Jon Stewart Rips Into Cable News Networks
Jon Stewart sat down at an informal breakfast with reporters in Denver on Monday and proceeded to deliver a scathing indictment of mainstream media and political journos:
This morning, Jon Stewart sat in a laid-back breakfast get-together with some of the most accomplished and well-respected political journalists in print journalism and asked, "Why do I take this more seriously than you?" To my eyes and ears, his question cast an uncomfortable cloud of uncertainty over the coterie of twenty or so men and women. Should they laugh? Were they being scolded? Was there a graceful way to refill their glasses of bloody mary?
This entire breakfast was without a doubt the second most fascinating, most I-can't-believe-I'm experiencing-this, thing I have ever witnessed in my admittedly very unfascinating and inexperienced life.
Stewart included CNN and MSNBC in a far-ranging indictment of what he called "that false sense of urgency they create, the sense that everything is breaking news. . . . The 24-hour networks are now driving the narratives and everyone else is playing catch-up."
Stewart, who is doing his nightly show from both conventions, declared his love for newspapers as a better source of political coverage but said they are fighting "a losing battle because they're getting overshadowed." He pronounced the network evening newscasts "obsolete" because of the growing speed of news.
Jon Stewart ripped the cable news networks Monday as a "brutish, slow-witted beast" and castigated Fox News as "an appendage of the Republican Party."
Wearing a gray T-shirt and a healthy stubble, the "Daily Show" host told reporters that Fox's fair-and-balanced slogan is "a (expletive) you to people with brains" and that only "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace "saves that network from slapping on a bumper sticker . . . Barack Obama could cure cancer and they'd figure out a way to frame it as an economic disaster."
"I'm stunned to see Karl Rove on a news network as an analyst," he said of the Bush White House aide-turned Fox commentator.
A Fox News spokesman replied that "Jon's clearly out of touch," citing a Pew study showing the network has the most balanced audience in cable news, 39 percent Repubicans and 33 percent Democrats. "But being out of touch with mainstream America is nothing new to Jon as evidenced by the crash and burn ratings of this year's Oscars telecast."