Jon Stewart’s Take on Journalism

On Saturday, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert held their Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. Thousands upon thousands came from all around the country to Washington for the event, largely inspired by Glenn Beck’s August 28 Restoring Honor rally. Although much of the event’s three hours were spent on comedy, Stewart’s rather serious commencement speech, which is featured below, was aimed at journalists, specifically those on cable television.

Stewart and Colbert are comedians, and this was evident from the name of the rally to much of the rally’s content, a mixture of sketches, songs and stand-up. But in the end, Stewart set his sights on the media that he said has let America down. Stewart said that the 24-hour news channels use fear as their main motivator (this begins at about 3:00 in the video below). In his opinion, the anger expressed through much of the country comes from the media.

“We live now in hard times, not end times,” Stewart said.

Some on cable news seem to have heard Stewart’s message. Keith Olbermann, the liberal host of MSNBC’s Countdown, just announced that he is suspending the show’s “Worst Person in the World” segment. Olbermann said that the tone of the political discussion in America needs to change.

What do you guys think? Does cable television create or perpetuate people’s anger and fear? Is Jon Stewart a part of the cable news machine and is he a hypocrite for criticizing it? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

-Chris Reinoos

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