Stewart vs O’Reilly, Media Criticism

Watch this portion of Stewart’s interview on the O’Reilly Factor from last night.

Through his bully tactics, O’Reilly constantly cuts off Stewart and portrays his audience as dumb stoners with very little knowledge of the actually political landscape. His argument that viewers of The Daily Show ultimately and unrelentingly support President Obama is wildly inaccurate.

I watch the Daily Show every night and I’m frustrated too with the lack of change since Obama has taken office. That fault falls partly on Obama, but it’s also a fault of partisan feuding and politics that cloud the issues. That being said, I don’t overlook the things he has accomplished – we’re climbing out of this recession; we’re discussing health care reform despite attacks from every direction to defeat it; we are instituting greater reform and regulatory control over the causes that in part led to this recession. The general focus on the negative and failures of this administration in just one year is a tactic of the mainsteam media that distorts the truth.

I appreciate TDS for the same reason that I appreciate the Onion. Everyone is a target. Now I’m not oblivious to the fact that TDS is a liberal leaning show, but that isn’t the point. What Stewart and his talented team do on a consistent basis is draw attention to the absurdity of our mainstream media.

While Stewart makes jokes about politics and those that play a role in it, his target is almost always the way the media itself has presented it. Here is a recent quote from Howard Kurtz stating a similar thought:

I have watched the Daily Show pretty religiously – even been on it, as a matter of fact – and there is very little question where Jon stood on the Bush presidency and the Iraq war. He voted for John Kerry. I don’t say he’s *never* poked fun at the liberal side, but there is no question in my mind he’s been taking on Obama more often lately, as well as folks like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. His ultimate aim is to get laughs, as I noted, but anyone who knows him – and I do – knows full well he is really passionate about issues (and what he sees as lousy media coverage) as well.”

Simply put, Stewart is an important voice for this country whether or not he believes that his voice reaches beyond his smaller direct audience. What he does and says is news within the very media that he criticizes. This news drives more attention and broadens his audience.

In an age where networks make it increasingly more difficult to disseminate facts and determine the difference between news and opinion, Stewart’s media criticism may be one of the most important voices we can turn to. To end this, here is one of the best – and most recent – examples of Stewart’s biting criticism of both liberal and conservative leaning media networks.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Q & O
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis
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