Media Critic: Jon Stewart Is a ‘Tool’ of the Obama Administration

Reacting to the news that Jon Stewart and President Obama had secret meetings at the White House, media critic David Zurawik argued that the Daily Show host has become a “tool really of the Obama administration.”  

During an appearance on Fox News' MediaBuzz, the Baltimore Sun columnist argued that Stewart’s meetings with Obama expose the liberal comedian’s true ideology: 

Look, I don't care if you're an actor, you’re a writer, you’re a poet, you’re a songwriter, if you serve a politician's ideological agenda, you are a propagandist. And that’s what he’s doing. So these meetings matter tremendously. 

Host Howard Kurtz piled on the criticism of Stewart, and pointed out that by meeting with Obama the comedian has been “spun” like everybody else in the media: 

He positions himself as truth teller against the prevaricating pols and pundits while he himself in this case I think was at least it looks like he's getting spun like everybody else.     

Zurawik explained that Stewart’s immediate response to the news of his secret White House meetings was to attack Fox, even though other outlets like the New York Times covered the story as well: 

He immediately makes this into him against Fox. He loves this kind of -- polarizing dialectic. Because he knows now he doesn't have to have an intellectually satisfying argument. He wins it with many of his viewers just on the shape of that. 

Given that the Times occupies the same liberal space as Stewart, the Baltimore Sun columnist noted that the Daily Show host doesn’t want the newspaper attacking him even further so he chooses to go after Fox instead: 

But the New York Times was just as hard on him in his own way and use the word secretive. They drew the connection between what was going on in the president's agenda and his visit, he didn't attack them...[H]e doesn't want Times coming at him and the Times and him share a base and that worries him. I mean honest, that's in a way how shifty -- shifty is probably the nicest word I can use for Stewart because he's so smart he gets away with it.

See relevant transcript below. 

Fox News’ MediaBuzz

August 2, 2015

HOWARD KURTZ: Joining us now for the “Z Block” David Zurawik, television and media critic for the Baltimore Sun. So, these secret meetings with Obama, does this dent his halo a bit? 

DAVID ZURAWIK: I think it absolutely does. Look, I've been writing for a long time about Jon Stewart serving an ideology. You know, at first when he came out and even in 2004 when he attacked Crossfire for polarizing the American electorate, he was doing real media criticism in his own way.

Since President Obama came in, he's become more and more and more a tool really of the Obama administration. Look, I don't care if you're an actor, you’re a writer, you’re a poet, you’re a songwriter, if you serve a politician's ideological agenda, you are a propagandist. And that’s what he’s doing. So these meetings matter tremendously. 

KURTZ: Well, I think it wouldn’t have been that big a deal had he disclosed the meetings. 

ZURAWIK: Totally.

KURTZ: But keeping it secret and having it come out as he’s about to hang it up this week. So he goes after me and Fox for raising critical questions about this. And as we saw at the top and before the break, he himself says Obama was trying to influence or flatter or intimidate him and it may have worked, which was my point. He positions himself as truth teller against the prevaricating pols and pundits while he himself in this case I think was at least it looks like he's getting spun like everybody else. 

ZURAWIK: Howie, not only that, he immediately makes this into him against Fox. He loves this kind of -- polarizing dialectic. Because he knows now he doesn't have to have an intellectually satisfying argument. He wins it with many of his viewers just on the shape of that. But the New York Times was just as hard on him in his own way and use the word secretive. They drew the connection between what was going on in the president's agenda and his visit, he didn't attack them. 

KURTZ: And why is that? 

ZURAWIK: Oh because he doesn't want Times coming at him and the Times and him share a base and that worries him. I mean honest, that's in a way how shifty -- shifty is probably the nicest word I can use for Stewart because he's so smart he gets away with it.

NB Daily Media Bias Debate Corporate Liberalism Covert Liberal Activists Fox News Channel Other FNC Jon Stewart Howard Kurtz David Zurawik Barack Obama

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