Time Magazine's Heroes: Stewart, Colbert 'Want to Restore Reason to Public Life'

One of the biggest liberal-media promoters of the Jon Stewart-Stephen Colbert rally is Time TV writer James Poniewozik. His piece in the Time magazine leading up to the event was syrupy (starting with the heroic artwork).  The headline was “Can These Guys Be Serious? Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert want to restore reason to public life.” Time highlighted this sentence: "The rally is based on the essence of Stewart's and Colbert's comedy: the defense of rationality in an irrational age."

Poniewozik knows their shows are liberal. Time didn't highlight his admission that "Both hosts are liberal."  Even the left-leaning Pew Reseach Center found in study three months of Stewart shows in 2007 that Stewart's humor targeted Republicans more than three times as often as Democrats.  

But Poniewozik has the been the main cheerleader of the viewpoint that Jon and Steve can be comedians and leftists at the same time, satirical figures and protest leaders. In fact, as many liberals have proclaimed, Poniewozik thinks this takes them to a whole new plateau of relevance: "In other words, two comedians are taking it upon themselves to say America is making itself look ridiculous. They're taking a risk in doing it. Idealism can be the death of funny, which is why, as Stewart himself has put it, comedians 'don't lead a lot of marches.' But the very attempt demonstrates that the cable comedy hosts have become the most relevant voices in late-night TV."

This article is full of Hi-Liter moments of high praise with the pretense that Stewart opposes "stupid," not so much conservatives:    

-- "Stewart often needs to do little more to get a laugh than play a news clip and put his head in his hands. Beyond the jokes, the appeal of watching both is simply knowing that someone else out there thinks, as they say on the Internet. The stupid, it burns."


-- "Whereas [Conan] O'Brien built a live show around losing his job, Stewart and Colbert are building one around America's losing its mind." 

-- "[T]here is no mass audience any more. Intensity of influence has replaced breadth of influence. Just as a vocal 15% can dominate politics, so too can Stewart and Colbert accomplish more by waking a million or two fans up than be putting 5 million to sleep." 

-- "Stewart has called the rally a Million Moderate March, but he's really not an advocate for politically moderate views so much as he is for expressing views in a moderate tone of voice."

His story concluded with more goo: "Stewart and Colbert have managed to do something on TV that political broadcasters have talked about for decades: create a non-insane answer to talk radio, substituting humor for sputtering rage...And if there's one thing Stewart and Colbert have taught us, it's that sometimes you have to laugh to keep yourself from screaming."

Before joining Time, Poniewozik was a media critic for the leftist website Salon.com. This crusade for Stewart and Colbert really underlines that ideological background.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis