Monday, August 20, 2007
Last week Fox News Host John Gibson decided that he's going to get into the "comedy" game and decided to make fun of Jon Stewart's viceral emotional reaction to the death, tragedy and loss of 9/11 - arguing in support of the notion that we need another 9/11 (Audio)
To which Stewart responded with.
Some idiot from Fox" was "playing the tape of me after September 11th" and "calling me a phony because, apparently, my grief didn't mean acquiescence"
But now he says Stewart has "purposefully misunderstood" him, and that Jon think's...
that he is a sacred cow and cannot, you know, be subject to an elbow now and then.
Really now? I wonder just whose "purposefully" misunderstood whom?
Let us use the magic way-back machine to point out that what Gibson and his producer actually did on Aug 10th...
ANGRY RICH: Do you remember what the media was like shortly after 9-11?
GIBSON: Oh, Jon Stewart sobbing.
STEWART: The view from my apartment --
STEWART: -- was the World Trade Center.
GIBSON: Oh, God, Jon. Just tell me it's not true.
STEWART: And now it's gone.
GIBSON: It's gone.
STEWART: And they attacked it.
GIBSON: They attacked it.
STEWART: This symbol --
GIBSON: This symbol.
STEWART: -- of American ingenuity --
GIBSON: American ingenuity.
STEWART: -- and strength --
GIBSON: And strength.
STEWART: -- and --
STEWART: -- and labor and imagination and commerce, and it is gone.
STEWART: But you know what the view is now?
ANGRY RICH: What is it, Jon?
GIBSON: What is it, Jon?
STEWART: The Statue of Liberty.
GIBSON: Oh! That's great. I'm -- God, I'm touched.
STEWART: The view from the south of Manhattan is now the Statue of Liberty.
GIBSON: I'm touched.
ANGRY RICH: Let me bash Bush for the next six years.
STEWART: You can't beat that.
GIBSON: You can't beat that. Well --
ANGRY RICH: Phony.
So Stewart says he was called a phony, and low and behold - He was called a "Phony".
- "What? You just lost your best friend in a horrible tragedy that killed thousands of others? Here - how 'bout a shake with a hand buzzer? ZZZZZzzzzTTTT Oh, and that chair you're in has a whoppee cushion -- Wheeeeeee!!!!
When exactly does cheap crap like that get funny?
Let me point out two other things, Jon Stewart isn't The Media - he's a comedian who actually broke character for moment and had an honest and real emotional response to what happened to the city in which he lives. There was no punchline in his crying jag. There was no setup. No zinger - that was it.
His work actually has nothing to do with being Liberal or being Conservative, it has to do with being FUNNY. He was pretty vicious (and hilarious) with President Clinton while he was in office - so exactly why shouldn't he go after Bush the same way that Jay Leno does? Or Conan O'Brien? Or Jimmy Kimmel (except for y'know - being funny when he does it?)
But the true arguement is really about Gibson's next statement.
GIBSON: Actually, you could. If you wait a little while, you'll say, just as Steve Martin used to say, "Should I fight the terrorists? Should I listen to their phone calls? Should I follow them everywhere on the planet to keep America safe? Nah, let's kick the hell out of Bush."
Ok, here's the thing, when exactly has Jon Stewart - or for that matter any Democrat or Liberal - said we shouldn't listen to Al Qaeda's phone calls? Who has said we shouldn't follow them everywhere on the planet?
Some would say this is a constructing a Straw Man Arguement - I myself tend to call it what it is - Bullshitting!.
The real arguement that many have made isn't about whether should listen to terrorists - it's about whether you should also listen to honest, innocent Americans without a probable cause and a warrant and independant judicial oversight!
And it's not just the media who has complained, the judges on the FISA Court have ruled that Bush's spying program is illegal - twice. 30 Members of the Bush Administrations' own Justice department - including John Ashcroft, James Comey and FBI Director James Meuller - all threated to resign in protest over the program. Federal Judge Ann Diggs Taylor ruled the program illegal and unconstitutional. None of them said "we shouldn't be listening" - they all said there should be proper oversight to avoid abuse of the program, the kind of abuse that has already occured with the FBI's National Security Letters.
The issue isn't whether we should or shouldn't fight terrorists - it's about how, and whether we should shred our own Constitutional in the process.
Most of us on this side of the arguement understand this - and not all of us are "one the left" or even close to it - but apparently John Gibson ("Purposefully") doesn't understand.
GIBSON: This is Stephen Hayes.
STEWART: No. They keep saying we don't understand the nature of this war. And critics keep saying, we understand the nature of it. You've been doing it wrong.
HAYES: Right, so why is that -- what's the -- what's the quality of difference there?
STEWART: Well, no -- the difference there is, we're not calling them traitors.
GIBSON: Yeah, you are.
HAYES: I don't -- yeah, but I don't think that the administration has called anyone a traitor. When has it happened? I mean, I'm serious. When has that happened? When has that happened?
STEWART: Let me say this. I -- I think that there's a real feeling in this country that your patriotism has been questioned by, by people in -- in very high-level positions. Not fringe people. You know, I myself had some idiot from Fox --
STEWART: -- playing the tape of me after September 11th --
GIBSON: Oh, well -- [audio clip of punching noises] ooh, ouch, geez, ooh. That was me he's talking about. You know, my problem with this is that I think there's a purposeful misunderstanding. We did -- we did tease him about his grief, but it was to compare it with what he's been saying lately.
