Jon Stewart Wants to Know How Fox News Can Put a Sh**head Like Tucker Carlson on TV Every Night

Times are getting harder for the depraved purveyors of propaganda at Fox News. For months they have been literally rooting for the U.S. economy to take a dive. And the escalating catastrophe in Ukraine is exposing the fervent anti-American and brazenly pro-Putin attitudes of Fox’s most pompous pundits.

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Fox News, Tucker Carlson, Bullshit Factory

Unfortunately for Fox News, the economy hasn’t cooperated with their doomsday dreams. President Biden continues to preside over the strongest economic recovery in decades. And even diehard disinformation disseminators like Tucker Carlson have had to chill their Russian cheering as Putin’s war crimes become ever more evident. And with the worst of the COVID crisis appearing to wane, the pandemic deniers at Fox are running out of apocalypse stories to shove down the throats of their viewers.

That, however, hasn’t deterred Fox from ramping up their efforts to sow discord, fear, and heinous lies intended to rile up the ranks of the deplorables. It’s just made their efforts more preposterous. Among those who have noticed this descent into the depths of depravity is comedian Jon Stewart. In an episode of the “Sway” podcast for the New York Times, Stewart posed some serious questions for Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch. And it’s especially fitting that a comedian like Stewart is expressing himself at a time when a former comedian in Ukraine – President Volodymyr Zelenskyy – is demonstrating uncommon courage.

Jon Stewart began by pointedly asking why Murdoch was “trying to destroy the fabric of this country.” Then, noting the brick wall obstructionism of the Republican Party, Stewart observed that “for years it’s been pretty clear that they would much rather do a deal with Putin than Pelosi.” But Stewart was just getting started. He went on to question Murdoch’s motivation for foisting noxious provocateurs like Tucker Carlson on the public:

“I don’t know if it’s ideological or he just thinks, this is where the money is. But how somebody can in good conscience put a shithead like that on television every night to say those types of things? That’s where the responsibility lies in my mind.”

Stewart’s questions actually answer themselves with “all of the above.” For Murdoch it is very definitely ideological. He has been an ultra-right extremist for the whole of his adult life. And he has pushed his views on the most naïve in the TV flock via his media empire on at least three continents. Simultaneously, he has packaged his rancid conservatism to an undiscerning audience whose ignorance he both creates and exploits financially.

Finally, Murdoch, it is clear, has no conscience. So promoting a despicable cretin like Carlson doesn’t bother him a bit. Even though Carlson, as Stewart points out, is an admitted liar. Here he is admitting it…

“I lie if I’m really cornered or something. I lie. I really try not to. I try never to lie on TV. I just don’t — I don’t like lying. I certainly do it, you know, out of weakness or whatever.”

Carlson “tries” not to lie on TV? He obviously isn’t trying very hard, because he does every night. Repeatedly. In fact, Carlson so notorious for his dishonesty that Fox News used it as a defense against defamation. They actually argued in court – successfully – that “given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer ‘arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism’ about the statements he makes.”

In other words, Carlson is a known liar whose commentaries can be dismissed out of hand as the ravings of an unhinged “shithead,” as Stewart so poignantly put it. And yet, Carlson’s viewers still cling to his every lie. so what does that make them?

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Jon Stewart Laments that There is Too Much Focus on Donald Trump

It has been six years since Jon Stewart left his post at the Daily Show, disappointing millions of Americans who got humor, insight, and solace from his take on the media and its impact on society. He left a vacuum that still hasn’t been filled by his successors in the comedy world during times when political satire was needed more than ever.

Donald Trump, Jon Stewart

Now Stewart has returned to television with a show on AppleTV+ that looks to be a bit more serious. And to promote his new venture, he is making the rounds on the PR circuit, including an appearance on Sunday’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper on CNN.

Tapper did an extended interview (video below) of Stewart that touched on many subjects and provided him with a platform to express his ideas about contemporary media and politics. There was much to admire in his commentary. But there was a brief moment where Stewart may have drifted slightly off the mark:

“I think the media does a terrible job at de-escalation. And de-escalation is the antidote to all this nonsense. And I don’t mean civility, and I don’t mean non-partisanship. I mean focusing on things that are more urgent and elemental in people’s lives and really hammering away at those things.”

Stewart is making a good point about the need to “hammer away” at the issues that really impact people’s lives. There is a bizarre tendency at some media outlets – particularly Fox News – to feature pseudo-culture jamming trivialities like gay Legos, or Chick-fil-A Sauce Shortages, or the infamous Dandelion-Gate.

However, to say that “media does a terrible job at de-escalation” is to suggest that the media regards its job as de-escalating and is failing at it. To the contrary, right-wing media actually considers it their mission to escalate controversy, and they are really quite good at it. They are profoundly successful at stirring up hostility and division which, in turn, acts as a magnet that compels viewers to be viscerally afraid and to stay perpetually tuned in so that they can satiate the addiction that the media itself created. A bigger misstep by Stewart, though, was his assertion that…

“I think we make a mistake focusing this all on Donald Trump […] He has just been an effective vessel.”

If Trump is a “vessel,” then he is a super-tanker loaded to the brim with a toxic cargo that he’s intent on polluting the entire planet with. While it would be a great relief to never again have to be assaulted by Trump’s visage or voice, as long as he is being dredged up by his cult followers and the wingnut press, we need to be vigilant and cognizant of the massive harm that he is capable of inflicting.

While Stewart’s point that Trump is not the originator of the noxious ideas he espouses is correct, he is far and away the most prominent dispenser of them. No one else in Republican politics commands the blind loyalty and propensity for violence that Trump does. And if anyone has the potential to lead an anti-democratic revolt, manned by armed, dangerous, fanatical zealots, it’s Trump.

Consequently, Trump must remain squarely in our focus. That doesn’t mean having the media donate unlimited hours of uninterrupted coverage for his hate-filled cult rallies, like they did in 2016. It doesn’t mean offering his tainted and ignorant perspective of every issue. And it doesn’t mean focusing solely on Trump. What it means is exposing his lies, nefarious intentions, and unsavory relationships, at every opportunity.

Along with an aggressive progressive agenda that benefits all Americans, there must be a focus on stopping Trump and Trumpism. His rancid rhetoric must be neutralized and his authoritarian aspirations quashed. Failure to do so will allow his neo-fascism to spread and fatally infect the nation. Jon Stewart is one of the best voices to achieve a positive end. Let’s hope he stays in that fight.

NOTE: Twitter suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Also, Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse on Instagram. Thanks for your support.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Seth Meyers: Fox News Is Basically The Closest Thing We Have To State TV

The political satire scene took a couple of body blows when Jon Stewart left The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert gave up his Colbert Report. The slack was taken up ably by John Oliver, Samantha Bee, and a resurgent Saturday Night Live. But a leading light in this arena has been Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Seth Meyers Fox News

This week Meyers delivered one of the best take downs of Fox News since Jon Stewart left the stage. In this segment Meyers begins by noting that the sexual harassment allegations against Bill O’Reilly offer an example of Fox News’ “symbiotic relationship” with Donald Trump. And, yes, Meyers makes the connection.

However, the segment goes into much greater detail on how Fox News is a network in service of propaganda. Meyers spells it out in plain language saying that “They [Fox] give him [Trump] glowing, unquestioning coverage, and in return he gives them unparalleled access.” That’s it in a nutshell. But Meyers isn’t through. He manages to put together a variety of samples of Fox’s sycophantic sucking up to Trump. “Fox News,” he said, “is basically the closest thing we have to state TV” And furthermore:

“This is the network that the President relies on for information? A network with an archaic culture of sexual harassment, fear, and intimidation, that also serves – with a few exceptions – as a propaganda arm.”

Meyers points out how Trump has been promoting Fox News programs on his Twitter feed. “Instead of a bible,” Meyers says, “Trump should have been sworn in on a TV Guide.” And Fox News happily reciprocates by promoting Trump’s promotions of Fox. The clip with Fox and Friends co-host Steve Doocy is worth the price of admission by itself.

The whole piece is a brilliant combination of humor and perceptive media analysis. This clip can be saved and replayed for both its entertainment value and its uncompromising honesty and insight.

Jon Stewart (As Trump) Declares: ‘The New Official Language Of The United States Is Bullsh*t’

America is going through a difficult period with uncommonly serious challenges unfolding daily. Donald Trump’s first two weeks in office have already produced unprecedented opposition with millions of citizens taking to the streets to protest his regressive agenda. Consequently, the nation has never needed the uplifting effect of biting satire more. And no one is better at it than Jon Stewart.

