Posts Tagged ‘Jon Stewart’

And You Can Quote Me When I Say…

March 6, 2013

For some reason I am having a hard time deciding what subject I should entertain for a new post.  I know there is plenty to talk about.  For instance, I could weigh in  on the sequester thing.

Well, all right, I  will.

I’m sure there is plenty of waste in federal spending.  Of course, just as one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, one politician’s waste is another one’s necessity.

Perhaps the greatest waste in Congress is Congress.

I guess another subject I could tackle would be Jon Stewart’s decision to take four months off to direct a movie about a journalist being imprisoned in Iran.  The Daily Show is something I enjoy daily and I’m sure will still enjoy it while he is gone.  John Oliver will probably do a fine job as fill-in host.  I’ve always wondered why they didn’t just substitute a host when Jon was on vacation, especially since he was   on vacation so often.

Then there’s the weather to talk about, and the networks have really been talking about it a lot.  So, it’s snowing in D.C., so it’s always snowing in D.C. where we get snow jobs year round.

You really want to get some idea of what’s going on in our nation’s capital? Go to C-SPAN.  There you get it unfiltered, instead of what some news editor decides you should get.   It’s sort of like reading the Bible yourself and not just getting it interpreted by some cleric. In both cases, some of it will astound you.

Why do Politicians Lie?

February 11, 2013


I, like former comedian and present Senator Al Franken, “never lie, unless it is absolutely necessary.” Really, I do prefer telling the truth. All of that conditioning by my mother, the church, school teachers, and the Boy Scouts made its lifetime impression on me that lying is wrong.  However, as the old saying goes, actions do speak louder than words. Sooner or later, a person discovers that the very people who have told you it is immoral, or a sin, to lie, lie. Sooner or later you are going to catch your parents telling a lie.  A classic example is the Santa Claus lie. 

Of course there is a very practical reason for not lying.  People will trust you if they think you don’t tell lies. That’s a huge reason that I assiduously tried never to report a story on the news that was not, to my knowledge, true. Protection against news sources lying was to attribute their comments to them. If the comment turned out to be a lie, it wasn’t me lying. It was the source. My TV news ratings were quite good  on average, and I believe a main reason is that viewers trusted me.   Still, being a human being, I did tell a few untruths off the air.  I’m certainly not proud of it, but in an effort to be truthful,  I can’t deny it.  

There are different kinds of lies.  There are the outright ones  like President Obama being a Muslim (Pew research shows that 30 percent of  Republicans believe that) , and global warming being a hoax.  Probably, lies by deception are more effective..  To say, as some politicians do, that their goal is to “save Social Security,” when their real aim is to destroy it by “privatizing it” is lying  by deception.  The absolutely most effective lies are probably lies that are closest to the truth.  A Time article reported that, in the last presidential  campaign,  President Obama’s lies were worse because they were the most accurate.  

It is interesting to me that the news program on the air that, in my view,  best tells us the truth about the inconsistencies, doublespeak,  and double standards of political and other powerful people is the “fake newscast.” Yes, I am referring to the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. This program is presented as comedy, but it is very serious satire.

Now, all of this is not to say that lying is a good thing, or that a politician should be forgiven when he or she lies because “everybody does it.”   In fact, it can be a very destructive thing, harming the common good, causing catastrophes like wars.  The fact is there is a lot of it, and some believe that  the public is at fault for putting up with it.  Then, there are those who blame news media. No doubt, they must share some of the responsibility, though some do put in a lot of effort to fact check what politicians say. 

The Network Evening Half-Hour Newscasts Leave Out a Lot

September 27, 2012


Every night I record the NBC Nightly News,  the PBS NewsHour, and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.  At one time I thought that if I watched one of the mainstream network newscast that would be enough to keep me basically informed. I have since learned that is not the case.

With just a half-hour –  well less than a half-hour because of all the commercials – the NBC evening newscast just can’t do the job.  For  instance, tonight there was nothing about the UN meeting going on in New York. The PBS NewsHour did have coverage, and last night on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart had a very informative interview with Jordan’s King Abdullah II on how the Arab Spring is affecting the Middle East.  There were some laughs, and the king got some himself; after all, it was the Daily Show. It was, though, a serious interview. Watching the NBC Nightly News definitely was not enough.

Looking to China for how Unregulated Corporations Provide more Jobs

January 17, 2012

I recently did my bit to help the American consumer-driven economy. I upgraded to an iPhone 4 and I love it, especially the 5 mp camera with a flash. But, after watching the Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night, every time I look it now, I’ll think about the factory worker in China who made it. According to the report, which got its facts and video clips from a MSNBC program, he or she – some as young as 13-years-old – got 32-cents an hour, lives in a company-owned dormitory room with seven other people, works up to 35 straight hours, and sometimes becomes so stressed out and depressed that  he or she jumps off the top of the dormitory building.  So many have jumped that Foxconn, the Taiwan-based largest manufacturer of electronics in the world, has put up nets to break the jumpers’ falls.  Most of the company’s manufacturing plants are in mainland China.

Why does the union allow this to happen to workers?  There is no union.  Trying to organize one can get you twelve years in the clink.

Last night’s report was prompted by Rick Perry’s repeating of the Republican mantra about bringing jobs back to America by fewer regulations and more tax breaks for corporations.   Perry made the statement during the Republican presidential primary debate in South Carolina.

