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Tilting at Windmills

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March 3, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

LIBERALISM'S EARNESTNESS CRISIS....Michael Kalin is undoubtedly a good guy, which makes me feel a wee bit guilty for highlighting this, but please spare me observations like this about Jon Stewart's odious influence on America's youth:

At a time when the Democrats desperately need inspired leadership, the [Daily Show's] self-conscious aloofness pervades the liberal punditry.

Although Stewart's comedic shticks may thus earn him some laughs Sunday at the Oscars, his routine will certainly not match the impact of his greatest irony: Jon Stewart undermines any remaining earnestness that liberals in America might still possess.

Yep, that's liberalism's biggest problem: not enough earnestness. Shame on you, Jon Stewart.

Kevin Drum 3:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (84)

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Comments

Jon Stewart hates morality. He said it himself.

Posted by: David on March 3, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

You don't get it, Kevin. Liberals are supposed to be earnest, which used to be slang for 'gay.' Conservatives, on the other hand, are supposed to be mad about everything, which allows them to appear to be strong ...

... to the trailer park.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on March 3, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Jon Stewart does the country a great service to bring the notion that politicians on both sides of the aisle are invariably full of shit, so is the 'media', and most buffoons in the public eye, be it James Dobson or CIndy Sheehan.

In times like these, humour and satire are the best weapons.

Posted by: The Gorn on March 3, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Is The New Republic looking for a new TV critic? I thought they had copyrighted humorless attacks about why Jon Stewart isn't funny.

Posted by: jfaberuiuc on March 3, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

It galls me that anyone could even say this with a straight face.

Unfreakingbelievable.

Posted by: shortstop on March 3, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

No, no, no -- this was an egregious copyediting mistake by the Globe. Kalin thinks that Stewart is too *highbrow* and thinks the Democrats need more wacky hijinx.

The Democrats problem is not enough ERNEST.

Posted by: The Confidence Man on March 3, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Micheal Kalin regrets that some talented young guy takes a high-paying job, and blames it on Jon Stewart?

I think that the new Jerome/Kos book "Crashing the Gates" explains it better: the right has made politics a well-paying career, but if you're on the left and you want to work on politics and policy full-time (or work for Dem-leaning publications like the Washington Monthly), you get to live on ramen noodles with roommates.

Posted by: Joe Buck on March 3, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Being as how Pulitzer Prize-winning WSJ editorialist Dan Henninger's column today (http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/dhenninger/?id=110008042 ) applauds Stewart for asking Larry King "Are you insane?" when King tried the usual political media shtick, perhaps a charitable reading is that somebody is outa touch.

Posted by: theAmericanist on March 3, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, perhaps Kalin was indulging in a clever bit of second-order meta-irony, and you just missed the joke!

Posted by: Realish on March 3, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Earnest?? You mean like Jim Varney? We can do without that. Knowwhatimean.

Posted by: natural cynic on March 3, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

What. A. Moron.

"Meet Joshua Goldberg, a fictional composite of the typical apostle of ''The Daily Show." Born in Newton, Goldberg attended Newton South High School where he played an integral role in securing..."

Lemme get this straight: Kalin is offerring as proof that Jon Stewart's satire is detrimental A FICTIONAL COMPOSITE?

Frankly it seems this guy should be hired to write at the Colbert Report.

Posted by: random on March 3, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

aloofness? the daily show specializes in dick and fart jokes. and at the same time jon stewart is willing to ask his guests REAL questions that no other "legitimate" journalist has the courage to ask. rather than ranting and raving while he does it, he keeps a pretty reasonable view on most subjects, and looks to lighten the political climate with a little humor. he pokes fun at EVERYONE. the pompous windbags running our country could use a little deflating now and then. plus, i have a crush on him.

Posted by: EM on March 3, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

No Joe Buck,

Mike doesn't just regret that some talented young guy takes a higher paying job, he thinks it's a "tragedy" that the composite character he made up has taken a hi-paying job because Stewart has made it fashionable to be cynical about politicians.

It's the dumbest editorial in the history of man.

Posted by: n.o.t.l.f. on March 3, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, this criticism is so asinine it's amazing.

Jon Stewart is EXTREMELY EARNEST. This is one of the best things about his approach to the world and to comedy. For a good example of this, see
Jon Stewart's wonderful performance on Larry King a couple of days ago, via crooksandliars.com -- Stewart scores many points for liberal earnestness againt King's media-insider cynicism.

Posted by: JR on March 3, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Jon Stewart is a Communist Homosexual.

Posted by: Al's Mom on March 3, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

But the shittoheads are always saying, the problem with "the left" is its "humorlessness" - ergo the South Park Republcans, etc. No, we are just better at that, like anything else (in thought, if not practice...), it's just more sophisticated.

Posted by: Neil' on March 3, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

plus, i have a crush on him

Get in line, sister!

Posted by: shortstop on March 3, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Jon Stewart cracks me up.

BUT HE IS AN ENTERTAINER.

When will we stop confusing this? Rush and O'Reilly entertain their warped bases, and they too confuse that entertainment with political reality. The fact that we're doing it too is most unpleasant.

Posted by: KW on March 3, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that we're doing it too is most unpleasant.

Aw, come on, KW. "Political reality" and humor are not mutually exclusive.

Posted by: shortstop on March 3, 2006 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that we're doing it too is most unpleasant.

I'm sorry, but there is a big difference between making shit up (Rush) and making fun of what's really there (Stewart). Big, big difference. Huge. Enormous. Collosal.

Really, it's pretty big.

Posted by: craigie on March 3, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Note that the author of this op-ed is a 2005 graduate of Harvard College. It is at least possible that he doesn't actually have it all figured out yet.

Posted by: Steve on March 3, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Note that the author of this op-ed is a 2005 graduate of Harvard College. It is at least possible that he doesn't actually have it all figured out yet.

Hmmm, is that like a 2004 non-graduate of A&M?

Posted by: shortstop on March 3, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Nothing wrong (and much right) with Jon Stewart, but the liberals need more JIMMY Stewart (the character, not the actual person), though maybe an embryo like Kalin doesn't know about him.

Posted by: C.J.Colucci on March 3, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

The editorial is Jedediah Purdyism rearing its ugly head.

Posted by: Chris on March 3, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

cragie,

How big is it?

Posted by: Tripp on March 3, 2006 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

Better to bash the young adults, who do not give a shit what politicians do to ruin this country.

Posted by: Hostile on March 3, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Rush and O'Reilly entertain their warped bases, and they too confuse that entertainment with political reality. The fact that we're doing it too is most unpleasant. - KW

The difference as I see it:

The people who watch O'Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh, etc. are tuning in to get the news as it has been screened and approved by the RNC. The people who tune in to the Daily Show already know what is happening in the news and are looking for some humor to inject into it. You really can't compare what Jon Stewart is doing to what Limbaugh and pals are doing. It's like comparing apples to apple-cheeked children.

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on March 3, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

What JR said. Anybody who can't see Stewart's earnestness just isn't watching. Cut to the interview with Tucker Carlson!

Posted by: Jim M on March 3, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, that was a pretty worthless puff piece. Oh no, Jon Stewart is single-handedly turning young liberals into cynics!

Someone notify Al Gore.

Slightly OT: who else had no idea who Jedediah Purdy, referenced by Chris above, was?

Hell, I still don't know.

Posted by: S Ra on March 3, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

A leftie friend of mine went to a local Democrat gathering and made the mistake of mentioning she was sorry that Mark Maron's "Morning Sedition" was leaving Air America.

They read her the riot act, telling her that Democrats had too many important messages to get out there to waste time on "humor."

If it comes down to people I disagree with who can laugh and people I agree with who moan for the oppressed 24/7, I'll be hanging out with the laughing crowd.

Posted by: brianinatlanta on March 3, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin
Your point? Maybe Im dense or a are you running out of stuff to blog on? An entertaining political satirist (Stewart) is hosting an entertainment show (Oscars). Golly what's next a blog on Hal Holbrooks performances on Mark Twain another political satirist or Will Rodgers the fella who said we have the best congress money could buy.

Posted by: Jersey-Missouri on March 3, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Between John Stewart and Jay Leno, I'd say that a large portion of the populace is getting valuable skepticism and laughs about power. That's a good thing.

Posted by: Jimm on March 3, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Living in Boston, I read the piece by Michael Kalin this morning and groaned. And of all the people to pick on, Jon Stewart is a terrible choice because for all Stewart's silliness he really is funny and he really has been pointed in his shaming of the Bush crowd, mostly with the truth and a lifted eyebrow.
Still, there is a grain of truth to Kalin's conceit. We all know people who have avoided facing the nasty consequences of the current right wing crew in power by adopting an ironic pose. If you're wealthy enough and/or removed enough (no on in your family or circle is in Iraq)it's the easy way out and far too many of our educated elite have adopted it. At least, that's my experience.

