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Okay Jon Stewart, Enough Already: Your Gimmick Is Old, And Nobody Cares Anymore

Jon Stewart is the Most Awesomest Guy in the world, everybody agrees. The Times hands out puff profiles on the guy — just 'cause. The kids love him and laugh on command, even though he sometimes traffics in Dad Humor, and that's the worst. But he's scored big points among viewers for skewering politicians, and among the media elite for skewering … the media elite. But as with all good things — Mad Men, memorializing Tim Russert, Michael Phelps — inevitably, there comes backlash. So far, Stewart's avoided it. But no longer.

It's time to admit you've grown tired of Stewart's tired routine. Splicing clips where politicians contradict themselves? Fine. But finding new examples of media screw ups every day is our job; Stewart's brand of "You Are Fools And Let Me Show You Why But Won't You Still Love Me?" has run its course.

In a breakfast with reporters, Stewart directed most of his ire at the 24-hour cable news networks, which he called "gerbil wheels," and said the media at-large had "abdicated" to what he called the "slow-witted beast."

He said the never-ending television news cycle creates a "false sense of urgency" and forces reporters to "follow the veins that have been mined," instead of pursuing serious and in-depth reporting. [CNN]

Ooooh! Stewart's got something new to say! This is the same shtick he's been shopping around since The Daily Show started, and rather than improve what cable news brings viewers, we've watched the industry steadily slip into an abyss of navel gazing and dry humping.

It could be argued that, at the very least, Stewart's attacks on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC have stemmed the natural decline of the media industry, from standing tall on investigative journalism to squatting and shitting with breathless reports based not in fact but analysis, and empty analysis at that.

Or maybe Stewart helped drive them there faster, making clear that this is where the ratings, and the money, are. And while investigative journalism can be expensive and get in the way of agendas, endless over-analysis and third-grade debate is cheap and effective.

So congrats, Stewart — this is what you have helped wrought. Now wipe that self-serving smirk off your face, and find a new punchline.

Aug 26, 2008 · posted by david · Link · 21 Responses
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Comments (21)
No. 1 beanfog says:

I agree the show is getting a little tired and childish, they should take a hint from Colbert and freshen things up.

Posted: Aug 26, 2008 at 9:57 am
No. 2 nancyboy says:

Whatever. His show is funny as hell to me. Rob Riggle doing the chinese eyes bit was pure gold.

Posted: Aug 26, 2008 at 10:04 am
No. 3 Jacksonian says:

What an idiotic post.

Blaming the decline in the quality of journalism on Jon Stewart's jokes about the decline in the quality of journalism is irrational. Stewart is popular because he's funny; he's funny because there is a ring of truth to his jokes.

He is clever, intelligent,and funny.This column is none of those.

Posted: Aug 26, 2008 at 10:07 am
No. 4 James says:

What a load of crap. You're complaining that Jon Stewart doesn't have new material because the 24 Hour "news" channels have only gotten worse with their repetitive reporting when if he didn't have a show to give satirical opinion, we'd probably be all watching more news conferences about Bigfoot or the Montauk monster.

Posted: Aug 26, 2008 at 10:39 am
No. 5 Max says:

"You Are Fools And Let Me Show You Why But Won't You Still Love Me?"

Do you even watch his show? That's not his schtick at all. He doesn't give a fuck. Like the rest of us, he's just tired of this shit.

Posted: Aug 26, 2008 at 10:53 am
No. 6 Rafat says:

I'm not sure that this post is as well thought out as you hoped. Jon Stewart's message about the news media is not a "shtick", it's his message and he's using his position as a member of the media to get that message across. Is that not what influential people do? Use their public image to further a message that would otherwise not reach people?

Also, there's a recent poll that shows that up to 21% of people 18-29 get their news from The Daily Show. That's a significant number for a "fake" news program. And they're often better informed than their fox news watching counterparts. If you ask me, that's doing a LOT. Not self serving in the least.

Posted: Aug 26, 2008 at 11:09 am
No. 7 Mar says:

This is a pretty pathetic post. I clicked on it because I thought I'd see reasoned arguments attacking Jon Stewart, and instead I see blind accusations pulled from the very ether. Actually, from what I'm reading, it seems like you're actually just "following the veins that are mined" instead of doing some actual in-depth reporting and citing substance.

Is this how you actually argue?
It could be A, or it could be B, so therefore C.

This isn't an article, it's a rant.

Posted: Aug 26, 2008 at 11:19 am
No. 8 heather says:

Ummm. If it's ok with you, I'll keep watching him all the same. PS, I only check your blog now and then, but I watch JS every day.

Posted: Aug 26, 2008 at 12:04 pm
No. 9 Stan says:

Friend, you are way full of it on this one. Stewart ROCKS and calls out ANYONE who's full of s**t. May he NEVER quit.

