December 22, 2014

"Jon Stewart’s expiration date: Why liberalism needs to outgrow the snark."

Headline of a Salon article that ends: "If liberals want to see more of the kind of direct action that’s characterized the Occupy Wall Street and #blacklivesmatter movements — if they really want to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable — they’re going to have to embrace a political vision that has grown beyond the idiosyncratic limitations of Jon Stewart."

59 comments:

donald said...

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

jr565 said...

Do libs want MORE occupy Wall Street and Brown style protests? Really?

jr565 said...

In both cases te protests turned into farces. At least Stewart can be funny intentionally.

Biff said...

I've always found the whole "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" to be repulsive and reactionary. That phrase, while clever, isn't about justice; it's about choosing tribes.

Daniel Richwine said...

I've always found it astonishing many take Stewart seriously.

Brando said...

Well, let's take a second to think of all the positive change and accomplishments that Occupy Wall Street managed to achieve.

I don't know what I'll do with the rest of that second.

Paco Wové said...

"Afflicting the comfortable" in modern progressive parlance apparently means "annoying and inconveniencing the vast majority to feel good about ourselves". This does not strike me as a winning policy.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Liberals care only about appearences. The effects of their idiocy (or genius as it were but it wasn't) are too complicated to think about.

Shouting "racist!" feels good. Period.

Big Mike said...

If liberals want to see more of the kind of direct action that’s characterized the Occupy Wall Street and #blacklivesmatter movements.

So liberals want more of what turns off ordinary Americans and makes them question the very sanity of liberals? Go for it!!!

John Lynch said...

Anything to avoid having to do the work of remaking the Democratic party.

Anything to avoid voting in the primaries against incumbents.

Anything to avoid admitting that protest movements are co-opted by Democratic politicians when convenient.

Remember Code Pink and what's-her-name? Occupy Whatever?

When a protest movement votes out a single Democrat, I'll believe change has arrived.

Steve said...

If they take out the snark there isn't much left. Appeasing Al Sharpton and parties in Hollywood is not much of a governing ethos.

Just an old country lawyer said...

I'd rather have bad comedy than murdered policemen.

jr565 said...

Yes liberals please block traffic every day with your no justic no peace signs for the rest of the year. Those people who have to go places will certainly warm to your message. Or camp out in parks and sleep in tents. People will not think you're marginalized and radicalIzed at all.
But make sure you commit. If you're not out there tomorrow and the day after you're letting the cause down. We need you out there liberals. You are the change you have been waiting for. You can do it!

rehajm said...

Conclusion: Stop being douchebags with a sense of humor and start being just douchebags.

Fernandinande said...

direct action that’s characterized the Occupy Wall Street and #blacklivesmatter movements

Surely we can all agree on the need to interfere with traffic and burn 'n' loot private property. Let's set fire to Salon's offices and steal their pocket protectors.

Henry said...

There's one or two good lines in that article, but gahhh, what twaddle.

Here's a good example -- an insightful criticism that sets up one of the left's most mundane clichés:

It’s the shallowness of Stewart’s politics that leads to his other notable weakness as a political pundit (which, “just a comedian” protestations aside, he clearly is); namely, his tendency to fall prey to the trap of blaming “both sides.”

That last clause appears to be the only dart in Mr. Isquith's nerf gun, though he keeps squeezing the trigger. The problem with Mr. Stewart is that he's not partisan enough. It's the same problem with Mr. Obama. And the Democratic party. And anyone else in the wrong t-shirt.

There's one more word choice I want to point to: the word "idiosyncratic " in that final, foolish, sentence that Althouse extracted.

"Idiosyncratic" is definitely intended as a criticism. Mr. Stewart doesn't hate enough. It is predictably depressing that Mr. Isquith sees idiosyncrasy as a problem. Idiosyncrasy is not far from independence of thought. This essay is, once more, a call for reeducation. Luckily, the camps are all volunteer these days.

p.s. Elias Isquith is a really wonderful name, worthy of anagrams. He could be a character in a Martin Amis novel.

