On last night’s Daily Show, Jon Stewart lodged a pithily accurate critique of CNN’s tactless and misinformed reporting on the dubious arrest of a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. Amid clips of CNN’s rambling, self-contradicting shambles of reportage, Stewart quipped, “It’s like a news story as imagined by M. Night Shyamalan,”adding that what was “exclusive” about the report is that “it was completely fucking wrong.” Stewart topped off his critique with the following astute insight: “We’re accustomed to 24-hour news networks thriving on conflict. Generally, though, that conflict is between two outside parties — political opponents, pundits — but CNN’s reporters have discovered that they can remove the middle man and spend hours of programming fighting amongst themselves. They have figured out a way to shit in their own mouths. CNN has become the Human Centipede of News.” Stewart’s superb takedown of CNN impelled us to revisit the best of the political satirist’s verbal crusades against the mainstream media.
Jon Stewart vs. Fox News, 2009
As Fox News zeroes in on a big breaking news story – some school kids in New Jersey singing about President Obama (with a speculation that they’ve been “indoctrinated”) – Stewart hammers home their redundancy as a viable news platform. In this hilarious segment, spotted on MediaMatters, Stewart emphatically denounces Fox’s slew of opinion shows as “not news,” distinguishing between fact and fiction. Over at Fox, news is “opinutainment,” he joked, appropriately using a made-up word to talk about made-up facts. Here’s the truth, according to Jon Stewart: “the news side of Fox and the opinion side of Fox are like the McDLT. The hot side stays hot, and the cool side stays cool. But when you put them together and eat it – well, I think you know what ends up happening.” Equating Fox with a shitty – and now extinct – McDonalds burger is quite brilliant.