For Fox Sake: How Jon Stewart Exposes Rampant Hypocrisy

Location: Waterloo, ON Brussels, Belgium



During The Daily Show's recent holiday hiatus, Roger Ailes launched an attack on Jon Stewart. Ailes did so at his Alma mater Ohio State University. The head of Fox News leveled some heavy charges against Stewart stating that "He wouldn't do well without Fox News" and also claimed that Stewart had once "basically admitted to me, in a bar, that he’s a socialist." When I heard that Mr. Ailes had attacked my hero, Jon Stewart - I leaped into action to defend him during his time off. [Even Though I myself am currently on break -Studying abroad for the summer in Brussels, Belgium.]

The first charge is essentially nothing new, according to the Huffington Post article, Ailes made similar comments 2 years ago when he said that "[Stewart] makes a living by attacking conservatives." And anyone who frequents Comedy Central, Monday through Thursday at 11/10c, can easily attest to this claim. For those who don't, here's a quick overview:


Jon Stewart really does make his living by keeping Fox News in line. As for the Socialist charge, I do protest. While obviously I can't claim to know what Stewart did or did not allegedly say in a bar to Ailes, I can cite this Daily Show clip where Stewart firmly supports America's founding fathers principles [who were for the record clearly not socialist] - even when Fox personalities seem to not agree: [starts at ~1:33]


But as an ardent supporter of Jon Stewart, ending this article with that meager montage would not do justice to this much needed response. Also, because I don't think that Roger Ailes or Fox News will apologize to Mr. Stewart any time soon - much like Sean Hannity did here back in November of 2009:


So I chose instead to dig deeper into The Daily Show archives and highlight the battle of Jon Stewart vs. Fox News. I have selected and arranged the 10 clips that I feel highlights the arduous and ongoing battle between these diametrically opposed forces.

I'd like to begin with Jon Stewart's systematic and thorough evisceration of the entire Fox News Channel in this clip [from which I also pulled the title of this article] from October 2009:


In his classic method of using a previous clip, printed statement, or audio quote in juxtaposition with a contradictory one, he demonstrates how Fox News really isn't 'news' as we think it to be. Stewart points out that Fox's major line-up, like 'Fox and Friends,' Neil Cavuto, (the now re-assigned) Glenn Beck, and the power houses that are O'Reilly and Hannity - are by Fox's own words, NOT NEWS.

But when Fox (not really news) News is not busy pushing television propaganda via the airwaves, their parent company is actively influencing electoral politics by donating $1 million dollars to the Republican Governors Association. This claim was vetted by Fox News themselves here, but hilariously here by Stewart as well:


What made this piece so irresistible was the fact that Fox News has continually harped on left-wing corporations funding Democratic politicians - while Fox News' parent company was guilty of the same sin. This simply highlights Fox News' hypocrisy on two levels, that of corporate funding and their plight against the main-stream media for not covering anti-liberal news stories.

However, Fox's pattern of tracing a money trail to instill fear and a sense of contempt into their viewers was probably best chronicled in 'The Parent Company Trap' segment, yet again featuring News Corp. at its center:


Jon Stewart, with the help of The daily Show's pundits, illustrated how Fox News purposefully instills fear, but debates whether it is because of sheer stupidity or pure evil. The result is one of TheDailyShow.com's most watched segement with the tag of 'Fox News' with over a million views. [In the interest of full transparency, about 1,000 views are from yours truly.]

So what happens when the Absurdity of Fox News statements, allegations, and opinion are put to a sort of 'auditing of truth' thanks to Politifact?


The truth is revealed. Politifact has constantly and consistently proved Fox News' claims to be patently false, even awarding them with 'Lie of the Year' in 2009 and 2010. Stewart has the grace and modest to apologize for an unintentional fib, even though, especially as a comedian, he has zero responsibility to do so.

But holding the gang at Fox News to outside and potentially arbitrary standards, it is only fair to hold Fox News to the standards they both vie for and claim to adhere to:


Well, it looks as if Fox News is again left without a leg to stand on. Even by their own professed claims of ethics and standards, to never use the 'Reductio ad Hitlerum' rhetorical argument - also known as 'playing the Nazi card.' Not to mention the fact that this clearly highlighted Roger Ailes' extremely immature comments in respect to the Juan Williams - NPR controversy.

