June 7, 2011


Jon Stewart: Weinergate not his finest hour (David Zurawik, 6/07/11, Baltimore Sun)

Let's be honest about this: Stewart has behaved badly when it comes to Weiner the past few days. In fact, he's looked kind of confused and pathetic at times, particularly in his wrongheaded criticism of the media.

The early locker-room jokes in the May 31 video don't matter much. Nor do all the middle-school references to size. What matters to me is Stewart's criticism of media coverage, particularly CNN's, which he really goes after during the last 90 seconds or so of the video. Pay special attention to the way he singles out Dana Bash and John King, who I think did excellent work. You can read my analysis of CNN's performance here.

Stewart was dead wrong in his criticism of the way the mainstream press was trying to get at the story that came to light yesterday. Bash and her producer were exemplary, in fact. But Stewart tried to ridicule their efforts.

I'd like to think that perhaps his friendship with the creepy Weiner clouded Stewart's judgment, but he has been wrong in his media criticism before -- and no one called him on it. My take on why he gets a free pass is that many media critics aren't sure of their own values and standards. The one thing they know, though, is that they are scared to death of being ridiculed by Stewart.

And Stewart never is accountable in his media criticism, is he? When he is wrong, he goes into the tap dance of saying he's only a comedian and shouldn't be taken seriously.

Posted by at June 7, 2011 2:51 PM

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