Saturday, May 02, 2009


Jon Stewart finds his limits:

And I may have mentioned during the discussion we were having that Harry Truman was a war criminal. And right after saying it, I thought to myself that was dumb. And it was dumb. Stupid in fact. So I shouldn't have said that, and I did.


So I am, right now, and, man, ew. Sorry.

Sad. Not that Stewart is a personal hero or anything. It was just nice to see a prominent person bluntly calling the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki what it was, an unjustifiable crime. Walking back that little bit of our national mythos would be an improvement.

Alas, Stewart isn't brave enough to do it. Either that or he actually believes it's not a crime. Either way, not so good for him.


Dennis Perrin adds his $0.02:

At best, Jon Stewart serves as a corporate release valve, letting off permissible steam when the American machine overheats. This is pretty much what "satire" has been reduced to. The Realist, Terry Southern, and the original Lampoon have never been deader.

Also, most American comics are deeply apolitical; and those who riff on "current events" usually operate well within shared assumptions about politics, history, and US power. Which is why Stewart's recent comment about Harry Truman stood out.

Responding to Cliff "Torture can be good" May's point that if Bush is a war criminal, then Truman's nuking of Hiroshima must have been an even worse crime, given the comparable damage, and Stewart's outrage at Bush (which Stewart bases on the fantasy notion that the Bush gang undermined basic American "values," a popular liberal talking point that'll never die). Amazingly, Stewart agreed that yes, Truman was a war criminal, though Stewart would've preferred a demonstration explosion near Japan before moving to the human ash/melted flesh phase.


Stewart did what well-regarded mainstream entertainers do when expressing an unpopular opinion. He groveled for forgiveness.


When an American "satirist" apologizes for stating the truth, you can really appreciate "free expression" in a corporate-owned culture. Still, I enjoy Stewart, despite his pathetic ass-covering. Besides, he has to keep TDS anchor chair clean and warm for when Seth Meyers replaces him. It's all about continuity, baby.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?