Jon Stewart

Perhaps sensing the hunger from a troubled nation, Stewart made a rare public appearance with his old pal Stephen Colbert. Tuesday night’s surprise visit to The Late Show (video below) was a welcome respite from the political and personal animosity emanating from Trump’s White House. Stewart strolled onto the stage wearing a ridiculously long red tie and a stuffed animal on his head. That set the scene for a segment wherein he introduced some executive orders that Trump hadn’t yet announced.

Leading off was a unique proposal for completing the wall that Trump promised top build on the Mexican border. Stewart/Trump proclaimed that he would just make China send us theirs. Of course, Mexico would bear the cost because it would be sent C.O.D. while America pretends they’re not at home.

The next executive order would demand something that seems to have already been achieved by the Trump administration. Stewart/Trump decreed that:

“I, Donald J. Lincoln Kennedy Trump III do pronounce America now finally has an official language. The new official language of the United States is bullshit. I, Donald J. Trump, have instructed my staff to speak only in bullshit. And by the way, none of that, ‘Sure, I’ll speak bullshit at work, but at home I’m using facts and real information.’ No. Bullshit all the time. Immersion – it’s the only way to be fluent.”

Judging by the comments coming from Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, and other Trump mouthpieces, he’s already implemented that order. The advent of “alternative facts” makes that abundantly clear. Likewise, the ludicrous and unsupported talk of voter fraud and bogus estimates of inaugural crowd stats affirm Trump’s fluency in BS..

Add to that Trump’s belligerent behavior toward the press that he despises, his bigoted and heartless ban of refugees, and the ongoing drama surrounding his swamp-dwelling cabinet nominees, and you have the making of a toxic presidency. It’s no wonder that he has entered the office with the lowest approval ratings on record. And as Stewart observed in the segment’s poignant finale, Trump is exhausting:

“I, Donald J. Trump, do declare by executive order that I, Donald J. Trump, am exhausting. It has been 11 days, Stephen. Eleven fucking days. Eleven! The presidency is supposed to age the president, not the public. And the reason that I, Donald J. Trump am exhausting is that every instinct and fiber of my pathological self-regard calls me to abuse of power.

“I Donald J. Trump, want – no, deserve – not just your respect but your adoration. Parades with the tanks and the synchronized dancing. And why can’t they train 10,000 doves to spell out ‘Trump’ in the clouds? How hard can it be? They’re already flying.

“I, Donald J. Trump, am exhausting because it is going to take relentless stamina, vigilance, and every institutional check and balance this great country can muster to keep me, Donald J. Trump, from going full Palpatine, with the lightning coming out of the fingertips and the ‘fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate.’ We have never faced this before. Purposeful, vindictive chaos.

“But perhaps therein lies the saving grace of I, Donald J. Trump’s presidency. No one action will be adequate. All action will be necessary. And if we do not allow Donald Trump to exhaust our fight and somehow come through this presidency calamity-less, and constitutionally partially intact, then I, Donald J. Trump, will have demonstrated the greatness of America, just not the way I thought I was gonna.”

As he often does, Stewart’s faux-news persona presented a picture of current events that surpasses the efforts of the “real” media. He expressed the sentiment of a majority of the nation and their well-warranted anxiety of Trump. But most most importantly, he opened the door to let in a ray of hope. His commitment to “relentless stamina [and] vigilance,” noting that “All action will be necessary,” is just the inspiration Americans need right now. And we could also use more of Jon Stewart providing his unique insight and humor.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

FLASHBACK: Jon Stewart Hysterically Mocked How Fox News Covered Obama’s First 100 Days

It’s the second full day of Donald Trump’s presidency. So how about we take a walk down memory lane to the second full day of Barack Obama’s presidency. Unlike Trump’s historically low approval ratings, Obama entered the office with enormous support. And he’s leaving on a seven year high. Jon Stewart had some observations on how Fox News covered what they saw as the end of western civilization.