David said...

Impossible. The warm sense of superiority to the brutes of the right is one of the crucial attractions of liberalism.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

---Calling it “a major contributing factor to pro-right-wing, anti-government feeling,” Frank argued that the media had anything but a liberal bias. “[E]ven the liberal press is anti-government,” Frank complained. “Ever watched Jon Stewart say anything good about government?”---

Just as Islam is the last religion anyone could think of as lacking peace, the media is "anything but liberal" when it comes to bias.

Meaning, of course, Jon Stewart is just a super-stupid conservative/libertarian/reactionary and if you can't see it, you haven't pimped out underage meat in your home then gotten away with claiming ignorance as your only excuse.

Why would Barney listen to someone who can't even pimp out children, get caught, then skate scott-free?

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"According to Frank, Stewart and Colbert go wrong by..."

I believe Dan Rather and little cancer boy Pete J.* agree with me and my goals, hence when I tell them where they are going wrong they will respond by realizing their strategic error(s) and adjust their tactics accordingly.

I don't see them as the enemy, combating everything decent and just in the world with lies bold and evil.

"Some thoughts on those angry voters. Ask parents of any two-year-old and they can tell you about those temper tantrums: the stomping feet, the rolling eyes, the screaming. It's clear that the anger controls the child and not the other way around. It's the job of the parent to teach the child to control the anger and channel it in a positive way. Imagine a nation full of uncontrolled two-year-old rage. The voters had a temper tantrum last week....Parenting and governing don't have to be dirty words: the nation can't be run by an angry two-year-old."
-- ABC World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings in his daily ABC Radio commentary, November 14.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Imagine a 2 day old running ABC NEWS. Then you can imagine why a little cable channel can whup the shit out of the networks.

With every advantage Al Sharpton could imagine, these pooping little shits still lose to a lowly upstart.

But now imagine a 2 hour old running CBS. Now you can imagine why the Tiffany network is going broke fast.

Now, lastly, if you can, imagine a 2 second old running NBC.

That's why they don't pay Federal taxes and your dumb ass subsidizes them. And so it shall remain.

the wolf said...

Salon thinks progress comes in the form of annoying people, sloganeering and turning violent. No wonder it's impossible to take them seriously.

Bill said...

I don't know which is worse: liberal snark or liberal earnestness.

Scott M said...

The "idiosyncratic limitations of Jon Stewart" are damned near the only reason I'll pay any attention to liberals these days.

Paco Wové said...

"Stop being douchebags with a sense of humor and start being just douchebags."

Score!

CWJ said...

Bill,

It's a tag team.

Anonymous said...

Henry is right. If Stewart were more partisan, Mr Isquith would not have written this column.

Anonymous said...

I'm shocked that the people demanding radical social change according to the logic of their ideological lights keep demanding radical social change according to the logic of their ideological lights.

There wasn't enough radical social change!

There aren't enough people committed to the same ideological lights!

Anonymous said...

Mr Isquith's primary problem, here, is his headline: Stewart should lose the snark? Snark is sarcasm, the soul of which is (immature) anger. If you took that away from Stewart, Occupy Wall street,and most lefty pundits, you wouldn't have much left.

MadisonMan said...

Translation: Snark isn't working anymore, as evidenced by the Republicans taking the Senate.

Must come up with a Plan "B"

sonicfrog said...

Let's see...

Occupy Wall Street - Duration: 4 months at the most. Political Impact: None that can be pointed out.

Jon Stewart - Duration: 15 years with "Daily Show". Political Impact: Has in some fashion or another shaped the political debate for the last 15 years or so.

So.... If you a liberal, which do you follow????

lgv said...

Wow, what an excuse for analytical thinking. The article was indeed laughable as the final quote which is the title of this post.

The OWS types will now have a tribe on Survivor. Now that is what I call snark worthy. Snark is liberalism at its best. Actual policy, not so much.

MayBee said...

The Occupy protests and the Black Lives Matter protest are all the same thing, and they are organized by the SEIU

(ditto the fast food minimum wage protests and the immigration protests from a few years ago)

Beldar said...

