The Daily Show, Swan Song?

All last week, before Jon Stewart took off for what amounts to a two week break, he waxed extremely heavily on criticism of the Obama administration. He has a right to his opinion. But, what it seemed to come down to was this, Stewart seemed more prepared to task the Obama administration for not being liberal enough. IE, not waving a magic wand and creating change fast enough. For Mr. Stewart, that was scandal enough. To a point, I’ll agree. There are plenty of things that President Obama promised that just didn’t get done. However, it takes “The Daily Show” to even pass judgment on a presidency that does have its outright faults and failures. And are you even going to hear from the regular “news media” the kinds of criticism that Stewart is best at? No, because they’d rather inundate us with Benghazi. They’d rather be “intimidated” by the crackdown on leaks that were ultimately fed to AP news sources. They’d rather stir the pot of angst just because the “TEA Party” only happened to be the latest in political groups to be specifically targeted by the IRS. Of course, how the IRS went about it wasn’t exactly “kosher.”

Jon Stewart, last week, also turned his criticism in other directions. Partisanship was on full display when Peggy Noonan demonstrated a lot of political outrage over the “scandalous” failures of the Obama administration. Only the same Peggy Noonan, of years earlier, who sought out any excuse or justification to defend Reagan during (or after) the (actually) scandalous Iran/Contra expose’. I am going to guess that you aren’t going to be as prone to chastise presidents for catastrophic mistakes in judgment if they are first of your own party.

Now, for the crackdown on leaks fed to the AP and Roger Ailes basically whining that the Obama administration is out to “get him.” (Fox News) Does anyone remember what happened to Dan Rather formerly of CBS Evening News? Mr. Rather ran an expose’ of GW being AWOL from his duties at (I believe) the Texas Air National Guard. The GW administration went ballistic, Republican bloggers started flailing Rather alive, and CBS kowtowed to the Bush administration; dumping Rather in a heartbeat. Apparently, when a Republican does something like this, it is neither as chilling or as intimidating as when a Democrat does it. I wouldn’t have minded seeing Stewart discuss something like that. Fox News, in the run up to the second Persian Gulf War, had no problem airing all of our military capabilities. Maybe the people running this program wanted to be the self-appointed propaganda arm of the GW administration. Well now, in the run up of any war, why would we televise what kinds of capabilities we actually have? Considering the modern age of technological communication, what Fox News delivered as a “propaganda” piece for the Iraq war, would have been broadcast easily, one way or another, across the world. It may just be that Fox News did more harm to our troops by telling the world about our military capabilities, than if they had actually tried being a news organization. To mean, “Loose lips sink ships.” If GW wasn’t going to have an issue over a major security issue like this (Stewart could have delved into that as well). Obama does have the same tools at his disposal that GW left him after he departed the Oval Office. The info is public knowledge now. Did N. Korea actually threaten more nuke tests in the face of sanctions? If so, that would seem to be a low level intelligence info to nail some reporters on. But, in the wake of the ten years and better Iraq war, Fox News may have done a lot to compromise our security. Even a low level leak would bring about some serious repercussions. If you care about the troops ahead of any military action, don’t provide the enemy an opportunity to start checking out where our vulnerabilities may be.

From my perspective, there are always a lot more to stories like this than supposedly regular news organizations care to deeply look at. Regrettably, it starts taking comedians to flesh out some of the details. But even Stewart had his limits. I enjoy “The Daily Show” immensely. There are times when it can be truly funny. While some of Stewart’s criticisms of Obama had some justification, others did not. As it is, I wish the fellow well on his well-deserved vacation.


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