friends go to get misinformation to feel smart saying stupid stuff. It is amazing how much confidence he gave the uneducated. I dispare at what will take his place.

    • #12
    • February 11, 2015, at 7:13 PM PDT
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  13. Concretevol Thatcher

    Man the media sure loves covering themselves. Ferguson was all about the brave reporters daring to stand near teargas. The New Republic meltdown caused a general fit of indignation among our intellectual “betters” in the media. Brian Williams was celebrated for his (partially made up) bravery following actual brave people into battle. Now a comedian is being celebrated as a deep thinking satirist. My reaction to all of these events has been the same….who gives a (C.O.C. violation)

    • #13
    • February 11, 2015, at 7:58 PM PDT
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  14. EJHill Podcaster

    Get back to me when Jon Stewart does half for the nation as Jimmy Stewart did.

    • #14
    • February 11, 2015, at 8:13 PM PDT
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  15. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    This Yemen surrender gets worse the more you look at it.

    • #15
    • February 11, 2015, at 8:14 PM PDT
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  16. Concretevol Thatcher

    Ball Diamond Ball:This Yemen surrender gets worse the more you look at it.

    What is this they are saying about our Marines disabling or surrendering their weapons??

    • #16
    • February 11, 2015, at 8:18 PM PDT
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  17. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    Yup. Hard to find reporting on this. I guess our media catamites are busy.

    • #17
    • February 11, 2015, at 8:25 PM PDT
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  18. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Jon Stewart should go to Yemen to teach the Islamists how to mug for the cameras.

    • #18
    • February 11, 2015, at 8:29 PM PDT
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  19. Trinity Waters Inactive

    Comedy Central…OK?

    • #19
    • February 11, 2015, at 8:55 PM PDT
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  20. KC Mulville Inactive

    Concretevol:Man the media sure loves covering themselves.

    The Brian Williams orgy is all about an industry talking about itself. This Jon Stewart thing is all about how the entertainment and news industry has been, if it wasn’t always, the same industry. Instead of that industry being an observer on the rest of the world, the observers have become the observed.

    Somewhere, Marshall McLuhan is nodding. “What did I tell you?”

    • #20
    • February 11, 2015, at 9:10 PM PDT
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  21. ctlaw Coolidge

    The left has a deep enough bench to replace both Colbert and Stewart.

    Thus, the one-two Comedy Central leftist punch will be ready for the 2016 election.

    • #21
    • February 12, 2015, at 4:30 AM PDT
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  22. ctlaw Coolidge

    Ball Diamond Ball:This Yemen surrender gets worse the more you look at it.

    Obama manages to lose countries that were not at risk of being lost. “Losing” may not be the best term given that much of this has to be intentional.

    He lost Libya after Bush left Obama with a tamed Qaddafi and opportunities to improve things with Qaddafi’s offspring. Whereas Hussein’s brats wanted to run torture chambers, Qaddafi’s were more Mediterranean playboys.

    He lost Egypt to the Brotherhood, only to have Sisi save it.

    He lost opportunity in Syria. We’ll end up either with an ISIS state or deeper Iranian control.

    He lost Yemen in a creative new way. While he was playing tic-tac-toe with al Quaeda, Iran brought in the chess team.

    • #22
    • February 12, 2015, at 4:47 AM PDT
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  23. Marion Evans Inactive

    Maybe we need a conservative JS. Let’s be honest. We’re not that funny. Maybe it’s a good thing.

    Speaking of JS though, I have always been fascinated by name changes. In this case Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz. More here http://www.famousnamechanges.net

    One of my favorites is Albert Brooks of birth name Albert Einstein. Not sure I would change my name if my birth name was Albert Einstein.

    • #23
    • February 12, 2015, at 7:04 AM PDT
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  24. captainpower Inactive

    Marion Evans:Maybe we need a conservative JS. Let’s be honest. We’re not that funny.

    I’m not convinced.

    So much humor is apolitical.

    The problem is that for the Left, politics infects everything.

    If you want to rise to any degree of success, you have to pass the political litmus test or be ousted.

    The only political humor that is allowed is left wing humor, so if a humorist is conservative he has to keep politics out of it or go for a niche audience, or lie and do left wing humor.

    • #24
    • February 12, 2015, at 11:56 AM PDT
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  25. Solon Inactive

    Marion Evans:Maybe we need a conservative JS. Let’s be honest. We’re not that funny. Maybe it’s a good thing.

    I think Jonah Goldberg, James Lileks, Troy Senik, and lots of the people on Ricochet are very funny. Of course, guys like Bill O’Reilly and Dennis Prager (sorry) are so un-funny that it’s probably true that overall, humor isn’t exactly a strength of the right.

    Thanks for FamousNameChanges.net.

    • #25
    • February 12, 2015, at 12:40 PM PDT
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  26. SPare Member

    One of my favourite lines on a Ricochet podcast was John Yoo’s recollection of his encounter on the Daily Show. He, like Jonah Goldberg had his way with Stewart.

    His description was something to the effect of

    “As a university professor, I have an abundance of experience of dealing with very smart people who haven’t done their homework, and I simply applied that experience to the discussion with Stewart”

    Brilliant for its simplicity

    • #26
    • February 13, 2015, at 4:11 AM PDT
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