Hey, look – Jon Stewart’s doing infomercials!

Is he a rube-boob or is he the cutting edge, funny, a signficant contributor to the ongoing political  [blather, blather, blather]?

Or perhaps he’s simply the Vince Schlomi of the death culture?

(Caution: video contains explicit language/ lies)



  1. Matthew Lickona says

    I don’t think he’s ever been uncomfortable supporting those who support what he supports. If you asked him to be more objective, he would point out that he runs a comedy show. This is, I think, a bit of a dodge, since his comedy comes very clearly out of a moral place – there would be no edge to it if Stewart didn’t think there was a right side to be on.

    • I’m not asking Mr. Stewart to be objective – I guess I’m not really asking him anything. What I am asking is why folks don’t see him as anything more than a shill for the left. Perhaps his “edge” is acceptable for popular culture because he’s making the proper sacrifices to the proper liberal lares – but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s less an “artist” than he is a political operative.

      I know, via Nicolosi, we’re supposed to be building culture not rejecting it; but I have a hard time watching a naked emperor pass without some sort of comment.

      Or maybe it doesn’t matter and we might as well have a good laugh every once in a while amidst our political despondency.

      “Schticky!” Slap Chop! Slam Wow!”
      “Goooooooooooo – team!”



      • Matthew Lickona says

        Sure it matters. And Stewart is not above taking shots at the left’s sacred cows when they disappoint. I think, if you asked him, he’d say he goes after folly wherever he sees it. I agree, though, that this was a spoon-feed exception.

      • Jonathan Potter says

        Even watching this, I just can’t see Stewart as “a shill for the left.” Not in the way 90% of what you hear on AM talk radio is extremist on the right.

        • Jonathan,

          I wholly agree. The left is more sophisticated, sauve and better at the media game. Always have been, it seems. But that’s all the more reason that, when the “spoonfed” exceptions come along, they should be pointed out.

          You say Stewart is his own man; yet there is nothing “radical” or “crazy” or “outrageous” about publicly serving as infomercial spokesman for the single bloodiest institution in the United States today.

          Or maybe, on second thought, it IS radical specifically because it is so completely sane, normal and conventional in this day and age.


          • Jonathan Potter says

            I agree there was an infomercial quality to this that deserves to be called out. Nicely done. But I think you’re going to undercut your case by taking the next step and calling Stewart “a shill for the left.” Passionately conservative haters of John Stewart and his ilk will nod their heads in agreement. Everyone else will dismiss the more reasonable case you began to make against this particular instance of Stewart cheerleading for Planned Parenthood.

            • Alright, useful idiot, then.

              Kinda like P.G. Woodehouse being invited to say a few kind words to the people of Germany back at the beginning of the war…


              • The problem is people think that Stewart and Colbert are “edgy” when they are really just mainstream center-left. They have never said anything which would make a vegan homeowner in Arlington, VA shift in his seat. They are funny but they are still conformist.

                The true edgy guys are the guys who write South Park. I skipped the one where they make fun of Our Lady but you have to hand it to them: they are not afraid of making fun of people who can actually hurt them (e.g., powerful Hollywood people and Al Qaeda).

                • Not to mention, the ACLU.

                • Matthew Lickona says

                  “They have never said anything which would make a vegan homeowner in Arlington, VA shift in his seat.”

                  Not sure that’s true. I remember Colbert debating himself on embryonic stem cells. Mighty shifty, I thought.

                  • Yeah, I forgot about that. Also, he did that great interview where he gave a succinct account of Catholic doctrine on damnation and hell ended by saying “I TEACH Sunday School, motherfucka!!”

                    I guess I got sour on Colbert recently because of the HHS stuff. But you make a good point.

  2. Jonathan Potter says

    I don’t watch him that much — and I haven’t reviewed the clips linked to here — but I recall Mike Huckabee appearing on his show a few years back and Stewart being very congenial and respectful — and on the abortion rights question even seeming to admit to some real misgivings about the pro-choice position.

    • Matthew Lickona says

      One gets the feeling he feels like it’s is just an easy shot in this case.

      • Jonathan Potter says

        I’m afraid Rush Limbaugh did a lot of damage towards making the issue seem like an easy shot. I say that, not as a Rush basher.

        • For saying what everyone else thought or just for saying it in the first place?