In their minds, Occupy Wall Street was a triumph.

If this were an entirely harmless delusion, I wouldn't be worried. But many of these people are affirmatively toxic to society, and their delusions will lead them into worse mischief.

traditionalguy said...

They got the wrong message from Lord of the Flies.

Group mind control chants of Kill the Pig are the bad results of opposition to authority and not the desired results... unless you are Obama the Great.

SteveR said...

We are talking about a show on the Comedy Channel? OK I guess we need to discuss how the Blue Collar Comedy Show is hurting the Republicans.

tim in vermont said...

Every time protesters block traffic, what they are doing is emphasizing the fact that they don't have jobs and hate people who do.

Lem said...

The fake salon twitter accounts are hilarious.

mccullough said...

Stewart's show would of be off the air within 6 months if it became a vehicle for social crusades.

He knewa how to attract and keep an audience. Not his fault if social justice warriors cannot organize and lead th putsch. Stewart's audience is largely apathetic. It's not a fertile place to recruit.

cubanbob said...

Stewart's schtick is snark. Without it there is nothing.

Sigivald said...

If liberals want to see more of the kind of direct action that’s characterized the Occupy Wall Street and #blacklivesmatter movements

Ineffective at real results, and driving away everyone but the pre-converted True Believers?

Why would they want to see more of that?

(Now, I agree that "going beyond snark" is a great idea.

On the other hand, I haven't seen a lot of depth there beyond catchphrases and snark and Just Knowing The Other Is Wrong.

Might be selection bias, sure, but ...

And as others said, the real point of modern "protest culture" does not seem to be anything but self-aggrandizing or comforting posturing.

Which is nice ... for the protestor, but doesn't get anything done. Probably for the best, considering the immediate aims of most protests.)

William said...

Stewartand liberals in general are far more likely to comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted than the reverse. That cop who just got killed was the son of Chinese immigrants. My guess is that his parents knew of worse discomforts than segregated water fountains. I'm sure he grew up with far, far less privilege than that college professor who threw garbage cans at the cops. Talk about white privilege.......Then there are those professional athletes. Pro athletes are best known for beating their wives and children when they don't outright abandon them. And there is the occasional murder, tortured pupipies, and rape accusation to add luster to their reputation. If there's one group in America with the moral standing to pass judgement on beat cops it's professional athletes.......,Zimmerman, Wilson, and Pantaleo are human beings from modest backgrounds. High placed government official, celebrities, and sports stars have jumped to the presumption of their guilt. Who's the comfortable and who's the afflicted in this dichotomy.

Brando said...

"Yes liberals please block traffic every day with your no justic no peace signs for the rest of the year. Those people who have to go places will certainly warm to your message."

I have such a hatred for bad traffic that it doesn't matter what someone stands for, I will wish the worst on them if they're illegally blocking traffic while I'm trying to get through. I figure most people agree, and in fact one sneaky way to discredit any movement is to have your own people wave the opposing side's signs and go en masse to block traffic.

Sam L. said...

For me, he expired when I first saw him.

eddie willers said...

OK I guess we need to discuss how the Blue Collar Comedy Show is hurting the Republicans.

I don't care who you are....that's funny.

JAORE said...

The protesters need to find a way to only block the traffic of bad people in the cars. Prius? C'mon through. Coexist sticker? You're good. Escalade? Are you a professions athlete? No? Sorry, pull over here.

Too snarky?

CWJ said...

Beldar wrote -

"In their minds, Occupy Wall Street was a triumph.

If this were an entirely harmless delusion, I wouldn't be worried. But many of these people are affirmatively toxic to society, and their delusions will lead them into worse mischief."

Like actual politics.

Or failing that, governmental bureaucrat.

tim in vermont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DavidD said...

"On average, 1,876 black babies are aborted every day in the United States."
http://www.blackgenocide.org/black.html

#blacklivesmatter

dreams said...

