posts about or somewhat related to ‘jon stewart’

Jon Stewart on (Fox) News Coverage of Ferguson
Twitter Diplomacy
Last week Egypt issued an arrest warrant for the comedian Bassem Youssef for insulting Islam and the country’s President, Mohamed Morsi.
Jon Stewart, to whom Youssef is often compared, spent 10 minutes on his show Monday defending Youssef, talking about free speech and satire, and generally roasting Morsi.
Yesterday, someone at the US Embassy in Cairo sent out a link to The Daily Show clip.
Morsi’s office is not amused. Details at the New York Times.
Image: Screenshot, Storify by Rami Reda Khanfar capturing the exchange.

Twitter Diplomacy

Last week Egypt issued an arrest warrant for the comedian Bassem Youssef for insulting Islam and the country’s President, Mohamed Morsi.

Jon Stewart, to whom Youssef is often compared, spent 10 minutes on his show Monday defending Youssef, talking about free speech and satire, and generally roasting Morsi.

Yesterday, someone at the US Embassy in Cairo sent out a link to The Daily Show clip.

Morsi’s office is not amused. Details at the New York Times.

Image: Screenshot, Storify by Rami Reda Khanfar capturing the exchange.

The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom.

Jon Stewart (via usatoday)

FJP: Sums it up about right.

(via theclearlydope)

Judith Miller: Ironist

Last night Jon Stewart took on the current campaign against government leaks by looking at a statement that Judith Miller, former New York Times reporter and current Fox News contributor, made over the weekend.

To wit: “These leaks, especially the kind of leaks that are being investigated now by not one but two special prosecutors, they are truly injurious to the national security… they make it harder to make foreign policy.”

Miller, of course, is famous for leaks. Her reports leading up to and immediately after the start of the Iraq War were filled with leaks from anonymous government sources about Iraq’s ongoing Weapons of Mass Destruction programs, and the existence of WMD in Iraq itself. Needless to say, these weren’t quite leaks, they were government plants that got front page play despite being entirely incorrect.

In a 2004 Editors Note, the Times outlined its erroneous reporting in the run-up to the war and while they don’t mention Miller by name, the majority of the articles they point to are hers.

Fast forward and Miller again used leaks when she outed Valerie Plame as a CIA agent when Plame’s husband became an increasingly vocal critic of the Bush administration.

In an astonishing 2005 look in the mirror, the New York Times ran a 6,000 plus word article examining Miller’s role in the Plame case, as well as her reporting on WMD in Iraq.

While not directly calling Miller a Bush administration shill, they noted that others did: “Critics said The Times was protecting not a whistle-blower but an administration campaign intended to squelch dissent.”

Ms. Miller had written a string of articles before the war - often based on the accounts of Bush administration officials and Iraqi defectors - strongly suggesting that Saddam Hussein was developing these weapons of mass destruction.

When no evidence of them was found, her reporting, along with that of some other journalists, came under fire. She was accused of writing articles that helped the Bush administration make its case for war.

"I told her there was unease, discomfort, unhappiness over some of the coverage," said Roger Cohen, who was the foreign editor at the time. "There was concern that she’d been convinced in an unwarranted way, a way that was not holding up, of the possible existence of W.M.D."

Writing a few days later, the Times’ Maureen Dowd had this to say:

Judy’s stories about W.M.D. fit too perfectly with the White House’s case for war. She was close to Ahmad Chalabi, the con man who was conning the neocons to knock out Saddam so he could get his hands on Iraq, and I worried that she was playing a leading role in the dangerous echo chamber that Senator Bob Graham, now retired, dubbed “incestuous amplification.” Using Iraqi defectors and exiles, Mr. Chalabi planted bogus stories with Judy and other credulous journalists…

…Judy admitted in the story that she “got it totally wrong” about W.M.D. “If your sources are wrong,” she said, “you are wrong.” But investigative reporting is not stenography.

This stenography bit is important. Yesterday we noted Bill Keller’s take on the current hyperventilating over leaks. While looking back at the Times’ Iraq WMD reporting, he writes:

But this is a good time to look a little harder at the journalists who got it right. How did they come up with the evidence to refute the version embraced by the president, by most officials in both parties and by a lot of the mainstream media?

They got it from government officials with access to classified information, who risked their jobs to confide the truth to journalists. Critics call these “leaks,” although such stories hardly ever spill out unbidden; they are painstakingly assembled by teasing out bits of information, triangulating, correcting, testing, confirming.

So yes, leaks can be “truly injurious” if you do them the Judith Miller way. Done right, as Keller explains, and they’re a “public service”.

CNN’s Branded News Segments

On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart breaks down CNN’s branded news segments (i.e.: Political Pop, No Talking Points, Rapid Fire, Gut Check, Endpoint) and the lack of editorial judgment that seems to go into them. 


CNN appears to believe that the key to revitalizing the network is creating branded news segments within the news. Which brings us to our news segment: Why? Most of your segment titles have no bearing on the content within the segment.

For example, Street Level is supposedly a round-up of what is happening on the street. Stewart takes us through a few sound Street Level stories—a crime story, food safety, puppies—and then, for some reason, a paraplegic woman bungee jumping.

I’m not against news organizations having fun, having more cheeky, playful segments. Knock yourselves out. It’s cute, it’s clever, as long as the Facetime segment title isn’t randomly misapplied.

When you have all these segments you have to apply some editorial discretion when you use them. 

Best example: Rock Star of the day. I won’t say more. Watch the video. It  illuminates an unfortunate truth, but it’s funny enough to make your day. —Jihii

Jon Stewart on SOPA

I had to find out about SOPA and with Wikipedia down I had to turn to a notoriously unreliable source… the news.