Posted by: ralph on March 3, 2006 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

People laugh at Jay Leno's jokes?

Posted by: shortstop on March 3, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

Why blame Jon Stewart?

The real problem is the rotten leadership in the Democratic party.

If there are any ideals in the Democratic party, America doesn't know what they are. America has concluded the Democrats only stand for blocking any and all of the Bush Administrations programs. If Dems have ever offered an alternative, nobody knows what it is.

Look at Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean. Those are the leaders, folks.

Do you see any of these people talking about lofty ideas? Big visions? A future to aspire to?

It starts with leadership, not comedians.

Posted by: Paddy Whack on March 3, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Oh puhleez. Get this man a sense-of-humor implant immediately.

Posted by: Delia on March 3, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Let me closely examine my navel to see if other problems of the Democratic Party are lurking in there.

Posted by: lib on March 3, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Yep, that's liberalism's biggest problem: not enough earnestness. Shame on you, Jon Stewart.

Well, you might have earnestly debated the point, instead of mocking it.

Personally, I think that liberals lack earnestness on four points:

1. growing the US economy (Clinton was a centrist, not a liberal);

2. defending the US against its enemies (either the US isn't worthy of defense, or the enmies don't exist, or the enemies are the creation of the US, or the enemies can be defeated with diplomacy);

3. ensuring fuel-sufficiency for the US (liberals oppose both profitable fuel suppliers and tax-subsidized fuel);

4. improving publicly-financed education (liberals are far more interested in creating sinecures for teachers.)

However, there is a lack of earnestness on the right as well, exemplified by Ann Coulter and those who applaud her. A lack of earnestness might be a symptom of our time.

About point 2: a lot of people who post here advocate that a strong defense policy consists in mocking the people who think defense is important. That is, people who advocate reduced American military strength mock those who support the Iraq war, claiming that the Iraq war is reducing American military strength. Irony is the absence of earnestness; if anybody really wants American military strength, they need to advocate it, or else they are weak on defense.

Posted by: republicrat on March 3, 2006 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

One of the biggest problems that Democrats have is their utter and innate lack of ability to heed to the advice of the Republicans like Republicrat above.

Posted by: lib on March 3, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

I dont know what earnestness means here. Certainly Jon Stewart is the paragon of earnestness. Does it mean that there is a lack of seriousness or intense passion toward politics and life? Perhaps an ability to define evil and good and to fight the good fight? We recently heard on this blog that America was becoming more hedonistic and more individualistic. Does that mean Americans are less earnest all around or more liberal or that hedonism and liberalism are the same thing?

The man of our evening time in America, who anticipated the zeitgeist of Michael Kalins world, is Carl Schmitt. He was a German jurist, a fascist, a major intellectual architect of the conservativism that led to the Third Reich and a very insightful fellow. He has been a favorite son of the right (John Yoo channels his ghost when executive power needs to be legitimized) and lately he has been taken up by the left in the never-ending battle to defeat that open hypocrisy called liberal democracy (aka Thomas Jeffersons USA).

From Alan Wolfe in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

Schmitt argued that liberals, properly speaking, can never be political. Liberals tend to be optimistic about human nature, whereas "all genuine political theories presuppose man to be evil." Liberals believe in the possibility of neutral rules that can mediate between conflicting positions, but to Schmitt there is no such neutrality, since any rule -- even an ostensibly fair one -- merely represents the victory of one political faction over another. ... Liberals insist that there exists something called society independent of the state, but Schmitt believed that pluralism is an illusion because no real state would ever allow other forces, like the family or the church, to contest its power. Liberals, in a word, are uncomfortable around power, and, because they are, they criticize politics more than they engage in it.

Liberals in Schmitt's characterization believe there is a realm beyond politics, the state and the struggle for survival.

Posted by: bellumregio on March 3, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Like a 21 year old Harvard senior knows any damn thing.

He offers his imaginary friend Goldberg, who takes a job making 6 figures on Wall Street (and why is it that 21 year olds are offered jobs like that fresh out of the Ivy League?), as proof that those-darn-kids-today don't take politics and civic service "seriously", like him - he who by-passes his 6 figure job to teach inner city kids to read, instead.

