Daily Show manipulerer med virkeligheden

Jon Stewart var god til det, Trevor Noah er det ikke. Satire er svært fordi det er indhold og ikke blot en ironisk form. Men når man driver et dagligt satire-program bliver presset på at finde nok satirisk materiale oftest så stort at man alt for ofte presser det materiale man nu engang har ind i den opøvede ironiske form. Og dette bliver uhæderlighed.

Noget af det sjoveste er at udstille repræsentanter for sine idiosynkrasier så alle kan svælge i, hvor tåbelige og usammenhængende de er. Men det kræver at man finder dem. Hvis ikke man finder dem, men i stedet er så uheldig at rende ind i intelligente velovervejede mennesker lidende af en anden politisk observans end ens egen må man manipulere med sit offer. Ved det republikanske konvent faldt en medarbejder fra Breitbart over en sådan manipulation i sin skabelse

A crew from The Daily Show — which plunged in the ratings after Trevor Noah took over as host— set up outside the event and approached people as they left the party, asking them for interviews.

At 12:30 a.m., Pollak was leaving the party when The Daily Show approached. “I was on the phone anyway,” Pollak recalled, “so I ignored them, but then I saw them pulling someone aside, so I stopped to watch.” The Breitbart senior editor-at-large ended his call, and turned on his video camera.

The Daily Show didn’t like that. Their attempt to stop Pollak wasn’t funny, and included physical intimidation and a blatant disregard for the First Amendment.

“I wanted to shoot raw footage of their interview with a young, gay conservative, because I wanted to compare it to their final cut and see whether they had been fair to him,” Pollak recalled.

“I didn’t want this person to be humiliated merely for being gay and having the ‘wrong’ political views,” Pollak added.

“They told me not to film, then they told me —incorrectly — that I couldn’t film them, and then one of their reporters pushed me. Finally, they gave up, packed up their cameras and ran away.”

(…)

The actions of the thugs from The Daily Show are shocking, and they rip the lid off the real purpose off the show: political propaganda disguised as entertainment. They weren’t trying to hide their “jokes” but were trying to keep their dwindling viewership from seeing how they make the sausage.

It’s as ugly as (insert politically incorrect Leslie Jones joke here) — and it’s no laughing matter.

Men metoden er ikke ny og den er ikke opfundet at Trevor Noah. Daily Shows Jon Stewart var dygtigere end Noah, men han kunne også lyve om virkeligheden for at passe sin ironiske form og lefle for sine tilhængeres idiosynkrasier. Og Stewart er et rimeligt præcist udtryk for hvorledes en stor del af venstrefløjen ræsonnerer, undvigende virkeligheden uden at stå til regnskab, som Daniel Greenfield skrev i Frontpage Magazine

It was Bush’s victory that took a flailing cable show hosted by an irritating little standup comedian with more neurotic tics than a flea-bitten Woody Allen and turned him into the voice of liberalism. Stewart’s nervous smirk and his passive aggressive mockery became the zeitgeist of urban Democrats nervously responding to Bush’s popularity and the rise of American patriotism after September 11.

The Democratic Party was out of ideas. The politicians who would become some of Bush’s most fevered critics were still following the president’s cues. A newly serious America was confronting a world war.

Stewart’s disingenuousness, veering from ironic detachment to self-righteous hectoring, undermined real sincerity with fake sincerity. The Daily Show’s audience of hipster yuppies cheered their newfound faith in sincere cynicism while the calculated ironic distance of his comedy kept him safe from critics. Even while he attacked the media’s dishonesty, his own routine was the most dishonest of them all.

His fake news was real news, biased and spun with punch lines. It was fake news that was real and just as fake as the rest of the news. The truth was that the lie was still a lie.

What Stewart offered a party dragged down by a morose Gore and Kerry was the promise of cool. Their former figurehead had started out playing the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall Show only to decay into a bloated red-faced mess. With towers burning and wars rising, Stewart was to be their bridge to a cooler and younger 21st century that an aging Democratic Party no longer seemed able to grapple with.

