Saturday, October 16th, 2004

"No. I'm not going to be your monkey"

I don’t ever watch CNN’s Crossfire, so I can’t say that I just happened to miss Jon Stewart’s appearance on the show – I didn’t know about it and never would have… if it hadn’t ended up being such a remarkable piece of television. In a nutshell, the show had wanted Stewart to come on, make some jokes and shill The Daily Show‘s new book but instead Stewart wanted to be dead serious (as much as he can be) and tear them a new one for their journalistic failings in regards to their political guests. He calls them “partisan hacks” and singles out host Tucker Carlson as “a dick”, and when Carlson tries to stop his screed by saying, “Wait. I thought you were going to be funny. Come on. Be funny”, Stewart retorts, “No. I’m not going to be your monkey”. So fucking good.

It’s truly fascinating to watch. I think it’s one of the rare times that Stewart seems 100% sincere about what he’s talking about – and I don’t mean that he usually seems insincere, far from it, but here he’s not using irony or “we’re fake news” card to cover his position. When he’s pleading with them to “Please stop” as they’re cutting him off to go to commercial, there’s a real desperation there. I didn’t think it was possible for me to respect Stewart more than I already did, but there you go. Whether he admits it or not, he’s got tremendous influence right now and to see him actually take a serious position on an important issue was heartening. The Big Ticket has a good synopsis of the incident and a slew of links for your further edification, and you can grab a torrent of the segment here – it’ll be a super-fast download ’cause I’m sure EVERYONE is trying to download this as well – download it in non-torrent form here or here, or read the official transcript of the episode here. But really, you have to see it.

Keeping on a political angle, Mother Jones talks to longtime political activist Steve Earle about his activities over the current election season and The Nation talks to newbie political activist Chris Walla of Death Cab For Cutie about taking part in the Vote For Change tour. Both links from Largehearted Boy.

And in a completely apolitical story, Billboard gets an update on the status of the new Broken Social Scene record, now due out in late March or early April.

The Guardian takes a nostalgic look back at the great British indie-pop C86 boom of the mid-80s and how it’s making a comeback in the sounds of today’s hot new artists. And as a primer for the curious, they offer a list of their top 10 indiepop singles.

You know how last week I posted a couple covers of Wire’s “Outdoor Miner”? If you liked that, you’ll LOVE this – A Houseguest’s Wish isn’t just a tribute album to Wire – it’s a tribute album to Wire’s SONG. You get nineteen – yes, that’s IXX for you Romans out there – different versions of the classic tune. And you know what? I’d actually like to hear this – it’s a great song. The Luna track I posted is NOT on the comp, while the Lush one is. I also hear there’s a Ted Leo cover kicking around – anyone have it?

np – Scud Mountain Boys / Massachusetts

By : Frank Yang at 9:29 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. mr g says:

    thanks for the link, frank.

    the "monkey" line was great, as was when stewart asked (re: the oreilly nonsense), "where’s you moral outage?" mr bow-tie responded, "i don’t have any," and stewart said flatly, "i know" & deliberately looked away from him. it was classic.

    good call on pointing out stewart’s earnest desperation. he was trying so hard to have an honest conversation, though i’m not surprised carlson/begala tried to steer their ship back to more calm waters – it is their show anyway.

    i’ve heard jon stewart be that serious before, but mostly in places out of the public spotlight like air america. he’s very smart & has a definite point-of view on the issues, which makes it more impressive that his Daily Show manages to be as "fair & balanced" as it is – he’s more professional than the hacks at the cable news networks. and his lead-ins are "puppets" & fighting robots (or at least it used to be at times; now he’s got chappelle too).

    for a late-friday afternoon story, this crossfire incident is getting a decent amount of talk from the web/blogs pretty quickly. with any luck, this rare moment of honest confrontation w/the news media won’t be entirely lost to oblivion. or at least until stewart comes back next week w/new eps of the Daily Show.

  2. mr g says:

    oh, & thanks for that BSS link. it’s good to have an update – i cannot wait for that disc.

  3. Jim H says:

    So, he’ll be Viacom’s monkey but not CNN’s monkey. They’re both dicks.