Equating Jon Stewart and Sarah Palin is "not as outlandish a comparison as it seems," argues Irin Carmon at Jezebel. Both the Comedy Central host and the unofficial Tea Party spokeswoman "seem to prefer media criticism to political content." In his recent "Rally to Restore Sanity," Stewart lambasted cable-TV rhetoric, while one of Palin's favored tactics "is to blame the low standards of those 'corrupt bastards' (her words this weekend) in the media." What else could these two possibly have in common? Here, an excerpt from Carmon's take:
Can you summon a movement based on not much more than the force of your personality, a vague identification, and talking about how the media sucks? Sarah Palin and Jon Stewart both already have....
Palin and Stewart are both messengers. She's on News Corp's payroll at Fox News, and her every word on Twitter or Facebook or at rallies is magnified by the rest of the messaging machine. Stewart has had a platform on Viacom's Comedy Central for over a decade. He wins Emmys and has bestselling books and hosted the Oscars. As much as they both fashion themselves as outsiders speaking truth to power, their very existence depends on the multinational conglomerates that give their message scale.
And, of course, on the viewers who buy into it and identify with the rhetoric of these pseudo-events, apparently drawn more by a longing for authenticity than any set of ideas.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The dangerously childish morality of liberal ObamaCare supporters
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- How science is accelerating our search for alien life
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1: 10 major differences between the book and the movie
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- Inside Turkey's shadow war with ISIS
Subscribe to the Week