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8 Ways Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert Show More Leadership Than Our "Leaders"

 
Pink Nymph
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08/25/2011 10:44 AM
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8 Ways Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert Show More Leadership Than Our "Leaders"
During Jon Stewart's and Stephen Colbert's tenure spoofing news and politics from Comedy Central (for 12 and six years, respectively), they’ve evolved into two of the most truthful, if sarcastic, journalists on television. But in recent months, they’ve graduated from their media posts and started doing what we want our lawmakers to do—speak honestly, directly and straightforwardly about the most important issues of the day without any vested (or monetary) interests.

It might sound absurd to think it, but when Congressional sessions sometimes feel more like a joke than Comedy Central programming (c.f. debt ceiling debate), the world’s gone just backward enough for it to work. Besides, as vaunted journo Keith Olbermann pointed out in his pre-Current Rolling Stone interview, “Comedians are the only ones paid to tell the truth in public discourse. Everybody else—politicians, news broadcasters, religious figures—we're all paid to be oracles, when in fact we are like a good public-relations man. A good public-relations man keeps you away from the public, and if you have relations, he keeps that hidden.”


1. Colbert’s Super-PAC
The tagline is as ridiculous as it is genius: “Making a better tomorrow, tomorrow,” riffing on Colbert’s conservative spoof that implies there’s a whole lot of talking, but barely any doing. But where Colbert's show and persona began as a sarcastic send-up of right-wing journalists—O’Reilly, specifically—the creation of his Super-PAC has solidified his position as a parody of politicians.

2. Jon Stewart on Citizens United
In January 2010, we knew the Citizens United ruling—which opened the floodgates to unaccountable political funding by corporations—was going to alter the American political landscape in a bad way. We didn’t quite know exactly how bad. (See: November 2010 elections, not to mention subsequent lobbyist intimidation of members of Congress.) Stewart, though, ever prescient, knew what was to come, and also broke down corporate personhood:

“The problem with corporations,” he said, “is that their sole motivation is profit. They don’t have souls, they’re not people, they—” [pregnant pause]...

3. Stephen Colbert Testifies to House Sub-Committee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security
Last autumn, Colbert traveled to Washington to sit in on a House Sub-Committee hearing and testify on behalf of the United Farm Workers of America’s “Take Our Jobs” Campaign, which he worked for in upstate New York picking beans and packing corn. While some attendees seated behind him can be seen snickering, and while he couldn’t resist dropping in his signature sarcasm, after a few jokes, his testimony was serious and moving:



4. Jon Stewart’s Commentary on the GOP’s Terrible Deficit Plan
Or, in other, better words: “Ryan’s Private Savings.” In April, at the cusp of the budget talks long before they devolved into gridlock, Stewart skewered the plan, which as we know now would have cut $750 billion from Medicaid and completely killed Medicare. Stewart was one of the first to point out that it would put the country on the path to the privatization of health care, eradicating the gains made with Obama’s plan and turning it into a way to pad his cronies with the dollars of the ailing public.

5. Colbert on John Kyl on Planned Parenthood
In April, Senator John Kyl argued for slashing Planned Parenthood from the budget on anti-choice grounds, stating on the Senate floor that 90 percent of its services were abortions. (The actual number is around 3 percent.) Later, he defended himself by saying the statement was “not intended to be factual,” meaning... he willfully lied. One can only imagine Colbert’s retort if he’d been in the Senate at that point, but his show was a worthy forum: “You can’t call him out for being wrong, when he never intended to be right!” exclaimed Colbert. “That is an amazingly liberating defense!”

6. Jon Stewart on John Kyl on Planned Parenthood
Not to be outdone, Stewart—whose coverage of abortion has been exceptional thanks to correspondent Kristin Schaal—mostly laid out the facts, while getting in a few toilet-humor jabs about percentages of Kyl’s time in office.

7. Jon Stewart vs. Bill O’Reilly

In May, the rapper Common was invited to the White House for Michelle Obama’s poetry night. To most people in the know, this was a non-issue, but right-wingers aren’t exactly known as the biggest hip-hop fans, so they immediately freaked out. Common is considered more of a poet than 90 percent (heh) of rappers, and their outrage was quite absurd. Stewart pointed this out deftly on his show... and then was invited to discuss the fracas with Bill O’Reilly:


8. Jon Stewart on Ron Paul
"He's the one guy in the field, agree with him or don't agree with him, who doesn't go out of his way to regurgitate talking points or change what he believes to fit the audience he's in front of," said Stewart.

Full Article + Non-Youtube Videos: [link to www.alternet.org]
Pink Nymph (OP)

User ID: 1454877
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08/25/2011 10:44 AM
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Re: 8 Ways Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert Show More Leadership Than Our "Leaders"
www72
SLaPPiE

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08/25/2011 11:04 AM
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Re: 8 Ways Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert Show More Leadership Than Our "Leaders"
I would be talking shit if I said I had not pondered a comedy central P and VP. In addition to those 8 ways, the fact that they expose the truth behind the lies of our leaders makes them much more upstanding.

I often wonder how often these guys receive unwelcome guidance from the gubbment caught. Assanage could not get away with the shit, but these two seem untouchable. Surely an illusion, but entertaining none the less.

I would like to think these two are not under much external political influence, but the comedy channel itself is ultimately responsible for exposing these views. Bravo Comedy Channel.
clappa
urkidding

User ID: 1498161
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08/25/2011 12:28 PM
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Re: 8 Ways Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert Show More Leadership Than Our "Leaders"
bump for any truthiness
can't never could

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