Posted: Aug 26, 2008 at 12:24 pm
No. 10 david says:

How about we start boycotting JOSSIP instead? This post reaks of jealousy — and it's not even cleverly written. The new editor of this site SUCKS. It was much more clever six months ago. I'm losing interest.

Posted: Aug 26, 2008 at 2:03 pm
No. 11 Anna says:

^ completely agree (with the above comment)

Posted: Aug 26, 2008 at 4:21 pm
No. 12 Sonia says:

Stewart's gimmick is old? This was YOUR lead post:

"Hallmark Magazine is currently thriving in a veritable print depression, while every other magazine has cut corners. So why is a magazine that doesn't even put human beings on the cover all the time bitchslapping the competition? "

Fascinating shit.

Posted: Aug 26, 2008 at 4:22 pm
No. 13 Tim says:

Jon Stewart mocks that which is mock-able. Plain and simple. He is a brilliant satirist. If his jokes seem stale it is because the political environment hasn't changed and the news media has grown more and more mindless as they shove sound bites bulls**t down our throats. Stewart is a gentlemen and a scholar.

Posted: Aug 26, 2008 at 4:39 pm
No. 14 Christopher says:

Hmm… Funny I didn't see any Schtick in the event. The print media REQUESTED the event. He didn't exactly go out of his way to make this speech. Second, some one has to act as the watch dog for the public and the traditional media, print included, is definitely not doing their job. Stewart didn't spend all of his time on the 24hrs news channels. He actually named a few good points to Fox news in comparison to the other 24hr stations and lectured the print media on the consistent mistakes they have made.

Start there and move to parts 2 and 3. It details the purpose of the event, the editorializing of the Washington Post, and points where Print Media needs to get their act together.

FACT IS, that these issues came along long before Jon Stewart. And formats like the Daily Show have existed for as long as politics and journalism have been around. It's called Satire. Hell, Weekend Update has been around since the 70s, but you're not lashing out at them.

If the media actually conducting themselves with Journalistic Integrity and Ethics, rather than towing the corporate line, they wouldn't be subject to so many "Gotcha" moments. They would be bring us the "Gotcha" moments.

Posted: Aug 26, 2008 at 4:43 pm
No. 15 Jon H. says:

This is an utterly pointless post. The utter stupidity and needless sense of 24-hours-a-day emergency is Jon Stewart's fault?

I can always go to Slate if I want read mindless, poorly reasoned opposition for opposition's sake. What's the point of Jossip again?

Oh, and agreed with whomever it was that said this site jumped the shark. It's been awfully shitty for a while now.

Posted: Aug 26, 2008 at 4:51 pm
No. 16 Carl F. says:

This is what you consider a backlash against Stewart? The only backlash in this article is from people commenting on how much this article sucks.

The only way the Daily Show could contribute to the current state of the media is if he forced people to lie, cheat, or do down right stupid things politicians and news "reporters" do anyways.

He is not a news reporter. I doubt he has ever claimed to be, but I can see why he gets infuriated when people who watch his show are more educated about world and political events then those who watch other news programs.

Its as if knowledge is health, and everyone who eats fast food (The Daily Show) is in better shape because the alternatives are so much worse.

Posted: Aug 26, 2008 at 7:30 pm
No. 17 topsyturvy8 says:

So are you trying to get ahead of the curve and bash Stewart and the Daily Show? Do you really think that's the new black? Back it up, bitch! Long live King Jon!

Posted: Aug 26, 2008 at 8:14 pm
No. 18 Osa says:

Jon Stewart show rocks!!! I actually thought this article might have a valid criticism and instead the article was just utter rubbish. There is a reason alot of young people watch him everyday for his wrap up off the news.

Posted: Aug 26, 2008 at 9:12 pm
No. 19 jibbajabba says:

"This is the same shtick he's been shopping around since The Daily Show started"

In a post full of dumb comments, this is the dumbest-the show isn't anything like it was when Stewart took over from Craig Kilborn.

Posted: Aug 27, 2008 at 2:07 pm
No. 20 Mar says:

I agree with this article…what's wrong wtih you peeps, it's okay to criticize the media but not Jon Stewart? No one is offering that indepth news he's talking about. That's right, not even Jon Stewart. If young america gets their news from him then no wonder nearly two-thirds of Americans 18 - 24 still cannot find Iraq on a map!

Posted: Aug 27, 2008 at 3:19 pm
No. 21 islander says:

It's okay to criticize JS but not on this isssue.
Reporters go into spin rooms and regurgatate whatever those "doctors" spew. They treat this election like a football game or something. The media,despite their incredible access and venues to share do nothing more than repeat what they are told like minahs while reporting it as though they did some actual journalistic investigation.
Have we forgotten the absolute laydown they performed in the run-up to Iraq. We need JS on Meet the Press to give him an hour of serious conversations with our nation's leaders.

Posted: Aug 28, 2008 at 10:10 pm
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