December 27, 2010

The NYT asks whether Jon Stewart is "the modern-day equivalent of Edward R. Murrow."

"Did the bill pledging federal funds for the health care of 9/11 responders become law in the waning hours of the 111th Congress only because a comedian took it up as a personal cause?"

59 comments:

Maguro said...

I thought Keith Olbermann was the modern-day Murrow. He's always saying stuff like "Have you no decency, sir???!!!11!!???". Very Murrow-like.

joewxman said...

Olbergas must be foaming at the mouth this morning over this.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

The powers that be at the NYT just cannot see themselves can they?

Clyde said...

If Stewart is "the modern-day equivalent of Edward R. Murrow," then who is the modern-day equivalent of Walter Duranty?

AllenS said...

I wasn't aware that 9/11 responders didn't have health insurance. How many people are we talking about here?

jayne_cobb said...

It was either this or write about how a Republican weathered attacks from all sides for insisting on financial accountability in an extremely popular bill.

But then they'd have to mention that he ultimately won, and that the resulting law was far more responsible.

Pogo said...

I was thinking more Edward Asner, Eddie Izzard, or Ed Wood.

...or Mr. Ed.

jayne_cobb said...

"If Stewart is "the modern-day equivalent of Edward R. Murrow," then who is the modern-day equivalent of Walter Duranty?"

Eason Jordan.

ricpic said...

What does one more example of Democrat vote buying have to do with semi-funny Stewart?

jimspice said...

Republicans did not try to take the opportunity to make the bill better. They simply tried to block it. Again the party of "NO" rears its particularly ugly head. That's your party, majority of commenters. Own it.

David said...

Unfortunately, it's true that Stewart is the modern-day Morrow. Which tells volumes about current media.

Pogo said...

Adults say 'no' all the time. it's a mark of maturity.

Adults who say 'yes' all the time end up first with kids who scream that books aren't presents, then they are on the dole, and bitching about it, rioting in the streets when college tuition is raised or the retirement age is increased to 62, after the money's run out.

Ambrose said...

Democrats who controlled Congress could have had a form of this bill at any time in the past two years. Instead it was their tactic to present it in ways that they knew would be blocked by Republicans. It was more important to the Democrats to be able to screem "Heartless Party of No" than it ever was to help one single 9-11 responder. In the end the Democrats backed down; agreed to needed changes and it passed.

Robert Cook said...

"It was either this or write about how a Republican weathered attacks from all sides for insisting on financial accountability...."

If the Republicans cared about financial accountability they'd demand immediate stringent cuts in our War budget, as well as the removal of many military services from fraud-ridden and higher-priced private contractors and the return of those services to the military.

Republicans' commitment to "financial accountability" consists of slashing safety net programs for those in need while facilitating the rapacious money-grubbing of the already wealthy. (Not that the Dems are significantly better or less interested in helping those who have already helped themselves...to the nation's wealth.)

I enjoy Jon Stewart when he's not being too hammy, (Colbert is much sharper and more disciplined), but to compare him to Edward R. Murrow is to indict the professional press for their servile capitulation to power and their cowardice in confronting those in government and the private realm who through conspiracy or individual avarice and power-mongering continue their ongoing rape of our Republic.

ricpic said...

Why so selective, Cookie? A ten percent across the board cut in ALL government spending might save us from going over the cliff, but that would mean your darling state would actually have to go on a diet -- mustn't have that!

rhhardin said...

It struck me as another NYC union money grab.

All that was missing was it was for the children.

rhhardin said...

but to compare him to Edward R. Murrow is to indict the professional press for their servile capitulation to power and their cowardice in confronting those in government and the private realm who through conspiracy or individual avarice and power-mongering continue their ongoing rape of our Republic.

Record for longest infinitive

Michael said...

Robert Cook: You nailed it. We on the right want to fuck the poor out of their vast resources while maintaining a permanent war footing to support the existing and permanent hegemony of the white power centers over the poor peoples of the earth. Try and stop us.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I still can't quite figure out how there was ever even occasion to pass this bill. Have the right-wing teabagging hillbillies who took over New York while Jon Stewart wasn't looking been stiffing their municipal employees on benefits?

