Why Is Jon Stewart Helping Blackwater Whitewash War Crimes?

Abby Martin calls out the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart for his soft ball interview with former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince, showing how the exchange between the two men only serves to whitewash the company’s history of war crimes and legal impunity.

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  • moremisinformation

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it” – Upton Sinclair, talking about Jon Stewart

  • Adam’s Shadow

    Thank you for this. I like Jon Stewart: I think he and “The Daily Show” are funny, charming, and often incisive, but t(he)y have a tendency to conduct some toothless interviews with their nightly guest, especially when it is an individual like Erik Prince. I remember the interview with Pervez Musharraf years ago when he was doing a book tour and Stewart might as well have lifted his ass up in the air for the guy.

    On a related note, I love Stephen Colbert: I think he is hilarious and brilliant, and the White House Correspondents Dinner he did in front of Bush in 2006 was one of the greatest and ballsiest pieces of political comedy I’ve ever seen. But when he had Henry Kissinger on a few months ago, in some harmless bit where they just dance together, I lost a lot of respect for the man. I was wondering while watching it: “Where do they get to the part where Kissinger dances on blood and body parts?”

    • moremisinformation

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary
      depends upon his not understanding it” – Upton Sinclair, talking about
      Jon Stewart…
      …and Stephen Colbert

    • DeepCough

      Even though The Daily Show and the Colbert Report are owned by Viacom, I still like them–and not because of their journalistic integrity, which they have much of, but because they are funny, and it’s important to maintain this attitude, because that is the only way these shows are able to get away with their brand of “hard-hitting journalism.” I would think Abby Martin would be aware of this, especially when she delves into more serious journalism than these comedy programs (are allowed to) do..

      • Laine Glaistig

        “recombination, then Viacom, Safeway…”

        • DeepCough

          “I come on after a show about prank-calling muppets!”
          ~Jon Stewart

  • erte4wt4etrg

    Stewart nor Colbert ever go far enough, I stopped watching when it really sunk in. They’re far too comfortable & apart of the whole thing to really ever say what needs to be said. They are content to add yet more ironic layers of unreality so that the average person can’t tell up from down anymore.

    • Juan

      Agreed.

  • wfzlsster

    Abby Martin will never, ever be considered a gatekeeper. I’m not so sure about Stewart.

  • Matt Staggs

    I really like Colbert. Not as crazy about Stewart, but it’s more about his sense of humor and my sense of humor not meeting eye to eye. Not my cup of tea. No big.

  • InfvoCuernos

    Well, they are comedians first. I don’t expect too much from them. Don’t let those occasional moments of clarity fool you into thinking that they are serious journalists. Satire always has a place examining politics-look at Carlin or Hicks, but we can’t expect them to ditch the yuks in favor of the tough questions about warcrimes and genocide.

    • mannyfurious

      I want to agree with this. But then Stewart does things like smack the shit out of Tucker Carlson and Jim Cramer, and I kind of think he goes for the kill only when the prey is wounded. Basically he has no balls. He wants it both ways. He wants to say, “I’m only a comedian” when he’s criticized, but then he wants people to lick his taint when he picks on the weaklings.

      • InfvoCuernos

        I think that’s a pretty fair assessment. I’ve never been too fond of Stewart. He’s always had a little coward vibe to him.

      • cosmicrocosm

        Carlson and Cramer are fellow media guys, so calling them out does not ruffle a lot of feathers outside of the media complex. When it comes to political and military figures, however, he never pushes too hard. I watch Stewart regularly and he always has guests that you wish he would be tougher on, like Rumsfeld or Colin Powell. But he would be risking everything if he did.

    • Adam’s Shadow

      Hicks called his comedy “Chomsky with dick jokes,” and what made him so unique was that both of those elements, the hilarity and the profound social commentary, were in almost perfect balance.

  • Juan

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Stewart a pillar of the mainstream media? Need we say more?

    • gustave courbet

      True, and you don’t get A-list establishment guests on your show again and again by pointing out that they are despicable sociopaths.

  • Roger Mexico

    Jon Stewart is an actor and a comedian. The whole point of his show is that it’s a fictional spoof of an actual news program. When Craig Kilborn hosted it, he even opened with the line “and now, the fake news.” Of course Stewart is going to softball someone like the CEO of Blackwater–that the CEO of Blackwater is even appearing on this show is part of an elaborate joke, so Stewart’s basically done his job just by booking the appearance. It’s not supposed to be journalism–it’s supposed to be a joke about journalists. Stewart’s there to do a mock-up of what an actual news anchor would do, which in this case is probably softball the head of a powerful organization about its controversial activities. Actually I think it just makes the satire that much more effective. This is a little clearer with Colbert–who plays an egomaniac “commentator” with a right-wing political agenda a la Bill O’Reilly, and accordingly spends his interviews berating guests with nonsequitur partisan talking points, just like O’Reilly does–but Stewart’s schtick has always been basically the same thing. He’s just playing someone more like Anderson Cooper.

  • heinrich6666

    Real comedy is supposed to be dangerous and involves speaking truth to power. The court jester of old was the only one who could get away telling the truth to the king. The comedian is supposed to have a place inside and outside of society at the same time. His truth alienates. By contrast, you can never really see Stewart or Colbert alienating their core constituencies. You’d never see Stewart lambasting the 9/11 official story by showing Bldg. 7 coming down with laugh-tracks playing in the background, or making fun of the hipsters who still believe the official story and the idea terrorism is ‘blowback’ for a misguided non-progressive foreign policy. Instead, you get the much more conventional ‘Isn’t George Bush such a doofus?’ comedy routine. “The Daily Show” isn’t really much more than a way for a youngish, liberal-minded set without any really dangerous ideas to pat themselves on the back for being so smart, and yukk it up at the sad stupidity of the ‘other side’ with all sorts of clapter.

  • Laine Glaistig

    Because if John Stewart wasn’t a shill he wouldn’t have a massively popular TV show. Like any other talking head, what he says is a combination of what he thinks and what he’s paid to say.

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