Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America: are Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert co-conspirators in the disappearance of liberal radicalism?

Jon Stewart

A very worthwhile read, via Steve Almond at The Baffler:

Our lazy embrace of Stewart and Colbert is a testament to our own impoverished comic standards. We have come to accept coy mockery as genuine subversion and snarky mimesis as originality. It would be more accurate to describe our golden age of political comedy as the peak output of a lucrative corporate plantation whose chief export is a cheap and powerful opiate for progressive angst and rage.

In this, the “golden age” of Facebook Likes masquerading as activism, have we fallen prey to a massive ruse? One in which progressive rage is vaccinated little by little via 30-minute doses of harmless political comedy?

They’re not so convinced over at Vulture:

It seems like we have some version of this conversation every few years: Is Jon Stewart too easy on some of his guests? Yes. Do we live in a time when people are extremely reluctant to criticize members of the American military? We do. But is it really the role of all comedy, even political and media-centric comedy, to radicalize a population? Comedy can absolutely introduce political agitation. Must it, though? Are Stewart and Colbert asleep at the wheel because they’re not more like Bill Hicks?

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3 thoughts on “Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America: are Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert co-conspirators in the disappearance of liberal radicalism?

  1. Pingback: A response to Steve Almond on our late-night political comedians « the first casualty

  2. Could not disagree more. Stewart and Colbert are not intended as “liberal radicalism”. They are intended to be funny, ironical, fake news and tongue-in-cheek commentary. If want to resurrect the Weather Underground, bomb animal research clinics, or merely behave like “ActUp” jerks at public hearings and meetings, count out!

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