Jon Stewart on the problem with Anonymous Sources, and Criticizing Anonymous Sources, and then Relying on Anonymous Sources… You get the idea.

The important bit starts at 1:40 onward.

Jon Stewart on how the media drives consensus on our top-tier candidates: “Even when the media does remember Ron Paul, it’s only to reassure themselves that there’s no need to remember Ron Paul.”

Update: Over at Salon, Steve Kornacki comes in with a counterpoint and says Ron Paul isn’t getting the media shaft.

Jon Stewart on this week’s Newsweek cover featuring Michele Bachmann

Newsweek featured Michele Bachmann in this week’s issue and put, how shall we say, a rather unflattering photo of her on its cover.

Her supporters, unsurprisingly, lashed out but even many of her opponents are calling foul with Terry O’Neill, president of National Organization for Women telling the Daily Caller that the cover’s blatantly sexist because a man would never receive such treatment.

Elsewhere, at Salon, Joan Walsh says the cover’s not sexist, writing:

[Newsweek editor Tina] Brown has nothing to apologize for. Newsweek picked a striking photo that distilled Bachmann to her newsworthy essence. It’s also simply true that Bachmann does something very interesting with her eyes when there’s a camera in her sights. Sometimes she’s looking at something off camera, as she did when she delivered the Tea Party rebuttal to the State of the Union, which makes her seem distracted and/or demented. Often she just keeps them open impossibly wide and unblinking, which led Chris Matthews to ask her memorably if she was hypnotized on Election Night 2010.

Slate’s Jack Schafer has a different take. He supports Brown’s decision to run the image, but chastises her for pretending to be innocent of stirring up the pot:

There is nothing remotely unfair about making a strong visual statement about a profile subject if that graphic treatment harmonizes with the copy… The transgression comes only when the editor pretends—as Brown has with the Bachmann and Diana covers—that she wasn’t playing let’s-goose-the-public with sensationalist images. Obvious lies, such as Brown’s about merely trying to convey “intensity” with the Bachmann portrait, end up conveying contempt for the reader. And that’s not a pretty picture.

For more, New York Times Caucus blog covers the back and forth over whether the cover’s sexist. 

But what thinks you: Is the cover fair game or sexist?

The Daily Show: Jon Stewart and John Oliver take on the News of the World phone hacking scandal.

CNN’s “Let’s Leave it There” Problem

Via Jay Rosen:

The problem is this: CNN thinks of itself as the “straight down the middle” network, the non-partisan alternative, the one that isn’t Left and isn’t Right. But defining itself as “not MSNBC” and “not Fox” begs the question of what CNN actually is. To the people who run it, the answer is obvious: real journalism! That’s what CNN is. Or as they used to say, “the news is the star.”

Right. But too often, on-air hosts for the network will let someone from one side of a dispute describe the world their way, then let the other side describe the world their way, and when the two worlds, so described, turn out to be incommensurate or even polar opposites, what happens?… CNN leaves it there. Viewers are left stranded and helpless. The network appears to inform them that there is no truth, only partisan bull. Is that real journalism? No. But it is tantalizingly close to the opposite of real journalism. Repeat it enough, and this pattern threatens to become the network’s brand, which is exactly what Stewart was pointing out…

…Meaning: You can’t keep “leaving it there” and claim to be the one dedicated to real journalism. You can’t have a “he said, she said” brand and yet stand out as the quality network. That doesn’t work. But it’s easy to delude yourself into thinking that it kinda sorta works because journalists in the U.S. are trained to believe that “not ideological” means…. good!

Somewhat related: Way, way back in 2009 Michael Hirschorn summed up the decade for New York Magazine by observing that we live in “a media age that lacks a central authority to referee reality.”

The observation was neutral and intended as a starting point to explore how we win and lose in a roiling media landscape where there’s no longer a there, there.

Which is precisely where Rosen (and Jon Stewart in the video) contends CNN leaves things.

Jon Stewart & Bill Moyers On Journalism

Watch the clip, via Crooks & Liars here:

Or try reading for once! Moyers’ book and an excerpt from the interview.

Bill Moyers Journal Blog

Jon Stewart: Do you think journalism is in trouble because it has lost the will to exercise authority…?

Bill Moyers: I believe we’re lost in what I think Whitman or Thoreau called the mere smoke of opinion. The news is about what people want to keep hidden. Everything else is publicity. And people don’t want to keep their opinions hidden. They want to keep the facts hidden. It takes a lot of money and a lot of time and a lot of effort to go and explore the facts and bring them out. So, a lot of news organizations they no longer do much reporting but simply rely on opinion, talk all of that. The other thing is we’re simply amusing ourselves to death.

JS: I’m just…gonna… go [gestures as if to abandon anchor desk]

BM: You mean you actually entertain?

JS: No, not really! [laughter]

BM: … People ask me why you’re in [my book or you were on my show]. I tell them it’s because Mark Twain is not available, and he’s not… But you people know here [at The Daily Show] that the truth goes down better in a democracy when it is marinated in humor.

You do a splendid job of juxtaposing. You don’t attack people. You put what they said ten years ago, and what they said last night. It’s journalism. It’s what good journalism is about. It’s comparative, it’s not declarative.

Jon Stewart and Bill Moyers on the art of the interview, part 02.

In which Stewart discusses his inability to interview Donald Rumsfeld and Moyers talks about the difference between narrating and reporting, and why he doesn’t want to interview politicians because their goal is to conceal rather than reveal.

Part 01 is here.

Run Time: 4:45

Jon Stewart and Bill Moyers on the art of the interview, part 01.

In which they discuss the difference between providing context and amnesty, and how the immediate is not always the most important.

Part 02 is here.

Run Time: 4:53.