          Perhaps my judgment on these things is warped; I’d be the first to admit it. But I’ll wager that if one of the lefty “entertainers” to say something similar – you know, like calling Sarah Palin a cXXX or Michelle Bachmann a b-scratch – they would absolutely get a pass from the cultural mandarins. “Because, look,” they’ll say, “Palin and Bachmann are public figures and ripe for satirical treatment (though what these debasing terms have to do with satire as such escapes me for the moment) – nonetheless they should EXPECT it.” (sound familiar? i.e. “If they’re going to wear those sorts of clothes, they should EXPECT to be raped…”).

          But when someone on the right calls out the left for their political theater (Ms. Fluke was a women’s reproductive rights [sic] activist, long before she was asking the American public to pay for her fornication, a fact that went little reported, if at all), well, it must be because man cannot bear too much nakedness on the emperor…


          • Matthew Lickona says

            Without addressing the Rush thing: Potter, did you watch the clips? I got only a couple minutes into the first one, but very early on, right at the outset in fact, he asks her opinion about this “women’s health issue,” then immediately corrects himself and says, “I mean, religious liberty issue.” And they both chuckle – ho, ho, those silly so and sos. It was the cheapest of cheap shots, and it had nothing to do with Rush.

            • Jonathan Potter says

              I agree, but Rush has helped create a climate where the cheap shot is acceptable. Prior to Rush saying what he said, I think the balance of public opinion was tipping against the HHS mandate. Afterwards, I’m not so sure. I think the Rush thing was really damaging.

              I agree that Stewart is, in this clip, serving as a shill for Planned Parenthood. It is pathetic and stinks to high heaven. But I don’t think that equates to his being “a shill for the left” in general. To someone stockpiling guns and booze in a barn in Wisconsin, yes, Stewart must appear to exist in some extremist far left la la land (just kidding, JOB!), but I think in reality he’s more in the muddled moderate middle. Maybe I’m wrong.

              • Jonathan,

                It’s true, when I speak of the “left,” and who’s shilling for them, I’m not talking about the left that sprang from the head of Diderot’s encyclopedia and the boils on Voltaire’s ass; nor am I speaking of the left that believes in state-controlled economic management.

                But which left could you possibly be speaking of if not the left that has annointed abortion and contraception as the source and summit of existence? “I fuck when I want to fuck how I want to fuck with whom or what I want to fuck. Free love has been damaging to women for the last 40 years? So be it. We’ll put a woman up in front of congress and dare someone to refute her.” If that’s the muddled moderate middle, then, boyoboy I’m happy keeping my guns safe and warm and clean for when my daughters come of age and the booze will do fine to sit out on my porch and watch the lights of Western Civilization go out. One. By. One. By. One…

                I don’t have to see the caffienated skyline of Seattle from my back door to know that free love (which is neither) costs the same there as it does in Soldiers Grove (and perhaps more than in SG, given the notoriously high cost of living in the PNW.).


  3. lansing priest says


    I also do not watch the show, except the rare clip or partial show now and then. I did happen to catch an interview he did recently with a moral theologian from Notre Dame. (sorry I can’t provide a link and the theologian’s name, but my time today is limited).

    What was most bothering was that this moral theologian came on to give the Church’s side of things in connection to the HHS mandate. She did a decent job of explaining in just a few minutes in layman’s terms how Church teaching is handed on and the complexity of Church hierarchy.

    But then the whole train ran off the track (no surprise here) when Jon got into the issue itself and asked how what the Church was objecting to was any different from the Church paying an employee for their job and then the employee going off and spending the money on contraception. Her response was basically: “That’s a great question, Jon. You could be a moral theologian.” Wow, not only did she not explain the difference, she made it seem like there wasn’t one, Church teaching is a bunch of nonsense, and Jon’s question was deeply insightful. Typical.

    If Jon is having the head of Planned Parenthood on, then he should be having Cardinal Dolan or some such on to present our side.

    I think people see him as more than a shill because (1) most people under 35 have little sense of truth not being relative, no intellectual formation and the attention span of 3 minutes or less, (2) the Daily Show does poke fun at both sides, which makes them seem on the surface more objective, and (3) from what I’ve read, many who watch get all/most of their political news from this show, which would indicate a profound inability to distinguish between satire and reality.

    • Pater,

      Yeah, I guess I’m not supposed to be shocked at this point. It was the blatant infomerciality of the thing, though, that really put this one, as Stanek noted, a cut above his usual capers.

