Monday, March 02, 2015

Max Peak MSM Blue Bubble

It has to be the media slobbering over Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart.

It is not just that they praise him. It is their blithe assumption that all right-thinking people, all thinking people, join in their Hosanas. Critical thinking and nuance are almost wholly absent in the MSM commentary.

They fawn over him when they assess his achievements. Worse, they assume that fawning is the only correct critical posture.

Take NPR’s “On the Media” program and its handling of Colbert and Stewart. Take it, first, because it is supposed to be a critical look at all things media. And, also, because you, the average non-lefty taxpayer are helping to pay these people.

When Colbert left his show, host Brooke Gladstone practically anointed him a saint:

Stephen Colbert, is a brilliant comedian who uses his power for good. He seems to be a modest man. Too modest, perhaps, to see that by lightly shedding the cap of his creation he’s depriving us all of a national treasure. And I’m not joking.
Gladstone and Bob Garfield did not pretend that Colbert was balanced, objective, or anything but a liberal.

Colbert, in the character of a right-wing blowhard, has used irony as a bludgeon against conservative Republicans for 9 years.
Fake pundit Stephen Colbert contained multitudes: political pitchman; self-righteous hack; pompous patriot; sloppy sentimentalist; and of course, oblivious, ignorant boob.
They are so deep inside the bubble that they do not think they have anything to hide. They can dismiss Rush Limbaugh with his vast audience as merely a “right-wing blowhard” while praising comedians with much smaller followings as significant historical figures.

Seen from outside the bubble the Daily Show is your average hit on cable. In comparative terms, its audience is pitifully small. Megyn Kelly and Duck Dynasty reruns “destroy” Stewart in the ratings. More millennials get their news from the old tired evening network news broadcasts.

Yet, inside the bubble, The Daily Show is one of the MOST IMPORTANT PROGRAMS IN THE HISTORY OF TELEVISIONS!!!!!!!!!!!

[Yeah, they took it to Eleven]

Brooke Gladstone:

"We've all heard year after year, 'The Daily Show makes me feel like I'm not crazy'"
This is Max Bubbliciousness.

Not only does Gladstone know people who say stupid stuff, she apparently knows many, many people who think this way.

And she thinks all of us think this way and know many people who also think this way.

Inside the bubble, they depend on the mugging of a moderately talented hack comic and his carefully selected videos to hold onto their sanity.

On the Media loves to go against the grain. They usually make special efforts to bring on perspectives that they feel are under-represented in mainstream media. After the Paris atrocities and “Je suis Charlie”, they wondered if the journal went to far and if the demonstrations for free speech might strengthen “islamaphobia” and right-wing nationalism. They love to push back against over-wrought narratives on the dangers of terrorism and epidemics.

Yet when it came to Stewart and Colbert, they joined the coastal narrative and sang “Hosana” as loud as anyone.

It is not as if it is hard to find opposing opinions. For many years the right has questioned the honesty of Stewart’s critical pose when he plays the “clown nose” game. Yet, Gladstone did not mention this, she simply blessed TDS and Stewart for giving us “" a clear-eyed lesson in integrity“" each night.

David Marcus in the Federalist punctured many of the pretentions of Stewart and his fans.

Jon Stewart Was Never A Newsman

Jon Stewart is the perfect poster child for the unhealthy, smug age of outrage we live in. The partisan gulf, from the cliffs of which we scream at each other, grew wider when Stewart attained the mantle of legitimate newsman. Instead of worrying that those who disagree with us would discredit our ideas, we came to worry that we would be mocked like a middle schooler wearing the wrong color on Thursday.
NR’s Kevin Williamson was also brutally clear-headed:

Mr. Stewart is among the lowest forms of intellectual parasite in the political universe, with no particular insights or interesting ideas of his own, reliant upon the very broadest and least clever sort of humor, using ancient editing techniques to make clumsy or silly political statements sound worse than they are and then pantomiming outrage at the results, the lowbrow version of James Joyce giving the hero of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man the unlikely name of Stephen Dedalus and then having other characters in the novel muse upon the unlikelihood of that name. His shtick is a fundamentally cowardly one, playing the sanctimonious vox populi when it suits him, and then beating retreat into “Hey, I’m just a comedian!” when he faces a serious challenge. It is the sort of thing that you can see appealing to bright, politically engaged 17-year-olds.

His audience is not made up of bright, politically engaged 17-year-olds. But Mr. Stewart has pulled off a pretty neat trick: He has, as the half-million or so headlines mentioned above indicate, made fake news into real news, and it is not an accident that the verb “destroys” so often follows his name. Mr. Stewart is the leading voice of the half-bright Left because he is a master practitioner of the art of half-bright vitriolic denunciation. His intellectual biography is that of a consummate lightweight
Gladstone and Garfield do not have to agree with Marcus or Williamson. Honest critic/reporters, especially those who operate as a public trust, would at least acknowledge their viewpoint and, maybe, have them on as guests.

Inside the Bubble, however, credible critics of Jon Stewart do not exist.

Which makes Marcus and Williamson’s point in spades.

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