Jon Stewart's Fake Journalism Enjoys Real Political Impact
Jon Stewart, fake journalist and proud of it, keeps insisting he's just a comedian.
Night after night, "The Daily Show" host lampoons President Bush as a tongue-tied bumbler, Donald Rumsfeld as a mad ranter who resembles "Pete the crazy guy outside my apartment," the war in Iraq as a giant "Mess O' Potamia" and the reporters who cover the presidential race as self-important clods.Such sharp-edged skewering has turned the Comedy Central funnyman into a cultural phenomenon who, despite his protestations, seems to be having some undefined, irony-drenched influence on how the campaign is perceived. He's been on the cover of Newsweek and now graces the cover of Rolling Stone. His "America (The Book)" is the nation's top seller. He has analyzed the media as Ted Koppel's guest, dissected the party conventions as Tom Brokaw's expert and ripped into his hosts on "Crossfire" for presiding over "theater" and "partisan hackery." There's a difference between making a point and having an agenda," Stewart says. "We don't have an agenda to change the political system. We have a more selfish agenda, to entertain ourselves. We feel a frustration with the way politics are handled and the way politics are handled within the media." read on