A blog for twenty-first-century parents
I find it interesting how Jon Stewart has successfully cast himself as representing the "common man" (which I suspect is the vast majority of his viewing audience), when he makes so much more money than most people for doing little more than making fun of stuff. Given the popularity of the Daily Show, his income is surely in the millions, yet he has created some sense of credibility when he makes fun of people who make as much as he does. Granted, generally he makes fun of people who take themselves too seriously (or at least try to convince others that they are serious and honest and know what they are doing), while he is clearly doing comedy. I suppose that's an important ethical distinction.
I don't think John Stewart or Steven Colbert are casting themselves as anything and certainly not the common man. They are satirists who get paid to do what many journalists won't, which is to hold idiots accountable for their hypocrisies and deceptions. What better way to make a living?Contenporary US populism tends to be on the right, and that's what Colbert and Stewart both pillory to such great effect. The truly presumptive common men would be testoterone freaks Rick Santelli (spoofed by this clip from the Daily Show) and lunatic momentum trader Jim Cramer (also spoofed in the segment). THESE guys think they are America (hence Santelli's rhetorical question "Is this America?), but what is worse is that they also give millions of common men (and uncommon ones, and women) really bad financial advice.
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