Jon Stewart caught Glenn Beck in an inconsistency last Monday night (surprise! surprise); it was reported�with video included�on the Huffington Post thusly:
Glenn Beck... used his appearance at CPAC as a chance to alert the crowd of the dangers of Progressivism.
At the conference, Beck compared Progressivism to Communism, and cited previous progressives such as Woodrow Wilson and FDR, who pushed for the income tax and universal health care, respectively.... Beck stressed that these were the first steps on the road to ruin.
Upon hearing Glenn Beck announce that he learned this by reading books at the library, Stewart had some choice words for the Fox News host: "Glenn, the library isn't free! It's paid for with tax money. Free public libraries are the result of the Progressive movement to communally share books.... Community owned? That sounds just like communism. You're a communist!"
Ed Zotti, who may or may not be the same person as Cecil Adams, published an article in The Straight Dope earlier this month. An avid reader of this column, I immediately spotted a big problem and wrote to Ed. He asked me�through an intermediary�to post it on the Straight Dope message board under the Questions, Comments for SD Chicago/Paulina St. Journal Columns section, which I did this morning:
The article, "One in a trillion", shows two graphs, one of hard disk drive capacity and the other of the national debt. In inviting comparison of the two ("Need I say more?"), you commit the grave mathematical sin of intimating that graphs on logarithmic and arithmetic scales can be visually compared by the mathematically unsophisticated. I'm sure you know this is NOT TRUE! I invite you to clarify and amend.
-- Hugh D. Hyatt Willow Grove, PA
~ Afflictions are the good man's shining times. � Edward Young ~
Ed responded this afternoon:
This is a dagger to the heart of my analysis.
One nice thing about both(?) Ed and Cecil: they own up to their mistakes.
1. Why do you delay events that are much more exciting to watch live?
2. Is the evening audience much bigger than it would be if you showed the events live during the day? How much bigger? Wouldn't you be able to make up the difference by showing the event live on one of your other networks during the day and then showing highlights on NBC at night?
3. How much money would you lose (or do you think you would lose) if you showed the events live on a subsidiary network and then showed highlights again in your prime time broadcast?
4. Do you expect people to avoid the news all day until you show the events in primetime, or do you not care that everyone knows who won?
5. Is the decision to show events on tape-delay a relic of the days when the Big Three networks ruled the world?
6. Do you care that sports fans from coast to coast are furious at you? How do you factor this into your long-term brand-value calculations?
Personally, I'm not a big follower of the Olympics, but I think this is a good set of questions and I'd love to see NBC's answers.
BTW, Mr Blodget is also CEO and Editor-in-Chief of The Business Insider.
Fake news shows like The Daily Show are sometimes criticized for not being accurate sources of information. But last night Jon Stewart gave by far the most cogent and sensible�not to mention funniest and most apoplectic�commentary I've come across on the position in which Barack Obama and the Democrats find themselves in the face of losing Ted Kennedy's former Senate seat to the Republicans.
His comment was specifically about the show Fox and Friends: "Wow. I've never met people more terrified of what might happen if they actually tried to engage in a rational discussion." The substance of his post on fivethirtyeight.com had very little to do with Fox at all (it was about the insignificance of Obama's favorability ratings being above or below 50%). His statement was pretty much just a throwaway comment at the end. Nonetheless, he's a very impressive and rational blogger and that's a pretty strong statement.
I forget where I found this surprisingly interesting article from Fortune about "new" (a very relative term in this case) logos. Consumers found Tropicana's new logo revolutionary? Who woulda thunk it?
One of my friends on Facebook posted a link to this article from New York magazine. No wonder I like Jon Stewart so much!
Back in April, when the debate over torture was roaring, Jon Stewart invited Cliff May, a national-security hawk and former spokesman for the Republican Party, to come on The Daily Show and defend waterboarding. May was hesitant. He thought Stewart would paint him as a crazy extremist. The audience would jeer. It would be a disaster.... "
But May had a change of heart after soliciting advice from his friend Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard. "Kristol told me: 'You'll be pleasantly surprised. He doesn't take cheap shots. Jon is smart. You'll do just fine.'" Kristol proved to be right. Stewart's interview of May � a crackling, lengthy debate about where to draw the line between freedom and security � produced one of the most clarifying discussions about torture on television. "Literally, this is the best conversation I've had on this subject anywhere," May told Stewart.