Wonder how long he'll turn down the big bucks? Wonder if he's just trying to pimp out his "contrarian" schtick, attacking liberal conventional wisdom, so he can get a gig at TNR or the NYT?

Get in line behind Yglesias, Klein and all the other ass-kissers, ya whippersnapper!

Posted by: luci on March 3, 2006 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Gee, you would think that a Harvard education would a the very least provide the tools to discern that The Daily Show is ENTERTAINMENT and not liberal punditry. The big difference between the over-the-top bits on the Daily Show and the over-the-top clown shows on CNN, Fox and MSNBC is the the Daily Show uses hyperbole, satire and 'truthiness' primarily to entertain, not to inform.

As Mr. Stewart has repeatedly pointed out, its a comedy show. Does Michael Kalin wear a bowtie perhaps?

Posted by: itsadday on March 3, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

This article is a hoot. In the short op ed the audience is treated to crappy pretentious writing, undergrad earnestness, a 'composite' who is obviously some aquaintance of the author, oodles of solopsism & self-regard (his Vassar!! buddy is 'the typical apostle'??), and reductive descriptions of complex events worthy of a Fox news hack.

Also, I grew up in Newton and went to Newton North High School. So this is personal. Newton, 'the safest city in America', is Bobo heaven. This guy's composite character is like some joke one Newton resident might make to another. For starters, the composite's description sounds like a CV or a letter of recommendation. Nothing in it suggests any kind of commitment to self-sacrifice for the greater good. It doesn't provide any insight into the person at all! Providing the dude's high school GPA -- why not provide his SATs as well? Obviously if he's got a 3.8 he must be a good person!

For god's sakes the guy went to Vasser (the Vanderbilt of the northeast) and joined a fraternity! He's an ex-frat boy from a limousine liberal background who's now a broker. There are 1000's of such people in Newton and their mothers are all very proud of them. If they are the natural leaders of the Democratic party then we are as absurd as the Republicans depict us.

God. I just want to shake this turkey.

Posted by: adam on March 3, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

ps. The fact that dude is doing an internship means nothing. I would put money down that he ain't feeling any consequences financially (so's there's no downside) and doing so furthers his ambitions by providing instant street cred.

Kevin only cites the dude because he's on the CBS website. He's 21, mentioned on the CBS website and writing for the Globe. What connections got him this attention? Hmm?

Posted by: adam on March 3, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

plus, i have a crush on him

Get in line, sister!

Back off beeyatches! He's mine!

Posted by: Librul on March 3, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

The problem isn't Jon Stewart. It's that no one else speaks enough of the truth in the media -- reporters, anchors, or politicians. When the only truth out there is the truth in jest, it's a problem, but it's not Jon Stewart's problem... it's ours.

Posted by: Cali4nian on March 3, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

p.s. - It's possible to have earnest hopes and cynical (realistic) expectations at the same time. You know, when you get out of college and realize what a crapfest the human race is, but you still refuse to give up on the hodgepodge of ideals picked up in your youth.

Posted by: Librul on March 3, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat: Personally, I think that...

Did anyone get past this point? Tell me if I missed anything worthwhile.

Librul: Back off beeyatches! He's mine!

Hee!

Posted by: shortstop on March 3, 2006 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

All you beeyatches, he's married with a kid. But y'all are too funny!

Jon Stewart rocks. Kalin is wrong.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 3, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

News flash: Earnest young undergrad decries lack of earnestness in others. Also complains others "just don't get" Bob Marley, hackeysack, John Rawls.

Seriously: nice kid, means well, probably will quickly discover that inner-city schools do not foster earnestness. There are core differences between "realism," "cynicism" and "irony" that are not always easily discerned, especially when one is young and ready to change the world. Hopefully he'll get the leavening realism without falling into cynicism.

Posted by: WatchfulBabbler on March 3, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

First off, this article was beyond dumb and rivals this effort in TNR recently: http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=w060227&s=siegel022706

But then there is Republicrat and his list:

"Personally, I think that liberals lack earnestness on four points:
1. growing the US economy (Clinton was a centrist, not a liberal);"

No, we just don't see it as everything. GDP and similar measures are horrible measures of economic success in so many ways. Unfortunately, they dominate the discussion instead of issues of full employment, median wage, standard of living and such which are more important to more people in our beloved country.

