… because I might change my mind.

NaBloPoMo 2010 Day 12 — Some Just Don’t Get It

So I was watching an interview of Jon Stewart today. Rachel Maddow was talking to him about his recent March to Restore Sanity with Stephen Colbert. They discussed a number of topics, including Stewart’s belief that what he does on the Daily Show is different from what Maddow does on MSNBC. Maddow wasn’t in complete agreement about that.

The interview was refreshing in some ways because it was a discussion and not a “who can yell loudest” school yard tantrum.
Over the course of the interview, Stewart attempted — several times — to explain to Maddow how what she does is different from what Stewart does AND that what MSNBC does is not that different from what Fox News does — just from the other side of the argument. Again, Maddow didn’t agree with Stewart.
Stewart probed further. Although he was the interviewee, Stewart asked Maddow if she and her network viewed a difference between liberals who interrupt events to declare that Bush was a war criminal and the Tea Party supporters who interrupted town hall meetings on health care reform to make their points. Stewart believed that MSNBC was willing to give the liberals a pass for the displays but railed against the Tea Partiers. And by implication, MSNBC was as one-sided as Fox News can be on the other side.
Maddow seemed almost offended that Stewart would suggest such a thing.
Maddow is of the belief that the Tea Party folks were only yelling at those town hall meetings because of a select few puppeteers who were trying to advance their economic interests. In effect, Maddow said the Tea Partiers were different because they were part of an organized assault on Obama’s health care proposal. And the Code Pink group was a self-initiated collection of change agents.
Maddow misses the point. Even if those who support the Tea Party movement, or identify themselves with the Tea Party movement, have been organized in a way by a smaller group with their own agenda, the fact that these people are upset enough to yell over speakers at a town hall meeting should alert Maddow and others that maybe they have a point worth discussing — or at least listening to. Stewart was willing to acknowledge the possibility that “Tea Party” didn’t equal “clueless nut job” and perhaps that it was simply the group that best fit those who want smaller government. Maddow wasn’t willing to go along.
Some people just don’t get it.

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