Saturday, July 16, 2005

Jon Stewart on Bernard Goldberg

John Stewart recently had guest Bernard Goldberg (Author of the entirely regrettable Bias'- A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News) on the Daily Show. You can watch the clip on the Comedy Central website.

When I saw Stewart introducing Goldberg to the set, I though, "Oh no...why are you giving this guy a platform to spread his trash" By the end of the interview, I was more than happy. Stewart ran circles around Goldberg, continually pointing out the flaws in his arguments, and making a mockery of the thesis of Goldberg's work. The appearance was entirely entertaining - At times, Goldberg appeared to enjoy the experience, although for the most part, he appeared unsettled, completely thrown off by well timed, witty comments thrown in by Stewart, and the laughter from the audience.

Goldberg appeared on the Daily Show in an attempt to pedal his new book, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (And Al Franken is #37). Goldberg was attempting to present himself as a "fair and balanced" author, but Stewart was quick to point out that "There were only 3 conservatives were in the book, and one of them shot an abortion doctor".

Goldberg's thesis is that America is being ruined by degrading cultural values over time. His book focuses primarily on cultural icons - Stewart found no end to the humor in the selection of Barbara Striesand as one of the hundred Americans that are ruining America.

My favorite moment was when Goldberg started with: "Let's say we have a bigot channel..." Stewart jumps in quickly with "we do!", to enormous applause and laughter. That was great - With two well-timed words, Stewart made a great political point (pointing out the cultural element that is truly ruining America), took the wind out of the sales of Goldberg's point, and generated a great laugh. Goldberg ended up resorting to a "You're a....You're so...".

Stewart's summation on Goldberg was that he understood Goldberg's point, but that most everyone in his book is powerless, and that there are people in power that are actually the ones reasonable for ruining America. A recent comment on Goldberg's book in Amazon sums it up pretty well, "The guy deserves a top 10, at least".