Jon Stewart Daily Show

In this clip from the Daily Show, Stewart compiles some of the observations of Fox’s personalities, as well as other right-wing pundits. He assembles a montage of horror that includes Gretchen Carlson asking “Is he really president?” And then there’s Bill O’Reilly objecting Obama’s assertion that we don’t have to “compromise our values” to protect ourselves. Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and others chime in as well, with wishes for Obama’s (and by extension America’s) failure. Stewart leads off saying…

“It is the second full day of the Obama presidency. Day number two. It’s obviously gonna take some time until we get a real clear sense of the direction that this administration is gonna go in. Typically the first 100 days is the significant figure. But Fox News, also only two days into the new administration, has a different question. ‘100 days – Will we make it that long?'”

Nothing much changed on Fox News for Obama’s second inauguration in 2012. The Folks at Fox were clearly depressed and labeled it “the saddest day of the year.” Let’s all remember that as Fox News leads the chorus of Donald Trump sycophants who denigrate the protesters who remain committed to the progressive, inclusive values that really do make America great.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Fox News Doubles Down On Stupid: Tucker Carlson Gets Primetime Show

It was three months ago that Roger Ailes stepped down from his post as CEO of Fox News amid allegations of sexual harassment. Subsequently there has been much speculation as to the future direction of the network without its longstanding guiding force. Well, for anyone who thought there would be a tempering of Fox’s stridently conservative bias, you’re optimism was unfounded.

Tucker Carlson Fox News

Thursday Fox News announced that the vacancy left by Greta Van Susteren’s sudden departure would be filled by Tucker Carlson. Currently Carlson is a co-host of the weekend version of the Fox & Friends morning show. In that role he has ably fulfilled the Fox mandate to spew right-wing propaganda and smear Democrats. In the process he has cultivated an attitude of smug superiority while advancing a racist, misogynistic agenda.

For the record, Carlson is also the owner of the ultra-conservative web rag, The Daily Caller. As a publisher Carlson demonstrated his aversion to ethical journalism. In one instance he spiked an article that contained a criticism of Fox News for not being sufficiently anti-immigrant. Despite the fact that the piece castigated President Obama as a lawless tyrant, Carlson could not abide any Fox bashing. The article’s author said that Carlson told him “We can’t trash Fox on the site. I work there.” In other words, the Daily Caller is Fox’s puppet where free speech, and thought, is prohibited.

Additionally, the Daily Caller embraces the white supremacist alt-right movement that has adopted Donald Trump as its leader. In a wide-ranging essay about the budding “ethno-nationalism” crusades, Luke O’Brien writes for the Huffington Post about the relationships between America’s hate groups and the media. He singles out Carlson’s Daily Caller saying that:

“Other conservative sites, even ones that prefer bowties, appear to have accepted that angry right-wing populism translates into clicks. Take The Daily Caller, which now runs its fair share of immigrant knife-attack stories and Jew-baiting George Soros exposes. The reader comments on the site are at times indistinguishable in tone and racist content from those on Breitbart.”

That’s the same Breitbart News whose chairman, Stephen Bannon, is currently the CEO of Trump’s campaign for president. Bannon is also chairman of the Government Accountability Institute whose president, Peter Schweizer, authored the book “Clinton Cash.” Despite being filled with errors and lies, that book has been cited as the source for the FBI’s fatally biased review of the Clinton Foundation. It was also the subject of an hour-long special on Fox News. Oh, what a tangled web.

Prior to joining Fox News, Carlson’s career was a pitiful collection of failures. He had been canceled by PBS, CNN, and MSNBC. And if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, he was the first contestant voted off of Dancing with the Stars. He seemed to be a recidivist loser with no reasonable hope for redemption. He had even burned bridges with regard to Fox News when, after a childish prank (by both of them), he called Fox “a mean, sick group of people.”

Fortunately, For Carlson, Fox News has a policy of dredging the sewers of pseudo-journalism and rescuing the most offensive and desperate rejects, giving them a second chance at salvation. Of course that forgiveness comes at the cost of their soul. It rests on their willingness to supplicate themselves to their new savior. So when Fox called, Carlson went crawling back with his tail between his legs and fully prepared to obey.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Carlson knows his place and did what was expected of an indentured servant to the Wingnut Overlord. His reward is a spanking new program in primetime access where he can deliver his radically rightist, poorly reasoned rants. And he’ll fit right in with Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly, and Sean Hannity. Proving that Fox News intends to continue being a fount of conservative propaganda, and a mouthpiece for Republican dogma, for many years to come.