AST said...

Only because a comedian took it up as a personal cause?

Oh, come now. Surely it was Shepard Smith's not so subtle campaign for it.

edutcher said...

If Stewart is the new Murrow, I would guess that makes the Gray Lady the new Mad Magazine.

PS Cook has off from the Daily Worker over Christmas. He doesn't realize the welfare budget, which is never cut, is intended to make sure the poor stay that way and to put as much of the middle class as possible in the same leaky boat.

The defense budget is the one that gets cut, never welfare.

rhhardin said...

I was never impressed with Edward R Murrow: the same important tone that you always hear.

People were parodying it in the 50s.

He's an actor like them all.

rhhardin said...

Walter Winchell suffered from the delusion that nobody understood morse code.

That was a major frame breaker.

MayBee said...

Jon Stewart tried to sell it based on the emotional. There was no indication he knew what was specifically in the bill or why people who should be insured by the state/city of New York would need a federal bailout.

So batten down the hatches if Stewart is the new Murrow. We'll have a sob story in every pot, and spending will never go down. (remember the cleaning lady who got us Obama care?)

bad touch said...

The less informed and less up to date on current events one is, the more you'll like the clowns Stewart(Leibowitz) and Colbert and like their humor. It requires a very sketchy knowledge of what's going on...the level of facts you'd get from the alphabet networks, and from watching tv and movies.

Robert Cook said...

"Record for longest infinitive"

I don't know...have you read Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard?

campy said...

have you read Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard?

No, I can't read Austrian.

EDH said...

"Oh, the fun you'll have. Playing games of chance against Edward R. Murrow's gay son."

The Crack Emcee said...

Jon Stewart ain't Murrow - journalism just sucks now.

And the fact someone is calling Stewart Murrow shows just how far they've fallen:

They're such a bunch of clowns, real clowns can do their job better than they do.

Jim said...

Hey Cook-who the heck do you think has been in charge of the executive and legislative branches of the fed gov't the last two years? And yet it the repub's fault that your fever dreams don't come to fruition?

cubanbob said...

Crack got it right. A comedian is better at journalism than the journalist. Who knew?

Peano said...

Stewart has more the gravitas of Eddie Haskell than Edward R. Murrow.

Michael said...

The fact that a large section of the population under 35 gets their news from these clowns is the really scary part.

lemondog said...

Murrow did front line war reporting during Britain's blitz.

He repeatedly took on controversial subjects assured to roil the corridors of power.

Didn't Murrow put his money where his mouth was and mortgage or offer to mortgage his own house to pay for someone's (John Henry Faulk?) defense costs resulting from a HUAC prosecution?

Jon Stewart may have a ways to go.

Robert Cook said...

Jim said:

"Hey Cook-who the heck do you think has been in charge of the executive and legislative branches of the fed gov't the last two years? And yet it the repub's fault that your fever dreams don't come to fruition?"

I already pointed out, in my original post:

"(Not that the Dems are significantly better or less interested in helping those who have already helped themselves...to the nation's wealth.)"

I mentioned the Repubs in response to a remark by someone who offered the fantasy, shared by many who have deluded themselves into believing it, that the Republicans have any actual interest in "financial accountability" (sic).

Bruce Hayden said...

I guess my question is: whether Stewart and Cobert are where the NYT people get their news? You would think that it should be the other way around. Or, maybe it is just incestuous, with the NYT people watching Stewart and Cobert, and they reading the NYT.

The interesting thing though is that awhile back, more people were looking to the NYT for their news. Now, it is likely Stewart. It is a bad thing for a paper when more people are following a tv comedian than their newspaper. (But then, Minn. sent a real live comedian to the Senate two years ago).

Bruce Hayden said...

I mentioned the Repubs in response to a remark by someone who offered the fantasy, shared by many who have deluded themselves into believing it, that the Republicans have any actual interest in "financial accountability" (sic).

Well, I listened the other day to a recording of Uncle Miltie (Friedman) as he was quizzed on which departments to keep and which to get rid of. And, to him, the two big ones to keep were Defense and Justice. From the right, the two most legitimate tasks of a federal government are to provide for the common defense and to provide impartial justice.

