The Veil of Laughter

The easiest way to shut up a critic is to bring down a veil of laughter.

More effective than using a racial slur, and more reliable than accusing someone else of racism, is a tactic as equally as disgengious: presenting .

Two personalities who excel in this sort of sleight-of-hand are Sean Hannity and John Stewart. The difference between them is that Sean Hannity acknowledges himself to be a political activist, and so maintains his intellectual honesty. Jon Stewart pretends to be a comedian, and so doesn’t.

I use to watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart back when it was derivative of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. It was funny. There is very little humor that is actually original (even Family Guy is derivative of The Honeymooners), and I took it for what it was.

Over time, however, Jon Stewart morhped into a younger and thinner version of Al Franken. Laughter was no longer used to make people laugh, but to silence critics and support a political agenda. It’s too bad, because unlike more honest political hacks (like Hannity) or even honest political commedians (like IowaHawk), Stewart uses humor to bring down a veil of laughter on those he disagrees with, and then hides behind that laughter, by pretending to be a comedian.

Stewart uses mockery and derision. This has become most recently appearent in his reflexive criticism of media personalities who critize Barack Obama. To Stewart’s barely educated primary audience, I’m sure it is effective. And this is who he is after. Politics runs on votes, not ideas.

Still, the baselessness of Stewart is impressive. In attacking CNBC, he managed to demonstrate evne less understanding of market operations than CNBC. This is impressive. CNBC itself favors an easily corruptive speculator class, and the bias and superficiality of most of CNBC’s on-honor comments are apparent to anyone with evne a loose understanding of the subject matter. Jon Stewart is clearly not one of these people. Like a college freshman who angrily denounces Hitler for failing to be vegatarian, Stewart’s factually untrue criticisms are made the more astonishing in that he apparently fails to see any of what is wrong.

But of course, you cannot criticize Stewart. He brings down a veil of laughter on those who do. As I said, he is a dishonest political hack.

Don’t you know it’s just a joke?

(I want to thank a tweet by NYkrinDC for making this my first twitter-inspired post)