T Nation

Jon Stewart on Crossfire



Stewart's idiotic argument:

"You have a responsibility which I, by my own sole authority and proclamation, do not share, therefore I will criticize you freely for failing to live up to your alleged responsibility while making no corresponding effort of my own. Ergo, I may be a hypocrite (he doesn't deny it), but I'm justified in my hypocrisy, and that's why you should listen to me."

He's wrong. CNN is not a government agency. It is run to make a profit. It will design it's programming accordingly. If 'CrossFire' is drawing viewers and making a profit for the owners of CNN, that is the extent of the responsibility which falls on it's hosts. These anchors are not being paid by the American people to provide them with a fair, unbiased examination of current events (whatever that may be), they are being paid by the private owners of a corporation. As is John Stewart.

The point is this: Tucker Carlson has no greater responsibility for giving the American people "the real scoop" than Stewart does. Tucker was right: If Stewart cares about the nation and has a problem with the media coverage, he should use his own position in the media to attempt to fix it. This is precisely what a real patriot would do. Not stand there criticizing others for doing exactly the same thing as him. Pathetic, wishy-washy shit. Only a liberal could get cheered for saying, "I may be a pussy, but you have a responsibility not to be".

Don't start new threads about old video clips, by the way. If you want to talk about it, use the comments on YouTube.


I can't youtube at work. Is that a quote or a summary.

Either way his argument is foolish. It is all info-tainment from the NYT to CNN to Fox News and the Daily Show.

It just varies in degrees.


It's not a quote NOR a summary.

Crossfire tries the "you are just as un-serious as we are in your program, so you can't critizise us"

That WOULD have been a valid argument, IF Stewart came from a competitive news show or debate show..

but does he? :wink: Nominal ofcourse makes the same fallacy in addition to lying. Not unusual from that side of town though.


I never lie on the internet, only in real life, and there are no fallacies to be found in my argument.

Your problem is linguistic-philosophical.

You, like Stewart, insist on creating metaphysical categories for things for no rational reason.

The nature of language is to create distinctions in reality and to leave out information. What purpose does it serve to create the dual labels, "comedy show" and "debate show", and then attach a hypothetical list of associations to either of them? Great, you've just come up with two words and made up a bunch of associations. Meanwhile, reality is going to go on exactly as before...

You are engaging in the most common ontological error I've seen: Subordinating empirical reality to artificial socio-linguistic constructs, universals, ideals, spooks, etc..

Understand the following: Reality comes first. Linguistic categories are created to describe reality, NOT the other way around. If the category does not fit the reality, the CATEGORY must be scrapped. Reality must never, ever be subordinated to the imperfections of human language. When this happens on a wide scale, human suffering always increases.

If CrossFire does not fit your ideal notion of a "debate show", then it may be time for you to scrap that notion entirely. In empirical reality (the truth of the moment), Crossfire is nothing more than what I've described it to be: A television program funded and produced by private owners, for profit. Any claim beyond that is an irresponsible assumption.

You see, the entire problem here is the fact that you and some other people apparently think you have the right to dictate what CrossFire airs and what it doesn't. You don't have that right. You never have. The most you can do is the exercise the right that everyone else has - the right not to watch CrossFire if it doesn't live up to your standards. If there are enough people like you, then it stands to reason that the show will eventually lose ratings and come off the air.

Spend less time trying to fit reality into your neat, little, pre-conceived ontological categories and more time wrapping your head around the world you live in. If everyone did this, we'd be far better off.

John Stewart is a hypocrite (which he doesn't deny) and a pussy (which he likely would). My characterization of his argument as "justified hypocrisy" was completely dead-on.