"2. defending the US against its enemies (either the US isn't worthy of defense, or the enmies don't exist, or the enemies are the creation of the US, or the enemies can be defeated with diplomacy);"
This is just stupid. Tell me Republicrat why spending as much on defense as the rest of the world combined while being geographically isolated from our enemies is rational? I think the U.S. should spend more on defense per capita and in real dollars than any other nations. We could cut our defense dollars in half and still accomplish that. Why are Conservatives so paranoid? You were scared of Saddam. Still scared of al-Qeada. You are running around paranoid and scared all the time, it's embarassing, but I guess it's good politics. Too bad it's bad for our country.

"3. ensuring fuel-sufficiency for the US (liberals oppose both profitable fuel suppliers and tax-subsidized fuel);"
Wha??? This makes no sense. What are you talking about?


"4. improving publicly-financed education (liberals are far more interested in creating sinecures for teachers.)"
Can an argument be any more straw-manned. The teacher union bogeyman is out in strong force here. Schools don't work because they are underfunded, everyone knows that. The schools that do work in this country are found in high property tax areas. Pay teachers more and fund all schools appropriately and it'll improve. I'm amazed how much conservatives like to do things on the cheap, including the Iraq War. A Cheap and paranoid bunch.

That was fun.

Posted by: kj on March 3, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

WB: Also complains others "just don't get" Bob Marley, hackeysack, John Rawls.

Bwa! Line of the day!

Posted by: shortstop on March 3, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

John Stewart helps make life worth living.

Posted by: Tithonia on March 3, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Kalin: The type of folksy solemnity brandished by President Bush....

OK, Kalin is joking, yes? Sounds like Jon Stewart sarcasm but I believe Kalin is sincere. Oh, the irony.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 3, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Cali4nian nails it. I don't want the Daily Show to be one of the best news sources on cable TV. I'd much rather turn on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, or whomever and see capable, intelligent journalism. But I don't. The fact that I've come to consider the Daily Show -- a friggin' satirical comedy on the same channel as "Drawn Together" -- more informed than virtually any other news program says far more about the abysmal state of our discourse than it says about me.

I don't get the sense that Jon Stewart wants to be considered anything else but funny. It's just his humor is far more honest than the "earnestness" of our current media.

Posted by: FunkyDuck on March 3, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

I love Jon Stewart. I ernestly LOVE him.

Posted by: Brian Lewis on March 3, 2006 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

Sometimes ya just gotta laugh to keep from cryin'. And Jon Stewart helps.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 3, 2006 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

No "holier than thou" attitude on the other side of the aisle from the likes of Limbaugh, Krauthammer, O'Reilly, Jonah Goldberg or the like - No, nope, uh-uh, no siree......

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on March 3, 2006 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

The one useful thing about this piece is to remind us all not to overestimate someone just because he went to Harvard.

Posted by: bucky20816 on March 3, 2006 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

I have to agree with Michael Kalin: Jon Stewart has done untold damage to America by keeping fictional composites from entering politics.

Tell me the truth, Kevin: does Michael Kalin work for The Onion?

Posted by: Bobarino on March 3, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

I thought that, what with GWB and all, any further illustration of that point was unnecessary.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 3, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

At the Mighty Corrente Building, we constantly strive to bring American political discourse to the next level. Earnest is our middle name.

We're never afraid to ask the tough questions!

For example, How is Hitler most different from Bush? Take the poll!

Posted by: lambert strether on March 3, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

The Daily Show is as deadly earnest as any group of wonk liberals at The Nation or in the Beltway, but they know better than anyone how to present their material. They are both earnest and effective: something liberals would be wise to copy, not condemn.

Posted by: Marc Valdez on March 3, 2006 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

The Daily Show hits precisely the note an opposition party should. It's scorn based on a rigorous intellectual foundation.

Posted by: secularhuman on March 3, 2006 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry. But kids fresh outta kollege outta take a few years before spouting off...

Posted by: obscure on March 3, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

About point 2: a lot of people who post here advocate that a strong defense policy consists in mocking the people who think defense is important.

No, we're only mocking those that are creating bullshit strawmen in an attempt to hide the fact that their fear of the boogieman controls their lives like an addiction.

Posted by: Thumb on March 3, 2006 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

I saw this incoherent drivel this morning, and all I could think was: This pompous dink got into Harvard and I didn't...? (Okay, it was twenty years ago and I didn't actually apply, but seriously this kid needed better writing instructors. Or maybe just a good swift kick in the ass).