And for your entertainment pleasure, here is the classic episode of CNN’s Crossfire where Jon Stewart called Carlson a “dick” and humiliated him so badly the show was cancelled soon after.

SNL’s Trump Mockery Causes Fox News Clowns To Freakout: ‘Should Comedy Shows Take On Politics’?

There has been a meme circulating around the InterTubes for some time saying that “I get my news from Comedy Central and my comedy from Fox News.” It’s a concise way of articulating the reality that programs like The Daily Show are far more reliable sources for information than Bill O’Reilly or Fox & Friends. Expanding on that theme, Fox & Friends did a segment this weekend that asked perhaps the dumbest question of the year: Should comedy shows take on politics?

Fox News

Are they Kidding? Politics has been a staple of comedy for centuries. The desire to mock our governments and leaders is pretty much an element of being human. But from Fox’s point of view it’s easy to understand their comic anxiety. First of all, they are terrible at it. Second of all, they are thin-skinned whiny babies who can’t take a joke. The F&F segment was a preemptive strike against last night’s Saturday Night Live season debut featuring Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump.

[What follows is a reprise of an article first published last year]
But something that seems to have been developing without much notice is that Fox News is actively reshaping their programming to be more like an actual comedy network. Alone among cable news broadcasters, Fox News is airing actual comedy shows. Already on the schedule is their late night entry Red Eye. Earlier this year they premiered The Greg Gutfeld Show, spinning off the former Red Eye host. And they just recently introduced a new show starring Bill O’Reilly stalker/producer and Fox Nation editor, Jesse Watters, that will expand on his Watters’ World segments from The O’Reilly Factor. [See this epic smackdown of Watters by Steven Colbert]

Setting aside the fact that there is scarce evidence of actual humor in any of these programs, what is interesting is that Fox News is investing so much of their airtime in a form of entertainment that literally makes a mockery of their pretense to being journalists. And considering their epic failure in this genre back in 2007, the execrable “Half-Hour News Hour,” they have some measure of courage to attempt it again. For a network that whines so often about not being taken seriously as reporters, this trend will do little to enhance their already tattered reputation.

Making matters worse is the fact that Fox News has been so fiercely derisive of comedy programs that deign to direct their barbs at news subjects. Over many years there has been a constant drumbeat of outrage from Fox aimed at comedians whom they regard as unqualified to have worthwhile opinions on the news or the talent to find humor in it.

And no one has taken more abuse from Fox than Jon Stewart. Sean Hannity called him “a sanctimonious jackass.” Megyn Kelly said that “He was not a force for good.” Bill O’Reilly labeled him “a key component of left-wing television.” O’Reilly also went after Stewart’s audience saying that he has “stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night.” And this anti-Stewart doctrine comes straight from the top. Fox News CEO Roger Ailes publicly scolded Stewart saying that “He hates conservatives. He’s crazy.”

Fox News generally demeans anyone in the entertainment field who speaks out about politics, unless it’s Ted Nugent or Dennis Miller, but then it’s a stretch describing them as entertaining. If George Clooney or Sarah Silverman exercise their rights as citizens, Fox News considers it an abomination and unleashes a rancid stream of unreserved hostility. Fox contributor Laura Ingraham even wrote a book titled Shut Up and Sing,” to advocate for silencing show biz folk who want to participate in American democracy.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

So after disparaging entertainers, and especially comedians, for engaging in the centuries old art of satire, it is rather odd to find Fox News devoting a significant amount of time and money to doing what they hate so many others for doing. But while it is common for comedians to take on political topics, it is unheard of for news networks to commit whole programs to comedy. Certainly a news network can interview a comic or report on a humorous news story, but Fox has just launched their third comedy show. And they still want people to take them seriously as journalists? Well, that ship has sailed. If anything, Fox could continue to debut new comedy programs until they fill the schedule. Then, at least, people will be laughing at Fox for the right reasons.

The Dearth Of Mockery: Bring Back Jon Stewart And The Old Stephen Colbert

As this election cycle careens wildly on a collision course with destiny, the measurable supply of sanity seems to get smaller by the day. The prospect of Donald Trump, a reality TV game show host, becoming the nominee of the Republican Party on the strength of his hate-speech and prideful ignorance is becoming ever more likely. At the same time, the media charged with holding candidates accountable to at least minimum standards of honesty and transparency is almost entirely absent. In the past there was a release valve available to let off steam as the politicians and the press drifted off into a vegetative state. That valve took the form of a healthy, cathartic supply of political satire by smart and talented observers who often did a better job of informing the public than the news professionals did.

Stephen Colbert & Trump Baby

Addressing this drought of comic relief, Jim Rutenburg of the New York Times wrote that Stephen Colbert and his production team have been meeting to shore up what has been a rocky first season of late night entertainment. He correctly observed that “If ever there was an election cycle that called for the sharp satirical analysis that Mr. Stewart and Mr. Colbert once provided on a nightly basis, it is this one,” and that they “are badly missed in the face of all the Trumpmania.”

As evidence of that vacuum, Rutenburg cited my article (thanks Jim) from last March: “Calling Jon Stewart: America Needs You Now More Than Ever.” The points made then are still relevant and deserving of reconsideration. To that end I am re-posting the article in its entirety below. It’s encouraging to see a mainstream news entity like the New York Times recognize that America is suffering a deficiency of rebellious ridicule, but unless the media steps up to restore its commitment to constructive mockery, miscreants like Donald Trump will thrive and prosper. Therefore…


Calling Jon Stewart: America Needs You Now More Than Ever.

Originally published March 9, 2016

When Jon Stewart left the Daily Show (TDS) he left a hole that is much bigger than his diminutive frame. TDS was a unique brand of entertainment that delivered more than humor. It was a daily session of cathartic therapy that provided a safe place to scream at the world through a video surrogate. It was a mocking rebuke of the madness that has infected contemporary politics and culture. It was an assault on the media from a rebel force that they couldn’t control.

Jon Stewart NBC News

TDS became so respected as a source for news that it was commonly included in polling to rate news providers despite being on a comedy network. And it generally rated quite well and higher than many of the allegedly serious news networks. That fact drove the media elitists wild with jealousy as they sought to ridicule the viewers as slackers (Bill O’Reilly added “stoned”), even though studies showed that the TDS audience was also better educated and informed than mainstream news viewers (including O’Reilly’s). Long-time TDS correspondent Stephen Colbert addressed this criticism saying that TDS viewers had to be knowledgeable about the news or they wouldn’t get the jokes.

With one of the most bizarre elections in history currently in progress, there is more material than ever for fierce mockery. The Trump candidacy is a Chinese joke factory – you know the kind that churns out gag-rich laughables 24/7 that sound like they were made by children. The cliche that “the jokes writes themselves” has been trotted out to describe the atmosphere, but talented professionals will still do a better job of it. And Trump isn’t the only source for freestyle farcicals in this election cycle. Ted Cruz is the first competitive presidential candidate to hail from the messianic wing of the Republican Party. And the opportunities missed by the now-defunct campaigns of Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, etc., can never be regained. The Democrats aren’t immune from mockery either, but I’ll leave that to all of the conservative comedians (oh wait, we still haven’t found any those, although Fox News is trying to desperately).

However, since Stewart stepped down from the fake anchor’s desk there has been an aching absence of the purgative satire that he mastered. His hand-picked successor at TDS, Trevor Noah, is an able comedian, but lacks the everyman relatability that endeared Stewart to his viewers. Larry Wilmore, who inherited the time slot of the Colbert Report, has been improving lately, but still falls short of his predecessors. And speaking of Colbert, his new role as himself on CBS’s Late Night doesn’t have the punch that his character did on Comedy Central. It doesn’t help that he is required to host celebrities and other product pluggers for most of the program.

There are some bright spots in the satire field. Most notable is John Oliver’s brilliant and hilarious long-form comedy on his HBO program. Seth Myers has transferred his SNL Weekend Update anchor routine pretty well to his Late Late Show’s “A Closer Look” segment. And former TDS correspondent Samantha Bee’s “Full Frontal” has gotten off to a promising start. But Oliver and Bee are only offering one show a week, which hardly fills the void.

What everyone seems to be missing is the fact that Stewart was not doing political satire. He was doing media satire. His targets were predominantly news outlets and the people that represent them. While politicians weren’t shy about publicly embarrassing themselves on a regular basis, it was more often the way that they were covered by the press that attracted Stewart’s attention. And Fox News, the most flagrantly dishonest purveyor of propaganda, was a frequent and well-deserved target. While some comics do go after Fox from time to time, nowhere is there the kind of relentless ridicule that Stewart unleashed on a regular basis. His consistent and high quality humor launched a popular meme proudly declaring that “I get my news from Comedy Central and my comedy from Fox News.”

