Saturday, April 28, 2007

Bill Moyers and Jon Stewart

Bill Moyers interview last Friday night on PBS (WOSU locally) with The Daily Show's Jon Stewart was outstanding.

Here is part one:

And here is part two:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Okay, Tim. I'll now comment on this. I watched a couple minutes of it but it bored me because it was so predicable. The best of Dick Cavett’s interviews came out last year in a box set and I recommend it for truly fascinating viewing. Here are my thoughts on Bill Moyers and Jon Stewart:

Webster’s definition of PROPOGANDA:
1: the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person
2: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect

By the definition provided, Bill Moyers is a propagandist. It is absurd to believe that Moyers is an objective observer to, and communicator of, events.
Moyers approaches every “journalistic” endeavor with findings that are predetermined in order to support his ideological bias. If this is not intellectual dishonesty, then I don’t know what is.

I dislike Moyers not so much because of his ideology, but because of his dishonesty. He has no regard for journalistic integrity and violates every tenet of serious journalism. I most enjoy the works of journalists whose opinions on issues I am unable to predict. For example, Joe Hallet is one of my favorite columnists because he is equally flattering and critical of both political parties. He gives credit to those who deserve it, regardless of political affiliation; and he applies criticism to those who deserve it regardless of political affiliation. His opinions are more attached to practical reason than petty political favoritism therefore I seek to read him first, before turning to the nationally syndicated talking heads (Friedman, Broder, et al.).

I was disappointed when Steven Brancaccio joined NOW. I enjoyed listening to him on Marketplace and respected his work. His association with Moyers and the NOW program has soured my opinion of him.

As for Jon Stewart, my buddy opened up for him a few times when we lived in NYC (during the pre-Giuliani days when it was as an asylum). I used to accompany my buddy to a lot of his gigs because he was ruthless with hecklers and they regularly waited for him after the shows to beat him up. So I used to sit at the "comics' table" or on their reserved section at the bar (always next to the waitress station, of course). The dish on Stewart at the time was that he was lost in the circuit because he didn’t have a signature schtick: Since Seinfeld cornered the market on wry observation and Lewis made neurosis his act Jon Stewart became--what Seinfeld warned my buddy of becoming--"just another funny Jew on the circuit". I remember Stewart as a nice guy but somewhat aloof. He didn’t interact much with anybody. It's good to see that Stewart found his niche and he's successful. It's heartbreaking to see the same comics we knew in the 1980's and 90's still living gig-to-gig and now working the B list places and the Catskill borscht circuit.