Thursday, August 16, 2007

How's This For Irony?



Two articles caught my eye at Media Matters this morning. The first was this:

During the August 14 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann named Fox News' John Gibson the "winner" of his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment for, as Media Matters for America documented, mocking comedian and Daily Show host Jon Stewart's expression of grief in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Olbermann stated that Gibson "played a tape of comedian Jon Stewart's heartfelt anguish from September 20th, 2001, as a New Yorker who lived near the Trade Center, and Gibson and his producer mocked it. He called it Jon Stewart sobbing. That idiot sidekick called Stewart a, quote, 'phony.' " Olbermann added: "Secondly, Gibby: Jon Stewart's expression of pain after 9-11 and yours, Gibby, and mine -- that was the unity. And no matter what kind of administration propagandist I think you are and how I'll mock you for it, I would never doubt the sincerity of your pain. You've got a lot of damn nerve doubting the sincerity of anybody else's."

Olbermann named Fox's Gibson "Worst Person" for mocking Stewart's "heartfelt anguish" after 9-11

I remember that Daily Show broadcast. After the days of no commercial flights, various scares, and watching the aftermath of the three crashes, it was a welcome return to normality. I know Stewart's tears were real, because we all felt that way. And many of us, me included, welcomed the return to normality that the show's return represented. To mock such a thing now shows the total schism with reality that Fox "News" now represents.

The second article, positioned next to the first in what I suspect was a deliberate showcasing of the irony, was this:

Summary: On his August 14 radio show, Fox News' John Gibson stated that he and his show's executive producer, "Angry Rich," are "being attacked on a liberal website" -- Media Matters for America -- because "[w]e played some audio of Jon Stewart crying after 9-11." Gibson also said that Media Matters "attacked me and 'Angry Rich' for an unfortunate turn of the phrase last week," referring to the comment "Angry Rich" made that John Edwards "whored his wife's cancer as a fundraising gimmick."

Gibson: "The war on Gibson is real" and "it's pursued every day"

A guy who makes a career, it would seem, out of mocking the tragedies experienced by others because he can't possibly believe that his opponents can have genuine feelings thinks that Media Matters is at war with him. To say this is hubris is like saying that the Pacific Ocean is a body of water. Contrast Gibson's statements on the Stewart affair with Olbermann's. Did KO assume that Gibson's feelings were phony? He gives Gibson credit for being a human being. That's class, which is something Gibson probably hasn't possessed since he started shaving, or maybe even earlier. Gibson's problem isn't that he's a persecuted teller of uncomfortable truths. John Gibson's problem is that he's a thoughtless asshole.

I have some news for you, Mr. Gibson. No one makes war on dung. We just scrape it off our shoes. That pressure you're feeling is the stick.

UPDATE: As is so often the case, John Stewart got the last word yesterday in an interview with Stephen Hayes:

STEWART: Let me say this. I -- I think that there's a real feeling in this country that your patriotism has been questioned by, by people in, in very high-level positions. Not fringe people. You know, I myself had some idiot from Fox playing the tape of me after September 11th -- very upset. And them calling me a phony --

HAYES: Right.

STEWART: -- because, apparently, my grief didn't mean acquiescence.

Jon Stewart: "[S]ome idiot from Fox ... call[ed] me a phony"

A longer transcript of that conversation is available at the link. Stewart nailed these phonies, IMHO. I haven't seen one of them who can go for more than thirty seconds (or its rough equivalent, 100 words), without belittling someone or attempting to beg a ridiculous question with the sort of look that says "You wouldn't dare question my intelligence, would you?". If you haven't yet, I'd recommend doing so. It can be quite amusing.


2 comments:

Eli said...

*I* doubt the sincerity of Gibson's pain. I would not be at all surprised if he thought 9/11 was the best thing that ever happened to us, and all it cost us was a few thousand New Yorkers who were probably all liberals anyway.

Gibson *is* the "Five to the noggin" guy, right? He's a sociopath.

Cujo359 said...

Not sure about the five to the noggin thing, Eli, but he's a low-class guy even by Fox's low standards. No, on second thought, he's about average, but the average is so low every other primate species looks like up from there.