Sanity in Politics?
Posted in Politics by Richard Adams
The Left has a major rally in Washington, DC, just before a major election, and does so in the name of "sanity," and it's hosted and organized by two comedians?
There's a lesson in there, and I don't know that it's a sign of civic health.
6:14 PM / October 30, 2010
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Yes, a very good friend of mine attended that travesty, and I must say I'm none too proud of him this morning. Don't these people see the irony in having comedians host the affair? Apparently not.
Regardless, I doubt it will help them one iota come Tuesday.
What a short memory some of you have. Think back a couple months.... wasn't there some rally in DC, hosted by a self-described "entertainer" who doesn't "give a flying a crap about the political process":
and a politician whose main claims to fame are her aborted term as a public servant (governor of the state keeping Russia at bay) and having a bunch of kids with unusual names?
Also, that entertainer was the keynote speaker at an Ashbrook Memorial dinner not so long ago. So, perhaps Ashbrook has also contributed to the deterioration of the civic health? (Limbaugh markets himself similarly - as an "entertainer" - and he's embraced like some sort of public intellectual (as is Ann Coulter) at CPAC) - have you forgotten??)
Fair points, Craig.
I have no particular beef with Stewart being a "comedian" or "entertainer." What bothers me is I can't figure out where Stewart's core of sincerity is. His entire act seems to be based on a kind of blanket contempt for all things. Being contemptuous of others is relatively easy. Being sincerely supportive of something is different.
Where exactly does Stewart stand? Is he a standard liberal? If so, fine ... say so.
As I said, it's not a sign of civic health when citizens will only take their news when cut with comedy. Neither side is winning any metals on this one.
I just wish that the people I knew who get their news from commedians didn't think they were superior to those who get their news from Beck at al.
A political entertainer at a dinner? Say it ain't so.
"it's not a sign of civic health when citizens will only take their news when cut with comedy. Neither side is winning any metals [sic] on this one."
Fine, but how come your noticing this problem only seemed to arise with Stewart and Colbert's rally?
After all, Limbaugh's been at it for years - you know with his "funny" skits like Barack the Magic Negro and whatnot - and Beck the rising star even publishes a magazine called Fusion, taking its name from Beck's talk radio program's motto, "The Fusion of Entertainment and Enlightenment." The premiere issue (July 2005), featured a puppet-like replication of Beck ice skating with training wheels on the cover.
Also, I question your premise. NPR is quite notable for its blandness and LACK of comedy (The Car Guys and Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me are hardly full of belly-laughs), but I'm guessing that it is also popular among Stewart and Colbert fans (evidence of which is how it is paying attention to more and more musical artists popular with younger people). So, this runs against your claim that these "citizens will (ONLY) take their news when cut with comedy."
"A political entertainer at a dinner? Say it ain't so."
But the Ashbrook Memorial Dinner is not just any dinner - it's a dinner connected with an academic institute which seems to pride itself on its very serious purpose and goals (look around the site sometime). Evidence of this can also be found in the list of other Ashbrook Dinner speakers. Bill Bennett might be a cynical con man worthy of a Vegas show, but his reputation is that of a man who writes and speaks of America's grand purpose and vision and the virtues which have made us an exceptional nation, etc.
The Ashbrook Center doesn't seem to market itself as a fusion of entertainment and politics.
"I just wish that the people I knew who get their news from commedians [sic] didn't think they were superior to those who get their news from Beck at al."
You can't be serious. Do you think that Beck and his fans are actually exemplary models of humility and modesty?? The guy who last year published a book called "Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government" ?
Is that the anti-elitist attitude that Stewart & Colbert's fans should try to emulate?
That Palin definition of elitism which you seem to be using has very obvious and severe limitations, unless one is willing to just charge forth with it, without any sense of shame.
As I recall, Craig, Beck did not bill his rally as entertainment, nor can his list of guests be interpreted as "entertainment." If anything, I thought his rally was too somber and religious.
As for this latest rally, it was in response to Beck, and it WAS clearly political (just 3 days before the election, but no politics here, folks...move along). The signs at his rally, and the kind of people it attracted, all smack of a reactionary rally in mockery of Beck. No surprise there.
As for Stewart, the man is in the tank for the Left, and no one should doubt this. He only mocks the Left to retain a shred of credibility as a neutral commentator. Come on, the guy berates Obama for not being radical enough. Gees.
Quiz for ya, Redwald - was this Stewart at his rally, or Beck at his??
"Why would you work with Marxists actively subverting our constitution?"
I'm disappointed to see comedians take such a large place in the country's political discourse. Stewart, Colbert, Maher, Whoopi Goldberg, Garafalo, Behar, and even D-lister Kathy Griffin.
When comics dominate our civic discourse cynics dominate our philosophy.
Precisely, the problem is not the mix of politics and entertainment. It's useful, as it helps get people interested and engaged. What bothers me is that so many people who ought to know better think they can be well informed when they get the bulk of their news from entertainers.