Satire is a centuries-old form of communication that, at its best, is not only funny, but enlightening. And in the heat of this electoral season, where the front-runner of one of the major political parties is endorsed by the KKK and isn’t bothered by comparisons to Adolf Hitler, satire is an indispensable component to dealing with the insanity that appears to have taken over the GOP and much of right-wing America. The news pundits that provide the so-called informed commentary on current events are too insipidly timid to be useful. Even worse, they are too often oblivious to the truths that a good humorist can make so apparent.

That’s why we need Jon Stewart to return to the public discourse in some fashion. He can’t resume his post at TDS, but he could provide a daily commentary segment on the Rachel Maddow Show, or Colbert’s Late Night, or even NBC News. His insights would give relief to the millions of Americans who are being tortured by a media culture that is functionally blind. He would present a perspective that is altogether missing from the news, and now even from television comedy.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

It would be a major coup for whatever program or network was smart enough to reel Stewart in. And considering that there was once a ludicrous attempt to hire Stewart to host Meet the Press, this proposal makes much more sense and is actually plausible. C’mon, Jon – we need you. We need you continue to remind us that “Bullshit is everywhere […] and the best defense against bullshit is vigilance.”

Bizarro World: Now The Republican Candidates Are Blasting Fox News More Than Democrats

One of the most enduring and annoying characteristics of the Fox News personality is that they are quick to take offense at any criticism and express their inner pain whenever they feel the least bit insulted. They have a defense mechanism that is on a hair trigger. If you have a legitimate complaint about the network you can expect them to fire back with ferocity.

Barack Obama Fox News

When Jon Stewart was on The Daily Show, Fox News regularly went into hysterics over his comic swipes at them. Never mind that his barbs were often aimed at Democrats and liberals as well, the ones targeting Fox brought out their full armory of wrath. And if President Obama dares to make a perfectly reasonable observation that Fox News has been biased against him, Fox reacts as if they were pierced with a presidential harpoon. They cry like babies every time Obama knocks them, even if it’s just in passing and in concert with a knock on the left.

However, they have yet to show the same indignation when their comrades on the right throw mud at the network. They seem to have a special store of umbrage that’s reserved only for Democrats who hurt their tender feelings.

For several months now Donald Trump has been wailing at Fox News for being boring, dopey, dishonest, unfair fools and clowns. He has directed his insults specifically toward featured Foxies like Bill O’Reilly, Charles Krauthammer, George Will, Karl Rove, and especially Megyn Kelly. He has sabotaged their debates by refusing to participate and has even advocated boycotting the network.

Now Ted Cruz is also slamming Fox News. In a press conference last week he complained that Fox has been unfair to him as it obsesses over Trump. He actually has a point. Fox has given Trump far more air time than any candidate of either party. And they have also given Trump more airtime than any other network has given him. Still, it generally doesn’t matter to Fox if the incoming criticism is true or not. They usually fire back with everything they’ve got.

So we now find ourselves in the odd position of seeing the top Republican candidates for president both bashing Fox News, the top media mouthpiece for Republicans. You know you have really crossed over into weird territory when right-wing politicians are the most prominent protesters of a media platform that has paved the way for their candidacies. Where will this leave Fox after the election?

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

What’s peculiar is that Fox has not been returning fire at the Republican candidates. With the exception of one response to Trump’s “sick obsession” with Megyn Kelly, the GOP offenders are being given a pass to hammer away at Fox. For a network that is notorious for brutal and rapid responses to critics, this can only be seen as a gift to the GOP. Liberal critics like Stewart or Bernie Sanders or Rachel Maddow had better take cover before delivering uncomplimentary comments. And President Obama should prepare for a nuclear blast. Fox is all for free speech as long as it doesn’t contain any criticism of their blatantly dishonest propaganda. Unless that criticism is coming from their ideological pals.

Calling Jon Stewart: America Needs You Now More Than Ever

When Jon Stewart left the Daily Show (TDS) he left a hole that is much bigger than his diminutive frame. TDS was a unique brand of entertainment that delivered more than humor. It was a daily session of cathartic therapy that provided a safe place to scream at the world through a video surrogate. It was a mocking rebuke of the madness that has infected contemporary politics and culture. It was an assault on the media from a rebel force that they couldn’t control.

