Jon Stewart Reacts To The Arizona Shootings

Jon Stewart takes a moment to have a heart-to-heart with his viewers on the cycle of craziness and patriotism after the Arizona tragedy. As he stumbles through trying to make sense of the incident he reminds us that whether politics or visual violence was a factor behind the motivation of the killings, “you cannot out smart crazy.”

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  • ken vallario

    when the comedian has become the most enlightened speaker, one knows we have entered dark times…

    thank you Jon Stewart for your heartfelt presence…and thanks to AmandaPelliciari for posting this…

  • ken vallario

    when the comedian has become the most enlightened speaker, one knows we have entered dark times…

    thank you Jon Stewart for your heartfelt presence…and thanks to AmandaPelliciari for posting this…

  • ken vallario

    when the comedian has become the most enlightened speaker, one knows we have entered dark times…

    thank you Jon Stewart for your heartfelt presence…and thanks to AmandaPelliciari for posting this…

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  • ralph

    Caught this last night. It was encouraging to see someone on the TV box attempt to make sense in a thoughtful way what is senseless.

  • http://disinfo.com ralph

    Caught this last night. It was encouraging to see someone on the TV box attempt to make sense in a thoughtful way what is senseless.

  • http://gepr.myopenid.com/ gepr

    Well done.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Our little John from the early 90′s is all grown up now. Who would have believed then, that the funny guy from bit parts in movies and occasional stand up shows would someday be the one lone voice of quiet, reasonable reflection? I’d never have bought it…if anyone had said it to me 20 years ago “Hey…man…Stewart’s gonna be the most trusted voice in journalism AND comedy in 2010…at the same time.” I’d have laughed hard and referred to Bill Hicks or Sam Kinison. Who knew?

  • http://gepr.myopenid.com/ gepr

    Well done.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Our little John from the early 90′s is all grown up now. Who would have believed then, that the funny guy from bit parts in movies and occasional stand up shows would someday be the one lone voice of quiet, reasonable reflection? I’d never have bought it…if anyone had said it to me 20 years ago “Hey…man…Stewart’s gonna be the most trusted voice in journalism AND comedy in 2010…at the same time.” I’d have laughed hard and referred to Bill Hicks or Sam Kinison. Who knew?

  • Liam_McGonagle

    I must have been watching a different video from the rest of the world. I didn’t see anything particularly great here.

    Praise of the dead? Who’s going to say otherwise?

    Description of the act as crazy? Not really breaking new ground there.

    Refusal to blame rhetoric alone? True, but too easily misconstrued as a passive endorsement of crazy, violent behaviour by pols and pundits rather than a commitment to free speach. Lets them off the hook too easily.

    Watered down reminder to “match rhetoric with reality”? True, but this is the bit that will be most quickly forgotten. Not nearly enough emphasis on that or why it is important.

    If I had to summarize what I got out of this in one sentence, it’d be: “Jon Stewart, understandably upset and working hard to balance his roles as events commentator and purveyor of light comedy, doesn’t really say anything.”

    If I had to grade Stewart’s speech here, I’d demand to do so only with respect to two separate categories:

    As entertainer: B+
    As events commentator: C-

    But at the end of the day, Stewart’s a comedian, and we can’t demand more of him than that. Anything we get on top (and there has been a lot, fo’ sho’) is gravy.

    • Madmanmikey

      I don’t agree with his assessment when it comes to responsibility. However, I do agree that placing blame isn’t going to help anything. What struck me most in news conferences is that politicians of both sides were genuinely shocked at what happened. I couldn’t understand if they were so naive that they really didn’t believe anyone would act out one day after all the meanness tossed around. Or maybe they just knew that American politics was as real as pro wrestling and were shocked that we didn’t figure this out.

      In either case, it is time to abandon the vitriol.

      • Liam_McGonagle

        Vast respect to you there, Mikey. But I have one burning question that I just can’t let go:

        “Doesn’t it seem a little too easy to bag off on assigning blame?”

        I have to be careful when discussing this ’cause it’s a fast evolving, emotionally disturbing situation and I’m sure there will be vast amounts of mutual incomprehension when upset people (and we’re all upset) discuss this thing.

        My take on this thing is that intellectual integrity of public discourse has been dying the slow death of refusing to assign well-earned blame. How is it possible to have any effective standard and maintain the ability to think usefully and critically if we’re not willing to make harsh judgments?

        Again, I want to emphasize that I respect you and your point of view. Just not sure I 100% understand right now.

        • Haystack

          “My take on this thing is that intellectual integrity of public discourse has been dying the slow death of refusing to assign well-earned blame. How is it possible to have any effective standard and maintain the ability to think usefully and critically if we’re not willing to make harsh judgments?”

          We haven’t even heard a statement from this guy yet. I’m in favor of harsh judgements when they are appropriate, but I see no reason to rush toward them.

          Also, not everything has a direct cause to which we can easily assign blame. It’s entirely possible that this guy was batshit insane and that what happened was nobody’s fault. Hinkley didn’t shoot Reagan because of the level of political discourse in the country–he did it to impress Jodie Foster.

          I DO think that the rhetoric from the right does fuel violence, and have posted on that here at Disinfo, but so far we have very little information to go on so far and I think it would be a mistake to immediately seize upon this as an avenue to grind our favorite axes. Let’s wait for it to develop.

          • Liam_McGonagle

            Well, I don’t think we have any fundamental theoretical disagreement. I think.

            I think I was only trying to add emphasis on Stewart’s limitations in his commentary here. I think he totally did the right thing with this commentary; at the end of the day he’s a comedian, not a commentator.

            True, and especially in his case, the two roles are to some extent mutually dependent. But if he’s gonna have the baseline level of comfort with his audience that comedy demands, he can’t afford to make them feel frightened or too angry.

            Unfortunately that means taking a bit off the edge required for straight-forward commentary. This IS a frightening and anger provoking event.

            There’s a proverb that applies here: You can’t serve two masters. At least equally well.

            Stewart has to negotiate this on a case by case basis, and here I think he did the right thing.

            As far as suspending judgment, I may possibly have a more substantive disagreement with you. Oh, I’m not saying Palin or Beck should be prosecuted or that they were explicitly recruiting assassins. But there is no fucking doubt in my mind that there rhetorical schema rendered Loghner’s actions conceivable–unnecesarily so. And they should be held morally accountable for that fact.

            Which needed to be said, and I think is something along the lines of what you’ve written elsewhere. Thing is, Stewart’s role as a comedian totally precluded him from saying that here.

    • Haystack

      I thought it was the best public statement on the shooting that I’ve heard so far. He demonstrated uncommon restraint and perspective at a time when others are eagerly using the tragedy as a self-serving rhetorical device. I particularly liked the point he made about our inability to draw a neat line from cause to effect.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    I must have been watching a different video from the rest of the world. I didn’t see anything particularly great here.

    Praise of the dead? Who’s going to say otherwise?

    Description of the act as crazy? Not really breaking new ground there.

    Refusal to blame rhetoric alone? True, but too easily misconstrued as a passive endorsement of crazy, violent behaviour by pols and pundits rather than a commitment to free speach. Lets them off the hook too easily.

    Watered down reminder to “match rhetoric with reality”? True, but this is the bit that will be most quickly forgotten. Not nearly enough emphasis on that or why it is important.

    If I had to summarize what I got out of this in one sentence, it’d be: “Jon Stewart, understandably upset and working hard to balance his roles as events commentator and purveyor of light comedy, doesn’t really say anything.”

    If I had to grade Stewart’s speech here, I’d demand to do so only with respect to two separate categories:

    As entertainer: B+
    As events commentator: C-

    But at the end of the day, Stewart’s a comedian, and we can’t demand more of him than that. Anything we get on top (and there has been a lot, fo’ sho’) is gravy.

  • Madmanmikey

    I don’t agree with his assessment when it comes to responsibility. However, I do agree that placing blame isn’t going to help anything. What struck me most in news conferences is that politicians of both sides were genuinely shocked at what happened. I couldn’t understand if they were so naive that they really didn’t believe anyone would act out one day after all the meanness tossed around. Or maybe they just knew that American politics was as real as pro wrestling and were shocked that we didn’t figure this out.

    In either case, it is time to abandon the vitriol.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Vast respect to you there, Mikey. But I have one burning question that I just can’t let go:

    “Doesn’t it seem a little too easy to bag off on assigning blame?”

    I have to be careful when discussing this ’cause it’s a fast evolving, emotionally disturbing situation and I’m sure there will be vast amounts of mutual incomprehension when upset people (and we’re all upset) discuss this thing.

    My take on this thing is that intellectual integrity of public discourse has been dying the slow death of refusing to assign well-earned blame. How is it possible to have any effective standard and maintain the ability to think usefully and critically if we’re not willing to make harsh judgments?

    Again, I want to emphasize that I respect you and your point of view. Just not sure I 100% understand right now.

  • Haystack

    I thought it was the best public statement on the shooting that I’ve heard so far. He demonstrated uncommon restraint and perspective at a time when others are eagerly using the tragedy as a self-serving rhetorical device. I particularly liked the point he made about our inability to draw a neat line from cause to effect.

  • Haystack

    “My take on this thing is that intellectual integrity of public discourse has been dying the slow death of refusing to assign well-earned blame. How is it possible to have any effective standard and maintain the ability to think usefully and critically if we’re not willing to make harsh judgments?”

    We haven’t even heard a statement from this guy yet. I’m in favor of harsh judgements when they are appropriate, but I see no reason to rush toward them.

    Also, not everything has a direct cause to which we can easily assign blame. It’s entirely possible that this guy was batshit insane and that what happened was nobody’s fault. Hinkley didn’t shoot Reagan because of the level of political discourse in the country–he did it to impress Jodie Foster.

    I DO think that the rhetoric from the right does fuel violence, and have posted on that here at Disinfo, but so far we have very little information to go on so far and I think it would be a mistake to immediately seize upon this as an avenue to grind our favorite axes. Let’s wait for it to develop.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LJLEMQKRX7CCR26OHTZ5BYUAYI Spaghetti Brewing

    Seems a little tame for someone that recently staged a rally dedicated to toning down the rhetoric. But, I guess anything else might have come across as an “I told you so.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LJLEMQKRX7CCR26OHTZ5BYUAYI Spaghetti Brewing

    Seems a little tame for someone that recently staged a rally dedicated to toning down the rhetoric. But, I guess anything else might have come across as an “I told you so.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7IQWEDG6PFI5Y64PGEBKYDSIDY Mark

    Turns out the shooter is a member of the tribe. No wonder Jon wants to calm everything down.

    • Andrew

      Which tribe?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7IQWEDG6PFI5Y64PGEBKYDSIDY Mark
        • Andrew

          Blood libel!

          • Liam_McGonagle

            Yeah, M*rk is an idiot. Stupid asshole forgets that Jon married a shiksa and that Giffords is Jewish, too. Rendering the anti-semitic edge of his comment moot from the start.

            But then again, I learned to ignore M*rk a long time ago. Dumbass thinks that AIG and Goldman Sachs are great, productive champions of the real economy.

            My advice: Ignore him. Talking to him only creates the illusion that his ideas can be taken seriously.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7IQWEDG6PFI5Y64PGEBKYDSIDY Mark

    Turns out the shooter is a member of the tribe. No wonder Jon wants to calm everything down.

  • rtb61

    When it comes to blame the Republicans are screwed, for them the shooting is crap, crap , crap;
    Blame it on gun control, crap, the NRA has many lobbyist that control of the Republicans.
    Blame it on mental health, crap, can’t provide universal mental health care because of health insurance lobbyists control of Republicans.
    Violent rhetoric to win elections, crap, for Republicans it is all about doing and saying anything to win and start collecting the lobbyists bribes ‘er’ campaign contributions (the Fox not-News influence).
    For the Democrats well all three causes are progressive causes, gun control, universal mental health care and respectable ‘issues only’ politics. Which really leaves everyone to wonder why they are only focusing on the third issue, has Uncle Tom Obama turned all the remaining Democrats into blue dogs, too afraid to touch the tougher issues and instead focusing upon empty politics.
    Repeat after me, ‘Gun Control’, ‘Universal Mental Health Care’, oh and by the way behave yourselves during political campaigns.

  • Anonymous

    When it comes to blame the Republicans are screwed, for them the shooting is crap, crap , crap;
    Blame it on gun control, crap, the NRA has many lobbyist that control of the Republicans.
    Blame it on mental health, crap, can’t provide universal mental health care because of health insurance lobbyists control of Republicans.
    Violent rhetoric to win elections, crap, for Republicans it is all about doing and saying anything to win and start collecting the lobbyists bribes ‘er’ campaign contributions (the Fox not-News influence).
    For the Democrats well all three causes are progressive causes, gun control, universal mental health care and respectable ‘issues only’ politics. Which really leaves everyone to wonder why they are only focusing on the third issue, has Uncle Tom Obama turned all the remaining Democrats into blue dogs, too afraid to touch the tougher issues and instead focusing upon empty politics.
    Repeat after me, ‘Gun Control’, ‘Universal Mental Health Care’, oh and by the way behave yourselves during political campaigns.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I don’t think we have any fundamental theoretical disagreement. I think.

    I think I was only trying to add emphasis on Stewart’s limitations in his commentary here. I think he totally did the right thing with this commentary; at the end of the day he’s a comedian, not a commentator.

    True, and especially in his case, the two roles are to some extent mutually dependent. But if he’s gonna have the baseline level of comfort with his audience that comedy demands, he can’t afford to make them feel frightened or too angry.

    Unfortunately that means taking a bit off the edge required for straight-forward commentary. This IS a frightening and anger provoking event.

    There’s a proverb that applies here: You can’t serve two masters. At least equally well.

    Stewart has to negotiate this on a case by case basis, and here I think he did the right thing.

    As far as suspending judgment, I may possibly have a more substantive disagreement with you. Oh, I’m not saying Palin or Beck should be prosecuted or that they were explicitly recruiting assassins. But there is no fucking doubt in my mind that there rhetorical schema rendered Loghner’s actions conceivable–unnecesarily so. And they should be held morally accountable for that fact.

    Which needed to be said, and I think is something along the lines of what you’ve written elsewhere. Thing is, Stewart’s role as a comedian totally precluded him from saying that here.

  • Andrew

    Which tribe?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7IQWEDG6PFI5Y64PGEBKYDSIDY Mark
  • Andrew

    Blood libel!

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, M*rk is an idiot. Stupid asshole forgets that Jon married a shiksa and that Giffords is Jewish, too. Rendering the anti-semitic edge of his comment moot from the start.

    But then again, I learned to ignore M*rk a long time ago. Dumbass thinks that AIG and Goldman Sachs are great, productive champions of the real economy.

    My advice: Ignore him. Talking to him only creates the illusion that his ideas can be taken seriously.

  • Liberal Atheist Combat Veteran

    Amen Jon.

  • Liberal Atheist Combat Veteran

    Amen Jon.

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