There was a time when many American factories were almost as immoral, paying starvation wages, providing shoddy company-owned houses, and  using child labor. Regulations got us away from that.  Do we really want to go back to that in order to compete with communist China?  Do we really want to ramp up our march back  to the Gilded Age of the Robber Barons? Can’t we find a way to provide jobs without destroying the American middle class?

Taking Philosphical Stock: Firepower says the Problem is Lack of Education and Literacy

December 27, 2011

Firepower – that’s his online nom de plume – offered such a well-written and thoughtful comment to the previous Dick’s World post that I decided to also run it as a featured post.

I’d offer a lack of education and literacy as a great deterrence to any advancement of world peace.  When we look at the countries that are troublesome in this world, most of them are led (and I do mean led) like a herd of cows.  Most 3rd world country inhabitants have a high percentage of people that can barely read, or can read at all.  Thus, they listen to leaders, many of whom are clerics, and they believe every word they’re being told.

We, in the US, are quite often the same way, though it’s not entirely due to illiteracy.  If main stream media says something enough, literally millions will believe it, right or wrong.  Many do not take the time to verify what they’re hearing to determine for themselves if it’s correct or not.

I saw an interview during the ’08 election where the individuals were asked where they received their news.  A bunch of them said, “Jon Stewart”!!!!  He’s a comedian, for Christ’s sake!!!!  Some things can be extracted as news or the truth, but it’s still a show for comedy’s sake.

I’m a Christian, but just because a preacher stands in a pulpit and says something doesn’t make it true.  Quite the opposite, I’ve found.

Look at teachers and some of the agendas they have.  Recently, my grand-daughter was introduced to “green” philosophy at school.  One of the things discussed was “saving a pumpkin”!!!!  The only way to save a pumpkin is to not plant it!!!!!  Then the same teacher went on and on about how bad the petroleum industry was…..not counting on how she was able to operate the air conditioner in her room, lights she was using or even how she got to school in the first place!!!

World peace?  Not until the earth is cleansed of people who DO NOT want to get along OR have an agenda far from what most people want.  We’re too many and too varied in our beliefs and customs to avoid these conflicts.  We just have to deal with what confronts us at the time.

Hell, our congress can’t even agree on anything!

Interesting Night for me to Sample Keith Olbermann’s Show

January 22, 2011

I almost never watch either Keith Olbermann or Bill O’Reilly.  I rarely watch any of the verbal bomb throwers whether they are on the right or the left.  I like my pundits to show a little class, and that’s something you don’t get much of on the cable news channels. But, last night I did decide to sample Olbermann’s show and lo and behold it turned out to be his last one.

Even though I don’t often play in  the mud puddles that the vociferous talkers wallow in, I must admit that I was glad that there was a counter to O’Reilly.  He and Olbermann were both on at  8 p.m Eastern Time.  For a while there was no alternative to the Fox right-wing propagandists, but MSNBC discovered there is an audience on the left and now has a nightly schedule of them.  Since there is no longer a Fairness Doctrine to make sure broadcasters air opinions on both side of an issue, we certainly need for the cable news outfits to provide us with right and left alternatives. 

What do I watch regularly? Nationally, it’s NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, and I do sometimes record either the ABC or CBS newscast and watch them also to compare coverage. While I am not completely happy with any of  the big three network newscasts because I think they spend way too much time on soft stories, I think  they come closer to really being fair and balanced than the cable news channels.  Fox saying it is “fair and balanced” reminds me of Nixon saying ,”I am not a crook.”  If you are “fair and balanced” or “not a crook” you don’t have to say it, just be it.

Also, I watch the Daily Show regularly.  It is satirical, but quite often, in my view, its admittedly “fake news”  gets to the real truth of major stories more than the “real news” channels.  Yes, Jon Stewart does come across as a  liberal, but he also takes liberals to task when they go overboard.  He did that with Olbermann a couple of nights. Also, he often interviews conservatives like Bill O’Reilly on his show, and O’Reilly has even had Stewart on his show. Stewart has even invited Glenn Beck, but he won’t come.  

We still really don’t know why Olbermann left or was forced out. We do know that he has had  confrontations with some MSNBC higher-ups, but that’s all we know.  He didn’t tell us why he was leaving when he announced his departure last night, which I thought was really strange. but we will probably find out soon.  I must admit that I am curious about it.

It Takes A Fake News Show to Get to the Truth

January 6, 2009

  The place to get to the basic truth about world events is a fake newscast.  Beneath the outrageous comedy routine’s on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart is a very serious look at the underlying, unvarnished truth in the important issues facing our country and the world.

  No where had I seen on television, or read in newspapers or news magazines, about something I suspected from the moment Israel launched its devastating attack on Gaza,  until Jon Stewart said it last night.  Israel picked now to launch this attack because it knew it had the full support of the Bush administration in whatever it did, but it was not certain that President-elect Barack Obama would continue the anything-Israel-does-is-right policy of the Bush administration.

Jon Stewart, a Jew, dared to do something that no national political leader, Democrat or Republican, would  do: look at the other side of the Israeli-Palestinian endless disaster.  He showed a parade of Democratic and Republican politicians, including Senate majority leader Harry Reed, and independent New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, all coming down on Israel’s  side in its response to rockets fired by Hamas into Israel, with no qualifying comments about the complications involved, no recognition of the suffering going on in Gaza.

Stewart, and his guest David Gregory, new host of Meet the Press, and also a Jew, said the situation in Israel and Palestine is complicated, but political leaders, when coming down on the side of Israel, would not get into those complications.

Stewart summed up the endless conflict in the Middle East by saying that Israel was promised the land by God, but, he added, God also made that promise to the Palestinians.