Now the case has been built, the claims have been substantiated, and the stage is set. Fox News' self proclaimed title of 'Fair & Balanced' is ripe for the decimation. How would Jon Stewart fare on one of Fox News' own shows opposite one of their biggest figure heads?


Exactly! Jon Stewart gets Chris Wallace to admit on his own show what the masses have suspected for years - that Fox News is just a "counterweight" and that they "tell the other side of the story." But of course, that never made it to air - rather, it was just filed away to the e-archives of foxnews.com. However, I found this unedited footage brilliantly mocked up to show the 'fair and balanced' editing of the full interview that took place: part 1 here & part 2 here.

Right as though it seemed the jig was up, Fox News attempts to re-write history to nudge the status quo back in line with their pre-conceived narrative:


This is hilarious for two reasons. First, because this is exactly the frame work of Fox News having a 'preconceived narrative' that Jon Stewart was attacking. And second, because Stewart further eviscerated Chris Wallace on The Daily Show in his typical hilarious fashion. But much like my article now, Jon Stewart does not stop after this devastating blow, he continues on. He reveals the clever ploy Fox News utilizes to propagate their framing of issues. Much like Stewart depicts in this segment, I also watch Fox News quite extensively. However instead of subscribing to their narrative, I watch it to mock and make my own satirical jokes while waiting for the next episode of The Daily Show to air.

Most importantly though, Stewart's ability to highlight the most important of issues is the backbone to his genuine determination to do good in the world [3:45 into the second video really got me]:


The issue of the Zadroga Bill was an issue that was close to me. I even wrote about it a year ago. For Fox News to be scooped by Al-Jazeera, and then to completely ignore the folks who you invoked in 9/11 references so many times that, in the words of Stewart, "if you don’t owe the 9/11 responders health care, at least you owe them royalties." Not only does he beat Fox in the realm of media accuracy, he beats them when the chips are truly down.

Lastly what I think clearly separates Stewart from the news media pack, and solidifies him as a comedic voice is ability for introspection and self-deprecating humor:


This segment was quite a thorough collection of Stewart's previous satirical impersonations. Clearly Stewart is nothing close to a racist. Thanks to his further solidifying his position as a comedian via a dildo-wheel, he is able to take jabs at both ends of the spectrum.

More recently he came to the defense of Sandra Fluke in the face of Rush Limbaugh's obscene comments and reiterated the point of being a comedian [My conclusion will be quite like Stewart's - starting at 6:48]:


So that's the conclusion. That's what I agree with. Fox News needs to stop acting like a big cry baby. And if you have stuck through this entire series of Daily Show segments with Stewart at his finest moments, you now see why too. Roger Ailes certainly has a reason to have a vendetta against Stewart, he constantly exposes the narrative that is the man behind the curtain at Oz. Hopefully this guide to exposing the shenanigans at Fox News will now allow those who were previously blind to see the hilarity and hypocrisy. While the methodology of Jon Stewart may be one of comedy and humor, the message he is trying to convey is a much more serious one. The American public can no longer afford the wholesale buying of the crap Fox News is selling.

How did this ALL start you ask? Here is the first direct shot at a Fox News entity from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as a host:


NOTE: This piece was an original submission for the Student News Media site PolicyMic. This is my unedited version and the revision that will be posted on PolicyMic will be different. I encourage my readers to pleas also check out my articles on PolicyMic - I plan to add a PolicyMic tab to my blog in the near future...

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*UPDATE:

The Daily Show has now returned from their 2 week holiday - and they came out swinging!


As usual Stewart and The Daily Show gang did not disappoint. This looks to be the most heated exchange between the two forces since June of last year. Stewart really took heat after showing up on Chris Wallace's show and hasn't been invited back to any programs on the network since. I am in Belgium currently so my access to Fox News isn't as readily available as when I'm stateside. But stay tuned for my updates concerning developments with The Daily Show!

One Year Later: Retrospection
& Analyzing the Recent Dialogue


The DEVGRU Weapon of Choice: A SOPMOD M4A1
Today marks the one year anniversary of Osama Bin Laden's terminus at the hands of DEVGRU. The world's most wanted man was finally brought to justice in his Abottabad compound. Delivering this justice was two 5.56 NATO rounds fired from a SOPMOD M4A1 rifle courtesy of a SEAL Team 6 operator. He conveyed this accomplishment by declaring "For God and country - Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo!" These powerful words, a combination of a Latin phrase and the operational codename for their primary target, were the first uttered in a post-Bin Laden world.

In the 365 days since this successful mission was executed with surgical precision, a partisan dialogue has emerged in regards to Operation Neptune Spear. Here are two critiques of how President Barack Obama has utilized this success in the context of an election year, followed by my response:

1. Obama really didn't do anything of major operational significance, he just gave authorization for an obvious decision.


This is an argument from ignorance, plain and simple. The outcome had the potential to be the worst American military fiasco since Operation Eagle Claw during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, or more recently in comparison to 'Black Hawk Down' in 1993. The location of this high-valued target was in the borders of the sovereign nation of Pakistan and only minutes away from the Pakistan Military Academy, their equivalent to West Point. Compounding the risk was the current anti-American political climate among Pakistanis. Not withstanding the fact this would be the first time a nuclear state would have their sovereignty directly challenged in such a manner - adding the unprecedented, and albeit unlikely, potential of two nuclear powers going directly to war with each other.

A Glimpse inside the Situation Room
Furthermore, as Commander in Chief, Barack Obama is the supreme commander of the United States Armed Forces. This integral role should not be overlooked. SEAL Team 6 launching a ground operation was never set in stone. Obama was presented with three potential courses of action. The first was a joint US/Pakistani ground operation; easily the most diplomatic. Second was having the site renovated from a compound to a crater, courtesy of a B2 Spirit Stealth Bomber. Third was the option of the Seal Team 6 raid. The decision to go with the latter of the three options was not the easiest choice to come to. The joint operation had numerous potentials for error: intel leaks, logistical time delays, and a lack of prior precedent for how to conduct a US/PAK operation. The sortie would have guaranteed target annihilation, but would have had catastrophic levels of collateral damage - and no bodies to account for the mission's justification. So while the third option looked the most tantalizing, it put 79 American Soldiers on the ground. This meant boots on foreign soil, in pursuit of an unconfirmed target.

Regardless of what the President may or may not be doing in regards to referencing the success of this operation, credit must be given where credit is due. Diminishing Obama's role in Bin Laden's take down is more petty, ignorant, and deleterious than what any superimposed political narrative is accusing the President of doing.

2. Obama is employing divisive and unethical rhetoric when using Bin Laden's death as a part of his 2012 campaign platform.

There are so many elements wrong with this assertion. Most prominently is the fact that the majority of these attacks are coming from the right. While there may be legitimate critiques, Republicans are being hypocritical in their claims. The outline for what the Obama 2012 campaign is doing in terms of using national security, foreign policy, and successes in a war are no different than the Bush 2004 campaign [As Slate Magazine Demonstrates].

Should President Obama be able to laud the success of killing Bin Laden as part of his campaign? Without question. Especially because of his visit to Afghanistan and Bagram Airbase yesterday. To question Obama's visit to an active war zone, to visit American troops, and on the anniversary of Bin Laden's death, simply proved the foolishness and ignorance of those accusing him of grabbing cheap political gains.

Personally, I cannot think of a stronger message to send to the world than to return to the homeland of al-Qaeda on the one year anniversary of their founder's demise at our hands, and outlining a way to responsibly draw down a decade long conflict. 


History has shown that hasty military withdrawals that are irrespective and inconsiderate of real world implications have extremely negative consequences. And before anybody scoffs at President Obama's announcement to commit US and NATO forces to Afghanistan for the next decade, remember how all of this was started in the first place. Like it or not, al-Qaeda grew from the seeds of the American-backed Afghan Mujahadeen that fought against the Soviets forces during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

The gravitas of this salute to America's determination and accomplishments easily exceeds Bush's landing on an aircraft carrier to proclaim 'Mission Accomplished.' And if the question were asked "Would Mitt Romney visit American troops at Bagram Airbase, in an active war zone, on the one year anniversary of Bin Laden's demise?" The answer would be 'No.' Mitt Romney decided to just mail it in.

Personally, I took time to reflect on the events surrounding Bin Laden's death. I found that certain sentiments that haven't changed, and I ultimately came to the same conclusion. To convey my current thoughts on the matter, I will quote from an oped I wrote for the University of Oklahoma's student news paper a year ago:

"Regardless, this is a time for celebration; if not solely for the death of a fellow human being, but for putting and end to what he [Osama Bin Laden] did and stood for. Hopefully a step in the direction of closure for those affected by the events of 9/11; and ultimately making it a little easier to breath for the Human Race as a whole."

[See my original op-ed in full at the OU Daily, Here
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