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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Truthiness or consequences

If you ever needed proof of the mainstream media inability to understand the current political dialogue, you need look no farther than today's coverage of the "dueling" pre-Halloween rallies planned in Washington by Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

The Associated Press struggles to present its usual even-handed pronouncement on Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity’’ and Colbert's counter “March to Keep Fear Alive." (second item, after serio-humorous brief about Sarah Palin in Iowa).
Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show’’ is hosting a “million moderate march’’ in Washington — for people who think shouting is annoying — but faux political nemesis Stephen Colbert will be nearby to keep fear alive against those “dark, optimistic forces.
So far, so good. But can anyone take this seriously after the following paragraphs?

Colbert is encouraging “all freedom-loving patriots’’ to bring an overnight bag and five extra sets of underwear to challenge Stewart’s “dark, optimistic forces.’’ He said the nation cannot afford a rally to restore sanity in the middle of a recession.

He wrote the United States is built on three bedrock principles: freedom, liberty and fear.

“They want to replace our fear with reason,’’ he wrote. “But never forget ‘reason’ is just one letter away from ‘treason.’’’
In answer to my own question -- yes. The Boston Globe's editorial board for starters:
Stewart’s rally concept is to tell the maddened ranters of Right and Left to stop acting so crazy. Were they to follow his advice, they would be depriving him of the source material for his comedy. Colbert, on the other hand, is telling the [Glenn] Becks and Sarah Palins, facetiously, to please go on rousing rabble.
It's a frightening commentary on the state of the media today that three comedians are among the most influential cable commentators today -- followed closely by a not-even one-term former Alaska governor who is the living embodiment of "truthiness."

What's even more frightening is that Beck apparently believes his own shtick and has assembled a legion of followers who would join him over the cliff.

Personally, I'm betting Stewart's "million moderate march" and Colbert's "counter" rally far outdraws Beck's "Restoring Hope" Washington stand-up routine.

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