Jon Stewart didn’t actually have cool, but he could offer it up inversely by way of mockery. Like a school paper’s drama critic, he might not be cool, but by railing against others, he could deny coolness to them.

(…)

What Stewart offered Democrats was an evasive viewpoint without accountability. And nothing quite appeals to the cowardly instincts of a political hack like being able to take a political position without being held accountable for it. But it was Obama who truly embraced politics without accountability, transforming every issue into a joke or referencing it back to his own biography.

While he may have come out on the stage with a unique personal story, what kept Obama competitive was his skill at refracting everything through layers of irony and self-awareness. His approach was to borrow Stewart’s own routine without any of its ambiguity. Stewart’s pretense of triangulation became Obama’s obsession with turning his radical left-wing politics into an imaginary middle ground.

Stewart and Obama had come out of a political movement trying to respond to September 11 without having the first idea how to do so. Stewart’s comedy paved the way for minimizing the threat while inflating the absurdity of those trying to fight it. It is an approach that Obama continues to embrace.

(…)

Generation X cynicism fused with millennial brand awareness to create a political monster who might not be able to lie to the people all the time, but who cynically made the existence of his lies irrelevant.

Stewart’s Daily Show had offered an antidote to the Bush era of patriotism, sincerity and decency. Its antidote was passive aggressive ridicule and political satire as sincerity. After the Bush era ended, Stewart and his fellow comedians had little left to do except take on the job of defending Obama, while occasionally critiquing him. They had become the official court jesters of the Democratic Party.

Et eksempel. Under Israels seneste krig med terror-regimet Hamas i Gazastriben latterliggjorde Stewart Israel for ikke at beskytte fjendens civilbefolkning helt lige så meget som sin egen civilbefolkning. Som David Horovitz beskrev i Times of Israel

Stewart: “Both sides are engaging in aerial bombardment, but one side appears to be bomb-better-at it. (Studio laughter at the wordplay.) Most Hamas rockets are neutralized by Israel’s Iron Dome technology, and Israeli citizens can even now download a warning app. (Cut to clip of Israel’s US ambassador Ron Dermer explaining how Israelis can know where and when they’re being attacked.) So Israelis seem to have a high-tech, smart-phone alert system.”

Let me see if I understand the point he’s making here: Having falsely implied that Israel is as keen on killing as Hamas is, Stewart now seems to be criticizing Israel for not being as vulnerable as Hamas would like it to be to those Hamas rockets that are sent to kill us. He seems to be bashing us for having those tech smarts. It’s a bad thing that we developed a unique, astonishing Iron Dome missile defense system, without which hundreds of us would be dead? It’s a bad thing that we developed an app to warn us that the rockets designed to kill our citizens are heading this way?

Stewart: “How are the Gazans notified? (Cut to a clip explaining that Israel carries out “a small mortar explosion” on the roof of a building that is to be bombed “which serves as an Israeli warning of an upcoming airstrike.” Back to Stewart.) “Hmmm. So the Israeli military warns Gaza residents of imminent bombing (pause for comedic effect), with a smaller warning bombing! (Laughter). An amuse-boom, if you will.” (Studio laughter, clapping, cheering.)

What’s my problem with that bit (once I’ve registered the witty play on amuse-bouche). Oh, where to start? Stewart fails to explain which buildings in Gaza are being targeted: This is not the mirror image of Hamas’s arbitrary rocket attacks on any and every Israeli target. These are Israeli airstrikes on Gaza homes where Israel says terror chiefs live, where weaponry is stored, from where rockets are fired.

Furthermore, whereas Hamas, out to kill, does not generally warn Israel of imminent rocket attacks (thus rendering every missile fired at Israel from Gaza “a crime against humanity,” according to the Palestinian Authority’s own UN representative), Israel, trying not to kill noncombatants, fires that warning mortar shell to alert civilians — even though it knows this is more than likely to lead to the terrorist fleeing. Would Stewart rather Israel not warn Gazans that, in its efforts to prevent rocket fire on its civilians, it is about to strike back?

Mark Levin luftede dengang også sin harme over Stewarts manipulerede virkelighed.

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