Thursday, June 23, 2011

Legitmizing Fox News: Jon Stewart

"You make it sound like I'm trying to delegitimize you to defend Fox" ~ Chris Wallace to Jon Stewart
Well, now that you mention it.....that's exactly what was on the agenda when Jon Stewart appeared on Chris Wallace's Fox News Sunday program last week. And to a large extent, Wallace succeeded. For whatever reason Stewart agreed to go on (the buffet? parking??) it did nothing for him or the Daily Show and everything for Wallace and his network. Sure, Stewart got in a jab about Fox viewers being the most misinformed, but not before admitting that MSNBC is kinda like the Fox News of the left, opining on the brilliance of Roger Ailes (and South Park!) and paying Wallace an absurd compliment about being a "tough" and "fair interviewer." This is all rubbish, but it's the legitimizing equivalency that Fox so desperately craves in order to counter the criticism that comes from the likes of Stewart.

The take away headline was how Stewart lost his cool, got angry and all scrunched-up like a defensive marmot. In other words, Wallace was so effective in getting under Stewart's skin, forcing him to confront his own true bias that he just couldn't take the fair and balanced scrutiny anymore! Then when Stewart agreed with Wallace that the "mainstream media" has a "liberal bias," (ugh!) - when all the evidence since at least the Iraq war proves otherwise - he might as well have been riding shotgun on the "Fox & Friends" couch. In fact, Stewart's appearance, and his buddy-bromance with Bill-O, has helped Fox move the media discourse in the U.S. so far to the right that Tea Baggers and tax cuts are legit, while climate change and torture have become quaint relics from some bygone era.

Why does this matter in Hong Kong or Canada? Because whatever the right (now the extreme, fanatical right) can get away with in the U.S. eventually spills, Jon! Beware Faux News!! Keep away from the Dark Side!!!

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