      “Oh, here’s another soft ball. How far can you hit this one?”

      “OK, I’m cloaking this softball in some edgy humor, but really, you should be able to hit this one out of the park too.”

      “And another one – this time I’m putting a bit of spin on it, but don’t worry, it really is going very slow and very straight down the plate. Ready? Ready? Here it is..”


    • notrelatedtoted says

      And the line between information and entertainment grows ever blurier…….(yes, I know, that’s why they call it infotainment). At least Jon Stewart is on Comedy Central – you can’t say the same for Rush, Hannity, Maddow and the rest of the manufactured outrage-ists. Political journalism in this country is in the toilet.

      And why does Colbert always get left out of these conversations? I’d argue that he’s as much a shill as Stewart, albeit for different causes.

      Topic: why can’t conservatives be funny? Discuss.

      Infotainment! Outrage-ist! Webinar! Toyotathon! Wordsmithery!

  4. Sed contra est: P.J. O’Rourke.

    • Matthew Lickona says

      Exception that proves the rule? But early Waugh is another, I think. I’m so happy that someone has finally typed “Toyotathon” on the Korrektiv.

      Lansing Priest: that was a depressing bit of story there. Imagine if the professor had smiled and said, “That’s a good question, Jon. You’re thinking like a moral theologian. Now, let’s follow that question down the logical rabbit hole…”

    • OK, but the exception is himself included in a pretty hefty list on the matter:



    • notrelatedtoted says

      I’ve always considered O’Rourke to be more of a libertarian, and that it was all that hard living from his younger days that made him funny. I know he’s a republican and all, but doesn’t fit the typical mold.

      • notrelatedtoted says

        Also, I was talking more about the perception that comedy = liberalism, rather than the reality. I think that perception speaks volumes both about the state of comedy and conservatism. While there may be conservatives who are humorous, I think you’d have a hard time convincing the Hollywood Establishment otherwise.

        Consider the case of Dennis Miller. As soon as he became a conservative, he became “not funny.”

        I actually think that at one point conservativism will be the new cringe comedy.

        • notrelatedtoted says

          AND, somehow, I think this ties into Brietbart’s new aesthetic.

          We can be cool……not just blue-blazered one-percenters looking for new ways to oppress women and minorities.

      • And Tom Wolfe’s not really a conservative because he’s a novelist.

        And Taki’s not really a conservative because he’s Greek.

        And Florence King is not really a conservative because she was a lesbian.

        And right on down the line….

        And we can do the same for the liberals: Garrison Keillor isn’t really a liberal because he’s a Farmer-Labor Party Democrat….


        Wouldn’t it be better to say: Republican lizards and Democratic hacks by nature are not SUPPOSED to be funny but only toe the party line, read their talking points and otherwise shut-hup, while true comics, political or otherwise, have drawn a fairly accurate bead on the weakness of human nature and exploited it for the benefit of all?

        But for all that I don’t see how the liberals have a monopoly on that skill set.


        • I get your point about perception though.


        • notrelatedtoted says

          “Wouldn’t it be better to say: Republican lizards and Democratic hacks by nature are not SUPPOSED to be funny but only toe the party line, read their talking points and otherwise shut-hup, while true comics, political or otherwise, have drawn a fairly accurate bead on the weakness of human nature and exploited it for the benefit of all?”

          Comedy doesn’t follow rules, man.

          Interesting thought, though. It would seem the more partisan you get, the higher the risk that you might lose your audience. Stewart manages that highwire act fairly well (as does Colbert), even if it requires some slight of hand from time to time.

          “But for all that I don’t see how the liberals have a monopoly on that skill set.”

          They don’t……it’s just that people think that they do.

  5. I never thought about this Conservative/not funny relationship before. This is seriously disturbing.


  6. Jonathan Webb says

    Booze in the barn. I didn’t know about the booze stockpile.

    2013 or bust!

    Fresh deer meat for dinner?

    I agree with JOB. Stewart give the left flesh wounds and gives the right mortal wounds. I guess I’d rather prefer big lies to half-truths.

    Potter is right on about Limbaugh, though. That woman was low-hanging fruit and Rush made an unforced error. With friends like that…

  7. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

    I like John Stewart less than Hal Jordan, Green Lantern less than Batman, DC less than Marvel, superheroes less than manga, manga less than Alphonse.

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