So, Cook brings up the one task of a central government that those on the right fairly unanimously support as an example of their lack of interest in financial accountability.

But what he ignores is that this is now Obama's and the Democrats' war or wars. They had absolute control over the two political branches of the government for the last two years, and financial control for the last four years. He ignores that if the Republicans had wanted to hold hearings on anything, whether it was the Holder Justice Department, the money going to Defense, or the money that was almost wasted on this bill, that they did not have the power to do so.

The reality is that the government does not do anything efficiently, and little well. One of things that it does well, though not financially efficiently, is to wage war. And, as I said, that is one of the few truly legitimate jobs that our national government should be doing.

Of course, Cook is also still apparently in love with Obama's idea that all it takes to get along with the tyrants of the world is to be nice to them. Give them the respect that they deserve, and, like all bullies, they will respect you.

Bruce Hayden said...

I should add another thing about Cook's position here. He really does seem to be much more willing to pay for those who responded to the 9/11 attacks on our homeland, than to make sure that the enemies who did the attacks never have a chance to repeat such, and are scared enough of our retaliation that they won't consider such.

But I wonder if this is because he truly believes in our innate evil as a country, or if in the innate goodness of our enemies? Not quite sure here of where he is coming from.

My guess is that a lot of it must have to do with DADT. And, now that gays will be able to serve openly in the military, maybe his view on our use of military power to protect us will change. We shall see.

lemondog said...

(But then, Minn. sent a real live comedian to the Senate two years ago).

All are welcome. Our Congressional Clown College does not discriminate.

sonicfrog said...

lemondog said...
Murrow did front line war reporting during Britain's blitz.

He repeatedly took on controversial subjects assured to roil the corridors of power.

Didn't Murrow put his money where his mouth was and mortgage or offer to mortgage his own house to pay for someone's (John Henry Faulk?) defense costs resulting from a HUAC prosecution?

Jon Stewart may have a ways to go.


Yep. Don't get me wrong, I like Stewart, and he does touch on subject that some would rather not talk about. But he's no Murrow, and I don't think he would be so vane to ever consider himself to be. Olberman, on the other hand....

Big Mike said...

Short answer to your question: no.

And the bill still wouldn't have passed without Tom Coburn's surgery on it. I like that guy. I wonder if he's interested in challenging Sarah Palin and the dozen dwarfs for the presidential nomination.

Oh, and jimspice, you ignorant slut, I am proud to "own" Tom Coburn. I wish there were more people in the Congress who had real jobs (vice professional politicians).

Bruce Hayden said...

The guy who is sitting in for Rush just made a good point, and that is that the NYT is singling out Stewart because he is really the only person on the left who can instigate anything. There are plenty on the right who can do this, including Rush, and any number of other conservatives.

But what the NYT is looking for is someone whom the masses listen to, but does so having read and received marching orders from their paper. And, most of the people these days who can excite the masses are either Black preachers with their funny cadence or conservatives who make fun of the the paper.

Pogo said...

I remember In the movie Animal House when the epilogue showed Belushi's character Bluto having eventually become Senator Blutarsky.

Hilarious.

Now we have the comedians Sen. Franken, and chief news correspondent Stewart.

History repeating as farce, no doubt.

Robert Cook said...

Bruce Hayden is apparently very confused as to his understanding of my position on just about anything, (as well as the actual purposes of our use of military force).

I can't think of any military force we have exerted in my lifetime--and I'm hard pressed to think of any in our national history--that has been legitimately intended or necessary to "protect us." I can accept our involvement in WW II as legitimate, but probably nothing else before or since. Certainly none of our present actions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Pakistan are in defense of our country.

While I think gay men and women should be free to serve openly in the military without impediment, their active service does not change my view that our military aggression throughout the world has been almost wholly illegitimate.

I don't think America qua America is innately evil and certainly not that "our enemies" (sic) are innately good, and such an understanding of the world is childish, frankly. Rather, any nation or empire that accrues great power unto itself tends to assert that power brutally in advancement of its ambition for more power and for control of and access to resources, always accompanied by self-aggrandizing myths of its intrinsically virtuous character and intentions. "Enemies" and "friends are defined according to who complies or cooperates with and who defies or competes with the agenda of the respective powerful nation or empire.

