I'm increasingly bothered by the coverage of the Jon Stewart-Tucker Carlson Crossfire exchange--which seems to be either the beatification or canonization of Stewart. I can't tell which.
Why is Stewart getting such fawning treatment for doing what, on the civility scale, is the sort of thing you'd expect from Morton Downey Jr. or Howard Stern? Well, I've got a theory.
What bothers me about Stewart's behavior isn't that he called Tucker a dick, but that he trashed Crossfire. I'm not a regular watcher of Crossfire, so I can't testify to the truth or falsity of Stewart's claim that Crossfire sucks--but I do know that the producers and staff of Crossfire invited Stewart on not as an expert, but to help him sell his book. They were trying to help him pay his mortgage. As such, it seems to me that basic politeness dictates that Stewart shouldn't have used that venue to attack the work of the people who were trying to do him a favor.
But this incident has morphed from Stewart's attack on Crossfire to a specific feud with Tucker. And, in case you haven't noticed, Stewart is a liberal icon and Tucker is a conservative. As such, the New York Times & Co. have rushed to take Stewart's side and applaud his bravery and honesty.
So let me ask this: If Stewart had gone on Crossfire and conducted himself in exactly the same way, but he had called James Carville (or Begala, for that matter) a dick, do you think he would still be getting the hero's treatment?
27 minutes ago