LIONEL PODCAST: How Jon Stewart Wannabes Destroyed Political Critical Thinking

Can you spot the difference? One of these is part of a trained circus act doubling as entertainment that some observers have even considered to be inhumane and exploitative in fact. The other is a seal. But be not mistaken, Jon Stewart is the king of timing. Had he attempted the Stewart bit now, it wouldn’t have taken off. And success is in great part due to his 300+ writers who gave us such gems as, “The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom.” Wow. Move over Mort Sahl. Leibowitz is in the room. But what he did was spawn teams of JS wannabes who confuse mean and juvenescent snark with piquant and poignant political analysis. Or something.

Analysis is dead. Reaction is paramount. Snide jibes and slams. Inordinate focus on quotes, miscues and flubs. Bad hair, bad marriages, cankles, bags and Mao jackets. And I blame him. The gravamen of my indictment stems from his success. And with success come imitators and wannabes responding in kind, shadowing and replicating the master. The master who’s been resurrected to salvage Mr. Colbert.

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