Put simply, if we are to be a nation of law, as we claim to be, we must respect and abide by the law. Where we do not, we must be stringently self-critical. This does not imply that we are uniquely evil or that other nations do not also merit criticism. This is simply to hold ourselves to our own standards.

I don't think much of John McCain, but, in speaking against our use of torture--no matter against whom and no matter what abuses they might inflict on Americans if given the opportunity--he said, to his great credit, "It's not about who they are, it's about who we are." This is applicable to so much more than just whether we adopt torture as legitimate policy or not.

Pogo said...

"I can accept our involvement in WW II as legitimate, but probably nothing else before or since."

Why WW2?
Communists at the time thought our involvement was criminal.

Bruce Hayden said...

Communists at the time thought our involvement was criminal.

Actually, they believed that until Germany invaded the Soviet Union, and then our involvement, on the Soviet's side, was not only justified, but morally required.

Pogo said...

Shhhhhh!

Pogo said...

Dang. I wanted to watch some old-fashioned Stalin apologism.

It's a beast rarely seen, like Democrats for fiscal prudence, or a cat standing on its hind legs.

jayne_cobb said...

"It's a beast rarely seen, like Democrats for fiscal prudence, or a cat standing on its hind legs."

Thanks to youtube it's no longer all that rare:

Standing Cat (with some alterations)

Robert Cook said...

"Dang. I wanted to watch some old-fashioned Stalin apologism."

You certainly weren't expecting to see it from me, were you? If so, you misunderstand me more thoroughly than Bruce, which I can only ascribe to your being intentionally obtuse.

Pogo said...

"Intentionally obtuse" is my middle name.


After my Grandpa, the big galoot.

Maguro said...

So which world leader measures up to your exalted standards of moral purity, Cook? Any of them? Or is the whole human race beneath your contempt?

Bruce Hayden said...

Ok, maybe I am a bit obtuse.

But your argument seemed to me to be that the Republicans were not serious about spending and debt issues because they allowed what you consider to be excessive military spending on what you consider to be illegal wars.

Is that a fair assessment of your argument?

Greedy Man said...

sonicfrog said...
Yep. Don't get me wrong, I like Stewart, and he does touch on subject that some would rather not talk about.


Like what?

Robert Cook said...

"...your argument seemed to me to be that the Republicans were not serious about spending and debt issues because they allowed what you consider to be excessive military spending on what you consider to be illegal wars."

The military budget is sacrosanct and has ballooned to obscene proportions for decades under both parties...they're all complicit in this ruinous confiscation of our tax dollars for carte blanche spending on murder weapons.

I don't consider the Republicans to be serious about fiscal responsibility because they have never shown any attempts to reign in spending when in power and in fact often bring with them great expansion of spending and waste and fraud. Their rhetoric is just that...bullshit...fraud talk to gull the rubes.

When they talk about "cutting everywhere" so "all will share in the pain" they mean middle class and working people and the poor will pay more and give up more and the rich will be left unbothered to count their accelerating wealth.

Look at that Randian asshole Greenspan who simply said (about the economic apocalypse he helped bring about), "Oops! I thought rational self-interest would be all the regulation needed to prevent such breathtaking crimes by the financial overlords. Mea Culpa!"

(Well, he didn't say all that explicitly, but it was implicit in his timorous apology.)

AJ Lynch said...

Cookie:

Average annual spending increase over last 30 years from 1980 - 2010in federal spending:

Military 5.75% [total over 30 years was 435% increase]
Education 5.4% [total was 384%]
Welfare 8% [total was 906%]
Healthcare 9.5% [total was 1422%]

Roux said...

What a joke.

jimspice said...

What a coincidence "Big" Mike. No one has called me a slut since your mom down behind the truck stop.

HDHouse said...

The GOP blocked this as long as it could and Stewart was better at pointing out the tactics more so than the topic. Good for him. Murrow not but Stewart yes.

.....A little Ground Zero Hot Air......