Sunday, October 17, 2010

Jon Stewart on NPR's 'Fresh Air' with Terry Gross discussing Glenn Beck and The Daily Show's 'Rally to Restore Sanity'

Terry Gross interviewed Jon Stewart on Sept. 29 at the 92nd Street Y
in New York City. (Joyce Culver/92nd Street Y)
Jon Stewart recently sat down with NPR's Terry Gross in front of a live audience to discus his show and the upcoming duel rallies he is hosting with Stephen Colbert, 'The Rally to Restore Sanity' and 'March to keep fear alive'.

Jon on distancing the rally as a direct reaction to Glenn Beck's 'Restoring Honor' event
Jon Stewart: The Most Trusted Name In Fake News
"Like everything that we do, the march is merely a construct," he says. "It's merely a format, in the way the book is a format, a show is a format ... to be filled with the type of material that Stephen and I do and the point of view [that we have]. People have said, 'It's a rally to counter Glenn Beck.' It's not. What it is was, we saw that and thought, 'What a beautiful outline. What a beautiful structure to fill with what we want to express in live form, festival form."...

"I very much wanted to avoid the idea that [the march] would be a reaction to him. 'Cause I don't think that'd be fair to him and it's not meant to ridicule activism or the Tea Party movement or religious people."
Stewart on defining what they value and do on the 'Daily Show'
But even though The Daily Show often comes up with facts and stories missed by other news sources, Stewart says, it would be wrong to describe what he does as "journalism."

"We don't do anything but make the connections," he says. "We're just going off our own instinct of, 'What are the connections to this that make sense?' And this really is true: We don't fact-check [and] look at context because of any journalistic criteria that has to be met; we do that because jokes don't work when they're lies. We fact-check so when we tell a joke, it hits you at sort of a gut level — not because we have a journalistic integrity, [but because] hopefully we have a comedic integrity that we don't want to violate."
Jon Stewart on Glenn Beck
On similarities between himself and Glenn Beck
"He's a reaction to what he feels like is the news, and so are we. We actually share quite a bit in common in terms of, not point of view necessarily, but reason for being. We're both in some ways an op-ed. We consider ourselves editorial cartoonists in some respect. Not him, but the show. Op-ed cartoonists, or the Messiah. We're both different...

On deconstructing Beck
"The beautiful thing about what he does is, it's very difficult to argue with his facts. It's the conclusions [that are problematic]. ... It's that slippery slope. ... So what you do is, you just grab together facts and put them together and then do a grab bag of conclusions. Everything is discovered as evidence of secret plots, of secret things that could be occurring."
Read the entire article and listen to the 40+ minute conversation between Jon Stewart and Terry Gross here - Jon Stewart: The Most Trusted Name In Fake News

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