Posted by: Jim on March 3, 2006 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

"Oh puhleez. Get this man a sense-of-humor implant immediately."
Posted by: Delia on March 3, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK


The trouble with those is that to install it you've gotta shove it up their...

Oh puhleez, we're all infantile here. :-)

Posted by: MarkH on March 3, 2006 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

That Stewart has become, in some circles, the voice of young (and the not so young) liberals is a damning condemnation of the Democrats.

Frankly, while we all gloat about Chimpy's approval ratings hitting an all time low, I have no faith whatsoever this will translate into electoral success for the Dems.


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Posted by: shoo on March 3, 2006 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

"We all know people who have avoided facing the nasty consequences of the current right wing crew in power by adopting an ironic pose."

And how else would we have survived the last five years, pray tell?

Posted by: Kenji on March 4, 2006 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

No, Kevin, Michael Kalin is *NOT* "undoubtedly a good guy." Michael Kalin is a member of the media who said something asinine to the partisan benefit of Republicans. He's a fucking tool until proven otherwise, and I wish people on the left would stop assuming that people in the media are our friends for some godawfully stupid reason, because we want to like them, and want them to like us.

Positive feedback for negative behavior is not productive. At least, it's not productive of *positive* behavior, and I think in our quest to become more popular, we assume that we can't be critical of people who deserve it, because we need all the friends we can get. That's a ridiculous argument, and the fact that we keep making it shows how little we understand about politics and the media. Fuck Michael Kalin. And fuck defending the Michael Kalins of the world.

Posted by: Chris on March 4, 2006 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

Come on y'all, Kalin's article has got to be a joke. Writing this awful couldn't possibly be published if it were serious. "Perched on their Olympian ivory towers"?!?! It has to be a joke.

Please, someone confirm it's really a joke!

Posted by: Fred on March 4, 2006 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

If Kalin's column is a joke, Fred, who's laughing?

Nope, sometimes columns are just lousy.

Posted by: Redbeard on March 4, 2006 at 1:20 AM | PERMALINK

This is one of the silliest op-ed pieces that the Globe has published over the last few years--and that's saying something. Some have suggested that it is Kalin's attempt to grab a writing gig for the Daily Show.

Posted by: raj on March 4, 2006 at 3:28 AM | PERMALINK

Obviously this guy got through Harvard without learning anything about critical thinking or logic.

He makes the observation: Observers since the days of de Tocqueville have often remarked about America's unique dissociation between politicians and citizens of ''outstanding character. But he turns around and argues that Steward is responsible for people doing this.

You would think a recent Harvard grad would not make such an internally inconsistent argument.

Posted by: spencer on March 4, 2006 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

I've never found Comedy Central witty or even mildly humorous. Not to mention Jon Stewart. When the world laughs at a joke that isn't funny, we're in big trouble. It's all garbage like this:

"D'ja ever notice the ring around your toilet bowl? I mean, has the federal government ever sent a certified bathroom inspector to your house to tell you, hey, your toilet is slimy? And another thing...about sex..."

Posted by: Funnier still... on March 4, 2006 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

I thought Kalin displayed much earnest-i-ness.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 4, 2006 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

God. I just want to shake this turkey.
Posted by: adam

Okay, guess I'm gonna have to report this to PETA. Shaken Turkey Syndrome alert.

;-)

>>>picking up all these damned turkey feathers and sneezing...earnestly.

Posted by: CFShep on March 4, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Appollo 13: "All you beeyatches, he's married with a kid. But y'all are too funny!"

Actually, TWO kids now. He just had a little girl a couple weeks ago. That's why we've had so many reruns lately, I guess. How dare he have a life? Ruining my entertainment.

Posted by: EM on March 4, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

"When the world laughs at a joke that isn't funny, we're in big trouble."

No, when the world doesn't laugh at something that is funny, then we're in trouble. By the way, we're already in big trouble.

And, obviously, you have never actually watched the Daily Show.

Posted by: Kenji on March 4, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Here in America, it is a time-honored tradition to make fun of our politicians. You, Michael, are taking the whole thing way too seriously.

Posted by: Patrick Mercer on March 4, 2006 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, it is not Shame on you, Jon Stewart.

You must roll back your eyes, raise your arms, aim your face to the ceiling camera, and scream, Damn you, Jon Stewart!

Nothing less will do.

Posted by: JHD on March 4, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Liberalism is not a cause its an effect. -- mr_ho

Posted by: one eye buck tooth[ X^B on March 4, 2006 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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