Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stewart and Blair

If you missed Jon Stewart's interview of Tony Blair, you can watch it over at England for Obama.

Mousikus has some insightful analysis.

The basic problem was that the questions Stewart were asking demanded serious answers -- especially from one of the principals in the war. But this was not the forum for these answers. Blair was caught in no-man's land, as was Stewart.

Stewart never shies away from these questions -- but his typical guest is not usually personally responsible for a massive, global political crisis -- they're usually someone who's able to express an opinion freely and with little practical consequence. This isn't one of those situations when Stewart and the guest can both agree to look back and laugh at the way things turned out.

A weird, revealing moment of television.|Link|

Stewart's frequently claimed that the Daily Show isn't really news -- it's "just" a comedy show. I've always thought this a bit disinegenuous -- a protection strategy, since it's clear that the Daily Show is more than "just" comedy. It really is some of the most incisive political commentary... on TV...

But the Blair interview exposed the limitations of the show: some guests -- and the issues they entail -- really are too big to be handled by the show's format and culture. This isn't a knock on the Daily Show at all (as I say, I think it's indispensable); just an observation on something quite curious. |Link| (emphasis added)

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