31 October 2010

The Use of Comedians

In the Middle Ages every king, emperor, or really important armored thug, had a court jester. Even Attila the Hun. Their purpose was to tell the truths that no one else dared utter.

We still have some. Here's one now:

[Jon Stewart] had a closing statement of sorts, speaking at the very end for about 12 minutes, and if you haven't seen it, it's worth watching -- not just for the humor or the poignancy, but because it helped summarize the point of the gathering. Stewart didn't seem especially disappointed with partisans, ideologues, or activists; he reserved his discontent for the "tool" we're supposed to rely on for "delineating" between sanity and insanity -- i.e., the American media -- which Stewart believes "broke."

The 24-hour news media, Stewart said, "did not cause our problems. But its existence makes solving them that much harder.... If we amplify everything, we hear nothing. The press is our immune system. If it overreacts to everything, we eventually get sicker."

Go here to watch the video of a scorching critique of the media and a surprisingly moving description of the American people as they really are. Late for something they should be doing. Probably something really important.

I'd write more but I am late for finishing a paper that has to be done by last week at the absolute latest. And I have to have it done before Máeráed the anchor baby and family return for the great Sanity Rally in DC, my hometown.

Meanwhile ABC hires Andrew Breitbart for news commentary. And then tries to walk it back. Profiles in media courage.

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