Jon Stewart is crazy, but it’s a good crazy. The kind you need to have the idea – and guts – to mount an 11-minute rant against Faux News during which you delightfully, almost vindictively, take each of their bullshit points apart one by one until there’s nothing left, the whole culminating with a choral ever-so-masterfully telling them to “go fuck themselves”. Really, Stewart has taken take-downs and turned them into an art – a wonderful, hilarious, derangedly satisfying art. The video (as promised earlier, itself a rebuke to both Fox News and Bernie Goldberg concerning Stewart’s original “go fuck yourselves” bit), below, along with some of my favorite excerpts beneath.
[In response to Goldberg claiming he’s blurring the line between comedy and social commentary and that he needs to “find some guts”]
“Okay, two things. One: not all of us have your guts, Bernie. It takes a tough man to walk into O’Reilly’s lions’ den and criticize liberal elites. And two: to say that comedians have to decide whether they’re comedians or social commentators – comedians do social commentary through comedy. That’s how it’s worked for thousands of years. I have not moved out of the comedian’s box into the news box. The news box is moving towards me.”
“You can’t criticize me for not being fair and balanced. That’s your slogan – which, by the way, you never follow. Which brings us back to the essence of the whole ‘go fuck yourselves’ piece.”
[Responding to Goldberg’s attack that his audience is “incredibly unsophisticated”]
“By the way, I thought my audience was ‘elitist’. Are they elitist or unsophisticated – or unsophisticated in their elitism? Look, I’m sorry I told you to go fuck yourself last week, and that other time, like, six months ago, I told you to go fuck yourself. I know that I criticize you and Fox News a lot, but only because you’re truly a terrible, cynical, disingenuous news organization.”
[With a backing choir, producing a hilarious effect]
“Bernie Goldberg, I don’t need to satisfy your version of what fair satire is or should be. I’m not fair! I’m not balanced! […] You’re criticizing me for not living up to your tagline! Oh no! And you dismiss any criticism as further evidence of how the rest of the media persecutes you. You like to pretend, Bernie Goldberg and Fox News, that the relentless conservative activism of Fox News is the equivalent – oh, the equivalent! – of the disorganized liberal influence you find on NBC, ABC and CBS. But, Fox News: you may be able to detect a liberal ‘pathogen’ in their bloodstream, however faint, but Fox News is such a crazy overreaction to that perceived threat. You’re like an autoimmune disorder. I’m not saying the virus doesn’t exist in some small quantity, but you’re producing way too many antibodies. Fox News, you’re the Lupus of news.”
STEWART: “So, I guess what I’m sayin’ is this –”
CHOIR: “Goooooo …”
STEWART: “As long as ‘fair and balanced’ is how you sell yourselves –”
CHOIR: “Fuuuuuuck …”
STEWART: “I guess what I’m sayin’ is this!”
[Medley finish] “Go fuck yourselves, now! Go fuck yourselves, now! Go fuck yourselves, now! Go fuck yourselves, now!”
Well. I pray to God (you know that’s a figure of speech) that someone from Fox responds, preferably once more attacking Stewart. People really ought to learn. It would be sad that most don’t … if it didn’t end up making for some of the best television there is.