Monday, August 18, 2008

That's your job, not his

There's much that I love in this NYT article about Jon Stewart, but this part kind of stuns me:
TO the former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, Mr. Stewart serves as “the citizens’ surrogate,” penetrating “the insiders’ cult of American presidential politics.” He’s the Jersey Boy and ardent Mets fan as Mr. Common Sense, pointing to the disconnect between reality and what politicians and the news media describe as reality, channeling the audience’s id and articulating its bewilderment and indignation.
Take out the florid bits, and you're left wondering why Tom Brokaw thinks a recovering stand-up comedian is the "citizen's surrogate" when there's a bunch of people who get paid day in and day out -- including Mr. Brokaw! -- to do the same job, and are, as Mr. Brokaw seems to acknowledge, failing miserably.

Journalists who think Jon Stewart is a problem for their profession need to have their heads checked. Stewart hagiography can go over the top, but the best parts of the Daily Show are exactly what journalism is supposed to be: democracy's bullshit detector.

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