Good morning, Netizens…
This morning, cartoonist David Horsey appears to be speaking directly to me with a cartoon that takes a shot at Jon Stewart, the host of The Daily Show. However, Horsey makes a few truly good points in his examination, several of which apply directly to my situation here at Community Comment.
Jon Stewart has undertaken a spoof of Glenn Beck’s recent “Restoring Honor” rally. Quoting from Horsey’s column, Stewart has Announced a “Rally to Restore Sanity,” and Stewart told his viewers, “We’re looking for the people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn’t be the only ones that get heard; and who believe that the only time it’s appropriate to draw a Hitler mustache on someone is when that person is actually Hitler. Or Charlie Chaplin in certain roles.”
The scariest part is people are talking about this. People are making plans and buying plane tickets, according to Horsey, and he submits this could be a very big thing. What makes this even more important to me and most other journalists is it could be a big demonstration of how the lines that once defined and segregated the worlds of politics, journalism and entertainment have all but vanished.
People in politics gave predictable droll speeches, held noisy rallies, tried to organize the voters and ran the parties. We, the journalists, were taught to be dispassionate, not hold any opinions, at least not in public, and although we could try to shape the public opinion, we were forbidden from being besmirched with partisanship. We have seen a ton of comedians and television humorists who made fun of politics, they did not become lightning rods for political causes. I am thinking of David Letterman, Johnny Carson and various others who have played such roles in our historied past. Then we have comedians such as Al Franken who parlayed his craft into a role in politics.
How the world has changed! Politicians have become pundits, pundits play politics and comedians can seem more credible and sane than either one, or perhaps not, as your results may vary.
Do not expect that true-blue journalism is going to make a hard left turn anytime soon. However, we may see the fringes fade a bit, as comedy blends with and thus perhaps more partisan.
The future could be interesting indeed.
(Portions of this article attributed to various online sources, including David Horsey’s column)