Found an interesting transcript of an interview by Bill Moyers last week. Jon Stewart of the Daily Show was the guest, and the interview focused on the sorrowful state of the media. Stewart was adamant in his stance as a political satirist, which is why it was poignant to here Moyers describe him as one of the most truthful commentators on television today. Stewart had a number of good things to say about the way media cowtows to the administration:
Politicians… understand that 24-hour news networks.. they don’t have time for journalism. They only have time for reporting. They only have time to be handed things and go, this is what I’ve just been handed by the administration. And they read it.
He also had a less than flattering comparison between how George W. and Tony Blair handle questions and critics:
You know what’s great? Watch a Bush press conference, and then turn on Tony Blair and Parliament. Where he literally has to sit in front of his most vociferous critic. And that critic will say, “Sir, on the 13th, the dossier of the French…would not…the nuclear… You were hiding things. How do you answer, sir?”
“The distinguished gentleman is wrong. I can prove it in this way.”
Contrast that with the press conference that Bush had on the eve of war. “Uh, okay, the next question is Jim. Is there a Jim here? Yeah. You got the next one.”
“That is not the agreed upon question. We’re gonna move on. Ralph, you got something?” It’s an incredibly managed theatrical farce. And it’s incredible to me that people are playing along with it. And they say that they’re playing along with it because they’re afraid of losing access. You don’t have any access! There’s nothing to lose!