Jon Stewart NBC News

TDS became so respected as a source for news that it was commonly included in polling to rate news providers despite being on a comedy network. And it generally rated quite well and higher than many of the allegedly serious news networks. That fact drove the media elitists wild with jealousy as they sought to ridicule the viewers as slackers (Bill O’Reilly added “stoned”), even though studies showed that the TDS audience was also better educated and informed than mainstream news viewers (including O’Reilly’s). Long-time TDS correspondent Stephen Colbert addressed this criticism saying that TDS viewers had to be knowledgeable about the news or they wouldn’t get the jokes.

With one of the most bizarre elections in history currently in progress, there is more material than ever for fierce mockery. The Trump candidacy is a Chinese joke factory – you know the kind that churns out gag-rich laughables 24/7 that sound like they were made by children. The cliche that “the jokes writes themselves” has been trotted out to describe the atmosphere, but talented professionals will still do a better job of it. And Trump isn’t the only source for freestyle farcicals in this election cycle. Ted Cruz is the first competitive presidential candidate to hail from the messianic wing of the Republican Party. And the opportunities missed by the now-defunct campaigns of Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, etc., can never be regained. The Democrats aren’t immune from mockery either, but I’ll leave that to all of the conservative comedians (oh wait, we still haven’t found any those, although Fox News is trying to desperately).

However, since Stewart stepped down from the fake anchor’s desk there has been an aching absence of the purgative satire that he mastered. His hand-picked successor at TDS, Trevor Noah, is an able comedian, but lacks the everyman relatability that endeared Stewart to his viewers. Larry Wilmore, who inherited the time slot of the Colbert Report, has been improving lately, but still falls short of his predecessors. And speaking of Colbert, his new role as himself on CBS’s Late Night doesn’t have the punch that his character did on Comedy Central. It doesn’t help that he is required to host celebrities and other product pluggers for most of the program.

There are some bright spots in the satire field. Most notable is John Oliver’s brilliant and hilarious long-form comedy on his HBO program. Seth Myers has transferred his SNL Weekend Update anchor routine pretty well to his Late Late Show’s “A Closer Look” segment. And former TDS correspondent Samantha Bee’s “Full Frontal” has gotten off to a promising start. But Oliver and Bee are only offering one show a week, which hardly fills the void.

What everyone seems to be missing is the fact that Stewart was not doing political satire. He was doing media satire. His targets were predominantly news outlets and the people that represent them. While politicians weren’t shy about publicly embarrassing themselves on a regular basis, it was more often the way that they were covered by the press that attracted Stewart’s attention. And Fox News, the most flagrantly dishonest purveyor of propaganda, was a frequent and well-deserved target. While some comics do go after Fox from time to time, nowhere is there the kind of relentless ridicule that Stewart unleashed on a regular basis. His consistent and high quality humor launched a popular meme proudly declaring that “I get my news from Comedy Central and my comedy from Fox News.”

Satire is a centuries-old form of communication that, at its best, is not only funny, but enlightening. And in the heat of this electoral season, where the front-runner of one of the major political parties is endorsed by the KKK and isn’t bothered by comparisons to Adolf Hitler, satire is an indispensable component to dealing with the insanity that appears to have taken over the GOP and much of right-wing America. The news pundits that provide the so-called informed commentary on current events are too insipidly timid to be useful. Even worse, they are too often oblivious to the truths that a good humorist can make so apparent.

That’s why we need Jon Stewart to return to the public discourse in some fashion. He can’t resume his post at TDS, but he could provide a daily commentary segment on the Rachel Maddow Show, or Colbert’s Late Night, or even NBC News. His insights would give relief to the millions of Americans who are being tortured by a media culture that is functionally blind. He would present a perspective that is altogether missing from the news, and now even from television comedy.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

It would be a major coup for whatever program or network was smart enough to reel Stewart in. And considering that there was once a ludicrous attempt to hire Stewart to host Meet the Press, this proposal makes much more sense and is actually plausible. C’mon, Jon – we need you. We need you continue to remind us that “Bullshit is everywhere […] and the best defense against bullshit is vigilance.”