Jon Stewart’s Punching Bag, Fox News
A Farewell to Arms
Fox News wants you to decide if the Nuclear Security Summit logo looks similar to the flags representing Muslim nations.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|A Farewell to Arms|
George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are long gone. Fox News Channel is Jon Stewart’s new enemy No. 1.
Last week that comedian did something that the hosts of “Fox & Friends,” the morning show on Fox News, did not do: he had his staff members call the White House and ask a question.
It may have been in pursuit of farce, not fact, but it gave credence to the people who say “The Daily Show” is journalistic, not just satiric. “Fox & Friends” had repeatedly asked whether the crescent-shaped logo of the nuclear security summit was an “Islamic image,” one selected by President Obama in his outreach to the Muslim world. The White House told “The Daily Show” that the logo was actually based on the Rutherford-Bohr model of the atom.
“This is how relentless Fox is” in savaging President Obama, Mr. Stewart said.
On the subject of Fox, Mr. Stewart is pretty relentless too. As demonstrated by that crescent segment and dozens of others since Mr. Obama took office, he may well be television’s pre-eminent fact-checker of Fox News, the nation’s highest-rated cable news channel.
It has been noticed by, among other people, the Fox host Bill O’Reilly, who called Mr. Stewart a “devoted critic” of Fox News and said “his influence is growing.”
Separately, this week Mr. Stewart’s contract was renewed by Comedy Central into 2013. Combining the earnestness of a journalism professor and the sarcasm of a satirist, Mr. Stewart routinely charges that Fox’s news anchors and commentators distort Mr. Obama’s policies and advance a conservative agenda. He reminds some viewers of the left-wing group Media Matters but much funnier.
“Stewart does a great job of using comedy to expose the tragedy that is Fox News, and he also underscores the seriousness of it,” said Eric Burns, the president of Media Matters.
The segments about Fox are often replayed hundreds of thousands of times on blogs and other Web sites, amplifying their significance. “Media criticism has become part of his brand,” said Mark Jurkowitz, the associate director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, who noted that Mr. Stewart had also dissected CNN and CNBC in lengthy segments in the past.
It is true that the often-left-leaning “Daily Show” deals with a wide array of topics, but Fox is one that Mr. Stewart is overtly passionate about; he said on the show this week that he criticizes the network a lot because it is “truly a terrible, cynical, disingenuous news organization.” LinkHere