Friday, February 5, 2010
O'Reilly vs. Stewart, Pt. One
I've recently acquired a taste for Jon Stewart. It's really amazed me over the years the Democrats failure to come up with a palatable alternative to Rush Limbaugh.
Not that they haven't tried. Air America was an entire radio network created by the Democrats to respond to Rush. Didn't sell. Just declared bankruptcy.
They may have stumbled across one in Jon Stewart. (although it isn't clear they've realized it yet) Jon is clearly a liberal, doesn't hide from it. And he's funny. And smart. (very smart)
Some of my takes from this "must-see-tv" interview.
Early on the the interview O'Reilly asks Stewart how he thinks Obama is doing as POTUS.
Stewart: "I can't tell if he's a jedi-master, playing chess on a three-level board way ahead of us or if this is kicking his ass."
Stewart tells O'Reilly he likes that Obama has ramped up the regulatory function of the Executive branch (the EPA and the like) but is quite uncomfortable with Obama's failure to use the bully pulpit of the Presidency to control the political debate and therefore his party.
Stewart: "He has decided that Congress is an equal branch of government. Huge mistake."
O'Reilly: "Ignore Congress??"
Stewart: "Absolutely. Ignore Congress."
Wow! But there's more!
Stewart: "Addington and the Bush administration established the unitarian executive, they established the power of the executive, you can't just walk in there as the next guy and say let's go back to three equal branches."
In other words, Stewart is upset that Obama isn't going all Dick Cheney/left on us. So one could surmise that when Stewart and his "ilk" pulled the "change" lever for Obama in '08, it wasn't the amount of power the Bush administration had grabbed for the executive branch they wanted changed, it was whose proverbial ox being gored.
Read the above quote carefully. Remember their protestations over the Patriot Act? Warrantless wiretapping?? The "secret" prisons? Stewart is apparently upset that the Obama administration hasn't used the powers they claimed the Bush administration illegally usurped to bully Congress and force his will legislatively.
He's upset Obama's not more like Tom Delay.
Stewart is asked to opine on the Republicans opposition to the Democrat's healthcare reform (control) bill. He claims not to know. Then when cornered by O'Reilly that the Republicans are upset their ideas haven't been taken seriously by the administration he states: "that's not why the Republicans don't like it."
So Jon doesn't know what the Republicans motivations ARE for opposing the heathcare issue but he knows what it's NOT.
At about 8:30 into the interview (full length) O'Reilly confronts Stewart with a quote by Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post:
O'Reilly: "Stewart has clearly become an important cultural arbitor. He's pulled of the trick of being taken seriously when he wants to be and taken frivolously when he wants to be."
(sounds a bit like Rush, eh?? When Rush makes valid points, the left dismisses it as "entertainment". When they don't like something he jokes about, it suddenly takes a more serious tone. Kinda inverted, huh?)
While Jon uses body language (rolling eyes, bobbing head) to convey a dismissive tone toward the question, it's clear to me he's enjoying the attention of Mr. Kurtz and O'Reilly.
Very interesting. More later.