The Death of Reason

Ok, so perhaps Jon Stewart and reason aren’t usually two concepts to be held at the same time, but, with so many people treating his comedy program as a source of news and information, it may be time to pay attention.

In the dock is the notion that several of our revered Presidents, in a bit of revisionist history that would make Winston Smith blush, are “war criminals”  (H/T Mark Goldfarb):

It comes at about the 5:50 mark. Cliff May asks Stewart whether Truman’s use of the atomic bomb was a war crime, Stewart ruminates and then responds with an unequivocal “yes.” He’s certainly not the only American who would take that view, but it’s a useful reminder that the most vocal and popular criticism of the Bush administration’s war on terror policies comes from people who, if they were being as honest as Stewart, would also judge Lincoln (suspension of habeas), FDR (internment), and Truman (use of nuclear weapons) as war criminals or tyrants or worse.

Obviously, we have come a long way from the notion that the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact. Click the image to watch.

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Update (Jim): Jon Stewart has since retracted his statement. Make sure you watch both. But interestingly Stewart has only retracted the statement regarding Truman … not Bush.

Hot Air has the video and good commentary. Click the image to watch the walk back.

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8 replies
  1. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    It was classic liberal kneejerk!  The bomb was bad, even though its use saved many more lives than were lost.  Bush was bad, even though he kept the country free of terrorist attacks for eight years.

    I think Stewart's apology only came after he remembered that Truman was a Democrat (and that it was developed under the Roosevelt administration).

    They may call Rush an "entertainer" but at least he has his facts on straight.  Stewart is a political "commentator" in the spirit of crockumentarian Michael Moore  ("comedy doesn't have to be accurate").

    Reason and Democrats are like oil and water.

  2. Wyndeward
    Wyndeward says:

    To judge something as being "good" or "bad" without an understanding of the alternative is the height of ignorance.

    He still weasels — there is nothing "complicated" about dropping the atomic bombs on Japan.  It all comes down to a series of cold equations.  WW2 was fought on the basis of "total war," primarily based on the choices of the Axis powers.  The soldier's duty is not to die for his country ("dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"), but, as General Patton rendered it, to make some other s.o.b. die for their country.

    Nagasaki was a major Japanese port, while Hiroshima was an industrial center — both legitimate targets of the war.  The bombs kept more Americans and more Japanese soldiers and civilians alive and ended the war more quickly than any of the other options at hand.

    All this demonstrates is that Stewart lacks a good grounding in history and the courage of his convictions — his opinions seem to be a rag in the wind. He might consider another bit of Latin — Dulce et decorum est pro patria tacere ("It is sweet and becoming to be silent for one's country"). When you know nothing about the subject at hand, your mouth is best used in chewing.

  3. Darlene
    Darlene says:

    Keywords: "with so many people treating his comedy program as a source of news and information" ……  hmmmm, I would question that (I really hope there aren't a lot of people treating his show as a news source).  Please tell me it isn't so, Joe!!  <giggle>  But then again, I question most mainstream media as a news source also. 

  4. gillie28
    gillie28 says:

    Here's a clue as to why people like Jon Stewart (who can be funny, but also naive) are out of touch with reality.  This is the kind of enemy we have: "Pakistani Army Says Taliban Violated Peace Deal in Swat" – Big shock, they violated the peace deal?  Good grief, will the Taliban and Al-Q'aida ever play nice in the sandbox, Jon????  Should we give them a time-out, perhaps, Jon???  If we catch them, should we put them into our legal system and release them into your community, Jon??  How about just strafing that entire area and getting rid of the problem once and for all.  Actually, Bush was too nice!!!   And certainly, our armed forces play by much more politically correct rules than ever before.  I bet Al-Q'aida are just laughing all the way to the Pakistani nuclear devices knowing we'll do nothing about it. 

  5. Lazybum
    Lazybum says:

    What I find most disturbing is not so much that Stewart is such an idiot(that is a given), but the fact that so many people cheer him on when he makes his bizarre, convoluted leaps from inane point to inane point. I wurry.

  6. gillie28
    gillie28 says:

    The ignorance of talk show hosts on TV (not radio of course :)) is just abysmal.  While watching Morning Joe for a little while this morning, I was stunned to hear Joe Scarborough correct Willie Geist who was reporting on a Russian plot to overthrow  Georgia, THE COUNTRY not the state.  Joe S. interrupted, saying that Georgia has a governor, not a Prime Minister, obviously thinking the news was about the state in the U.S.   Ok, dumb, but maybe he hadn't heard the rest of the report (though he was sitting at the same round table as Willie G,).  Ten minutes later, Mike Barnacle (sitting in between Joe and  Willie) made the same type of mistake, confusing the U.S. state with the independent country. 

    Several points could be made here.   One is that these "talking heads" are very limited in their scope of knowledge, yet they pontificate as if they are little gods who know everything.    The other is, where the heck was the producer of the show?  To allow his "stars" to make the same error twice, within a short space of time is inexcusable.  It seems like they don't care, or don't think we notice.  Third point is, this is why I hardly ever watch these kinds of shows, just a waste of time.  Fourth point: Jim knows his subjects and that also is noted! 

  7. ali-t
    ali-t says:

    Jon Stewart shows his lack of knowledge…the horrific and barbaric Rape of Nanking, the death marches, Pearl Harbor, the unimaginable cruelty of the Japanese hordes, the unfathomable human experimentation in Manchuria …. the fact that ships bearing thousands of our soldiers were headed for certain death in Japan…. on one of those ships was my father, 19 year-old cannon fodder… but he was saved by the bomb.  And it took two to stop them…. Stewart's ignorance is colossal.

  8. pauldow
    pauldow says:

    I know Jim doesn't like to have references left here, but an excellent reply to Jon Stewart's "spoken words" was done by Bill Whittle. Search for those two names and you'll find it.

    BTW, I'd recommend trying to get Bill on the show.  The only down side is that there wouldn't be any disagreement between Jim and Bill.

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