Liberals are just a weakened down version of communists, communists lite. John stewart is a silly uninformed man, I've never thought he was funny.

n.n said...

DavidD:

While the state is facilitating abortion, it is still the mother's choice. The reform begins at home. People need to adopt and adhere to the right principles.

n.n said...

Occupy Wall Street expired when they refused to occupy Pennsylvania Avenue and Main Street (i.e. multi-trillion dollar welfare economy).

#BlackLivesMatter was subordinated to #AllLivesMatter -- it's a choice to acknowledge intrinsic value.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Liberals don't want to see more of the kind of direct action that’s characterized the Occupy Wall Street and #blacklivesmatter movements.

Liberals want to comfort the afflicted without afflicting the comfortable. That's what makes them liberals, as opposed to socialists.

The Salon article embraces Barney Frank as the exemplar. But what got Barney reelected time after time in Massachusetts was not his sometimes fiery rhetoric but his good old-fashioned attention to local interests and industries.

The Salon approach was tried by Keith Olbermann and Piers Morgan. It wears out its welcome every time.

Big Mike said...

The article that this post linked to has been bothering me all day. Here's what's upsetting me -- liberals like Isquith and Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama want big government apparently only for the sake of ever-bigger government. Where is the effort to make that government actually work?

It's very interesting that Isquith lauds Barney Frank. Who put more effort into stymying
Bush administration efforts to tighten oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than Barney Frank? And in the end, what happened? If he had put as much effort into assuring that these two government-sponsored agencies were solvent, would 2008's meltdown have happened? But that's too much like work for a liberal.

What does big government look like to an ordinary citizen? It looks like the surly clerks at DMV moving as slowly as a human can move and not be legally pronounced dead while you're trying to get your license renewed over lunch break. It looks like a broken web site when you try to sign up for Obamacare. It looks like your doctor complaining about how much effort he had to put into getting some dingbat at Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to understand that, no, he is not asking for reimbursement but by law he has to file the paperwork anyway.

It's your kid graduating eighth grade knowing less math than you had learned by fifth.

It's ever-increasing tax bills for ever-decreasing services.

If Isquith wants people to believe in big government, he should point to people who want to make it work. Not to Barney Frank.

Paddy O said...

"if they really want to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable"

If they wanted to do this, they'd vote new people into office.

The party of Reid and Pelosi is the party of comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted.

Change the party, cause their own liberal party to listen first, then people will see more direct action.

OWS and #hashtags afflict the middle and comfort the activists. No one is/was helped and no one of influence was bothered.

They let some steam out of those who want to care, many of who were idealists, and by letting out steam, they continue to be used as tools by the corrupt.

Achilles said...

"[E]ven the liberal press is anti-government,” Frank complained. “Ever watched Jon Stewart say anything good about government?”

Name one government program that hasn't turned into a complete fiasco and blatant evidence of corruption. I am going to take out Social Security preemptively. Where is the trust fund right now? Oh that's right it was spent on other things already and the SS trust fund is BANKRUPT. SS is only as solvent as our willingness to have the fed print money.

The only thing thing you can do is make fun of government. It fails at all but the most basic of responsibilities.

richard mcenroe said...

"I've always found the whole "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" to be repulsive and reactionary. That phrase, while clever, isn't about justice; it's about choosing tribes.

It was never a philosophy of life; it was a yellow journalist trying to sell more newspapers.

Achilles said...

DavidD said...
"On average, 1,876 black babies are aborted every day in the United States."
http://www.blackgenocide.org/black.html

#blacklivesmatter

Progressives never gave up on Eugenics or reducing the number of unwanted(black) babies. They just changed the name to planned parenthood.

Anonymous said...

He's gotten far more tipsy, jokey uncle as he's gotten older, but that's age-appropriate so it's fine. As a young guy, he was quite sober, clear-eyed, and sharp. (Age and money will do that. )

jr565 said...

Even more than outgrowing the snark the left needs to outgrow the race/sex card and agit prop.
But,that's pretty much alll they have. If they outgrew those theu'd probably be conservatives