Saturday, July 25, 2009

The apocolypse is officially here: Stewart declared the most trusted newsman

I have long tried to act as a counterpoint to my generation's childhood crush (bordering on hero worship) on John Stewart. I have no problem with Jon Stewart but I have a problem with the way my generation worships him and applauds everything he does or says.

I have always argued that it's becoming indicative oh how cynical and intellectually lazy we are when we turn out to like Stewart more than we like the system that he thrives on. In a poll by Time Magazine, Stewart ranked higher than Charlie Gibson, Katie Couric and Brian Williams in terms of being a trusted news sourcce. While the poll is fairly inaccurate, considering that the three news anchors would split so many of the same like-minded votes, it is something I find disturbing.

Stewart must be a cynic by the definition of his job: He must find something to make fun of every night. If he actually compliments the job of any news organization or reporter, than it's boring. Our generation, as a result of being guided by Stewart and so many other voices whose function is
to critique the voice of someone else, has become snarky, pessimistic and disbelieving of everything.

Voting for Stewart as the voice of your generation is a vote for being intellectually lazy and cynical about the world at large- mainly politicians and reporters. It is far easier to sit idly by and make snarky comments about the news (and I am not debating whether it is fun to watch, because I agree that it is) than to actually try to make news in the form of reporting it or making laws.

In terms of making news, it is a blanket statement, and a trendy one at that, to just talk about the bad job the news is doing. I would like to see more constructive dialogue about what's wrong with the news and I'd bet that the youth of today wouldn't even know how to approach that conversation because they don't even know what's wrong with the news. "If Stewart hates it, than I hate it too," they probably think. Or they complain that it's too liberal, which is a notion invented by Fox News so that they can invalidate actual stories and tell their own version. Whatever it is, no one even strives to think about why it can't be better or has an appreciation for the actual act of reporting on stories (without which Stewart would have nothing to report on). In glorifying Stewart, you're not picking a hero, so look a little past him, people.

No comments: