Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Can't Sleep

let's see what ole ladybughead has been up to. (We need a non-misogynstic nickname for Megan, don't we?) Or rather, let's just do the Cramer/Stewart post.

Cramer v. Stewart:

the Jon Stewart video that touched this off was clearly misleading. I do watch these channels, not for the interview but for the tickers and the breaking financial news. And it was obvious from the clips that half of them were anchors and reporters simply quoting someone else--it's the equivalent of dinging someone for using a racial epithet in the context of discussing racial epithets.
Yes, when an anchor sums up what was just said by saying, "Are black people really made of mud and not human flesh? Stay tuned", there's no racism there, nope. It's not a reporter's job to evaluate the truth value of their statements before uttering them, commie.
Ultimately, I find Stewart disturbing because in some sense he's doing exactly what Cramer is--making powerful statements, and then when he gets called on him, retreating into the claim that well, you can't really expect him to act as if he were being taken seriously.
Oh, chreebus. Your inability to comprehend this is directly related to your inability to comprehend humor, Megan. Jon Stewart is a guy who gets paid to be a jackass. I love the guy, but he'd be the first to tell you that it's not on him to produce nuanced, considered thought. That he occasionally does, and that it strikes so deeply when he does, says more about the vapidity of our national discourse than it does about him. It's not on him to do better, it's on the people who are being paid to be taken seriously.
Jim Cramer, whose stockpicking acumen seems slightly worse than your average monkey with a dartboard, frequently issues recommendations that people act on, then brushes off the failures with a shrug.
Jon Stewart also shapes peoples' decisions.
What the fucking fuckmonkey? CNBC is a channel for business news. Comedy Central was once the home of The Man Show. There's often a cartoon leading into The Daily Show. Sure, Stewart's intelligence and humor have an impact on how people view the topics his show touches, but does Megan think everyone is as dim as she is?
Video is a medium with powerful claims to reality--people tend to think that if they saw it, it must be true. This makes it uniquely good at manipulating its audience with skillful editing. I'm very sympathetic to Stewart's deep critique of financial shows, but I don't think the way to go about it was to string together a bunch of very misleading clips. Nor to imply that Santelli, who has been vocally against all bailouts from the beginning, was merely frothing on the forclosure program because ordinary taxpayers were finally getting a taste of federal largesse. But Stewart carefully claims he's just an entertainer, so he has no obligation to hew to journalistic standards on things like quoting out of context.
Megan? You've been paraphrasing him off the top of your head this whole post. Also, JON STEWART IS NOT A JOURNALIST. HE IS A PROFESSIONAL COMEDIAN.
Financial journalism isn't, as Stewart argues to Cramer over and over, entertainment. So how come Stewart acted as if it was?
Because, you moron, they're less interested in truth-telling than maintaining ratings. Stewart wasn't acting that way, CNBC is.
Megan and Tucker Carlson both missed the same point; when a comedian is a better journalist than you more or less by accident, ur doin it wrong.


D Johnston said...

These sorts of attacks have been coming out of the media for quite a while now. Part of it is hatred towards a show that routinely makes them look like morons. However, I think that most of this crap is due to a strange dynamic shift regarding TDS. It used to be a simple comedy show that was raised to excellence by its occasional flashes of insight and wisdom. As time went on, people (or at least those in the media) began associating TDS more and more with the heavier stuff - media criticism, political focuses, etc. At some point, they all lost track of the fact that the show has always been about humor. Therefore, we now have people judging a particularly insightful comedy show by the standards of a serious political commentary program. I'm not sure why anyone expects to find a show like that on Comedy Central when it doesn't even exist on the dedicated news networks, but there you go.

Malaclypse said...

Actually, I think she's right on the money here.

Susan of Texas said...

Poor things, abject, public failure and the replacement of Republican with "Toxic Loser" is having an affect on them.

But most of all they're broke, and every time the rage builds they can't direct it at blacks or women. It's their own bosses, their own leader, their own churches that are fucking them, and the impotent rage is building. Which is not funny at all.

clever pseudonym said...

"Jon Stewart also shapes peoples' decisions."

Wha...? Jon Stewart may have a small influence over people's opinions ("People" is a plural word, Megan. The apostraphe goes after the "e," you English major, you), but I can't think of a single decision I've ever made that was shaped by "The Daily Show" or anyone on it.

spencer said...

I have to admit, sometimes it's nice not to have to actually give Megan a click-through in order to read the drool-soaked rantings of her commentariat (followed by pointing and laughing, of course).

spencer said...

"People" is a plural word, Megan. The apostraphe goes after the "e," you English major, you

Well, maybe she was using "people" to mean ethnicity or nationality: the Kazakh People, the Peruvian People, etc. Which would mean that she thinks Stewart has an even larger influence than most credit him with.

bulbul said...

fyi, I bought a couple of books just because I saw the author on The Daily Show. And good choices they were, too.
Seriously, this "Stewart is just as bad as Cramer" just baffles me. I know it's probably an extension of the good ol' 'balance' concept, but still. It takes a whole lot of st00pid to believe that Bush is as bad as Clinton, but I kinda get it - they're both Presidents, lived in the White House, flew Air Force One... Stoopid, but there's some logic in it. But to actually believe that a guy talking to a camera on a financial news network has the same role, responsibility and influence as a guy talking to a camera on a channel the name of which includes the word 'comedy'... But that's out Megan.

Dhalgren said...

She posting more and more this week. She's probably actually in her office. The latest on the Grassley comment that AIG executives commit suicide:

What you suggest in three minutes of "gee aren't I clever" typing means a lot of other people paying with a lifetme of grief.

Suddenly, counselor McArdle cares about 'people.'

bulbul said...

OK, I think I get it now. Megan simply doesn't understand the concept of "similarity" and "difference". Also, she doesn't know what a joke is. Exhibit A: check out her "Grassley to financial executives: drop dead". Not only doesn't she get that Grassley wasn't making a joke, she doesn't understand the difference between prison rape (which, for the record, I do not condone in anyway) and the act of taking one's own life (on which I'm ambivalent). Not surprisingly, she also doesn't understand the difference between people who commit suicide because they're mentally ill and people who kill themselves out of obligation (to one's own group or society in general) or to avoid an even worse fate. But hey, who's surprised that Megan doesn't believe in obligations?
And, needless to say, Megan obviously doesn't know shit about our culture (let alone all the others) where taking one's own life is still acceptable in some subcultures (e.g. the military).

clever pseudonym said...

bulbul - given the absurd severity with which she's addressing the subject, I assumed that by "shaping decisions," she was implying that Stewart is somehow influencial over people's more important, life-altering decisions. I've bought books the same as you, so you've got a point that he does shape some decisions, but they're little ones like what I read on the train.

I already went into a rage over at Susan's place over that suicide blog, but man, is that rich coming from the Queen of flippant responses to horrible circumstances.

bulbul said...

she was implying that Stewart is somehow influencial over people's more important, life-altering decisions
That's exactly what I think she meant. I justed wanted to show what kind of decisions are shaped by Stewart.

I already went into a rage over at Susan's place
Oh cool, be right there.

brad said...

Sorry, but that was too long and too big a mess.