Pardon me while I pull a Gibson:
That was a tease? Since when is it funny to tease someone for their grief?
Yeah, he thinks -- Jon Stewart thinks the war has been fought wrong.
Yeah, well - so do the soldiers (more of whom have been killed in this fruitless war in Iraq than died on 9/11).
The claim that we are increasingly in control of the battlefields in Iraq is an assessment arrived at through a flawed, American-centered framework. [...]
In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are — an army of occupation — and force our withdrawal.
And the Iraq Study Group who argued that escalating the conflict wouldn't help.
And 68% of Foreign Policy Experts.
And the American People.
-69% Disapprove of how George Bush is handling Iraq.
-48% Disapprove of how George Bush is handling terrorism (44% approve)
-60% Would Disapprove of Mass Detention of Muslims even if there was another 9/11 attack
-63% Feel that most Muslims do not condone violence
Back to Gibson.
to say that the liberal side hasn't called people traitors is absurd. It certainly has. Bloggers who idolize Jon Stewart have been trashing me for mocking Stewart do precisely that.
They probably do - but that's not what Stewart said which was "I think that there's a real feeling in this country that your patriotism has been questioned by, by people in -- in very high-level positions. Not fringe people."
People like these, as I posted in detail last week...
- Dennis Hastert: liberals want to take "the 130 most treacherous people, probably in the world...and release them out in the public eventually."
- Tom Delay : Pelosi and Reid are getting "very, very close to treason" by opposing the Iraq war.
- Donald Rumsfeld : War Critics are like Hitler Appeasers
- John Ashcroft : "To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty; my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists - for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America's enemies, and pause to America's friends." [Washington Post, 12/7/01;]
- Dick Cheney : "It’s absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on November 2nd, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we’ll get hit again,"
- George Bush : "However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses."
These people aren't Bloggers, John.
More from Gibby.
Stewart's funny. He's a -- he's a comedian doing the news. He should expect some shots once in a while.
Frankly, Stewart probably does expect them. There are few people more self-depecriating that Jon Stewart on TV. The difference is that a "shot" is one thing, but ridiculing the man's legitimate grief and calling it "phony" isn't a shot, it's accusing him of being a liar - it's not comedy - it's Defamation.
I want to know, where is the Jon Stewart that was so grief-stricken, and why does he think what I think are reasonable measures to fight the war on terror like wiretapping, like going after Iraq, like Guantánamo Bay -- I think those are reasonable measures.
Wiretapping without a warrant is a violation of the 4th Amendment. Invading a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 and nothing to do with terrorism - was just plain stupid. Even Dick Cheney said so way back before he became a member of the "Fourthbranch" as was like - still relatively sane.
Using Guantánamo Bay as an oasis for torture is in direct violation of International Law and is a War Crime.
Just ask Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch or for that matter - Colin Powell.
“[E]very morning I pick up a paper and some authoritarian figure, some person somewhere, is using Guantanamo to hide their own misdeeds,” Powell said. “[W]e have shaken the belief that the world had in America’s justice system by keeping a place like Guantanamo open... We don’t need it, and it’s causing us far more damage than any good we get for it.”
He (Stewart) thinks they're absurd. He thinks they're almost beneath argument, and he thinks he's right without having to engage in an argument. And I guess he's come to think, and a lot of other people have come to think, that he is a sacred cow and cannot, you know, be subject to an elbow now and then. And I'm sorry he thinks that way 'cause I think he's funny and I like him and I think he's one of the most dangerous guys on TV. He certainly was when I was there.
John, I certainly wouldn't trust your opinion of what Jon Stewart thinks since you haven't gotten anything right so far. Sorry, that's how I feel.
The idea that Stewart's tears of grief are cannon fodder for bad.. really bad... so-called comedy on your part, that they were somehow illegitimate or "phony" simply because Stewart has not acquiesced to each and every crime that the Bush Administration has perpurtrated against the American people and the world under the pretext of their failed War on Terror is just. plain. preposterous.
The Latest Nation Intelligence Estimate says that our efforts in Iraq have made Al Qaeda as strong as it was before 9/11. You don't think that track record deserves - no, DEMANDS - more than a bit a criticism and ridicule?
But then again, since you want another 9/11 why should you care right?
Here's a "reasonable" measure for you John, instead of invading the wrong country then refusing to leave like a spoiled child, surveiling, rendering and torturing innocent people like Maher Arar, Abu Omar and as many as 14,000 others - how 'bout we actually GET BIN LADEN?!
Why does your American IDLE Bush stand by while Pakistan signs a Peace Treaty with the Taliban - and then the Taliban announce a Merger With Al Qaeda? Why doesn't he focus on that instead of Iraq? Why doesn't he stop the people who actually attacked us?
How bout that, eh? That sound "reasonable enough" for you?
Or would actually succeding in the War on Terror get in the way of your ongoing War on Common Sense and the Constitution? Do you really want to Win the War on Terror or simply use it to continue terrorizing and manipulating the American people?