Friday, October 29, 2010

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear gets twammed

As previously noted, we have determined that Taiwan animations are the future of all mainstream news and consequently, we are making them a regular feature of the blog. At least until they go the way of all emerging trends, becomes boring and disappear. Here the Jon Stewart / Stephen Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear gets the Taiwan animation treatment. I'm thinking we need a new word for stories that get this treatment. How about "twam" - as in "Jon Stewart gets twammed." Other suggestions welcomed.

I particularly liked the Stewart/Obama mutual back scratch sequence, as well as the Daily Show response:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Intro - Next Media Animates Barack Obama Interview
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

The big controversy with the rally is whether it is truly "non-political" as claimed by the organizers. Certainly, there are reasons to think it is explicitly political, ranging from the timing, the political proclivity of the organizers, Democrats recruiting volunteers at the rally, and President Obama's mutual back scratch interview.

Honestly I don't care. I'll watch it and just hope it is entertaining. I don't see how this rally can help Democrats as the mid-term election cake appears to be fully baked. It is just a question of how much icing to put on top. While the rally might help motivate their base, that is not the real problem for Democrats this election. Their problem is that they've lost the independent, moderate, libertarian center.

As regards the Obama interview itself, I thought it was tougher and more enlightening than most "real news" interviews I've seen. Full interview linked here. As is often the case these days, the harshest post-mortem criticism of the Presidential performance seemed to come from the left. Some reactions...

Taylor Marsh:
Talking with Jon Stewart last night, Pres. Obama didn’t say the words “unemployment” and “jobs” until around 27 minutes into the program. He even invoked Larry Summers, saying “Larry Summers did a heckava job,” which brought a wry smile from Stewart with the retort, “You don’t wanna use that phrase, dude.” Obama seemed to pause to recalculate, then said “pun intended.” But clearly it wasn’t."
Dana Millbanks:
Obama wore a displeased grin as Stewart diagnosed, with high accuracy, the administration's condition: "The expectation, I think, was audacity going in there and really rooting out a corrupt system, and so the sense is, has [the] reality of what hit you in the face when you first stepped in caused you to back down from some of the more visionary things?"

"My attitude is if we're making progress, step by step, inch by inch, day by day," Obama said, "that we are being true to the spirit of that campaign."

"You wouldn't say you'd run this time as a pragmatist? It wouldn't be, 'Yes we can, given certain conditions?'"

"I think what I would say is yes we can, but -- "

Stewart, and the audience, laughed at the "but." Obama didn't laugh. "But it's not going to happen overnight," he finished.

Try shouting that slogan at a campaign rally, dude.
Andy Ostroy:
Obama desperately tried to convince the studio and home audience that his administration, given the Bushevik shitstorm it inherited, has done a pretty good job, especially with the economy, jobs and health care. I don't disagree. It/he has brought the nation back from the precipice of disaster. But his closing-argument prowess left much to be desired. He was not presidential. He was not convincing. He was not assuring. And he let Stewart best him, on several occasions. The most notable being "I don't think you wanna use that phrase, dude!" when the president said his former chief economic advisor, Lawrence Summers, "did a heckuva job." Stewart was referring to Bush's infamous misguided praise of former FEMA head Michael Brown, who notoriously botched the government's Hurricane Katrina rescue and relief effort (not exactly sure though how I feel about Stewart calling the president "dude," but I lean towards an apology being in order)...

And when a clearly disappointed Obama said "Jon, I love your show...and I don't want to lump you in with a lot of other pundits" before admonishing him for not cutting him some slack on the economy, Stewart deftly returned with "Not to lump you in with other presidents" before reiterating voters' frustration with the slow pace of the recovery. It was one of Stewart's patented "Oh, snap!" moments and the primary reason he is so loved by his viewers. There is no one in the media who can be so biting in such a non-threatening, nice guy way.
It was an informative and interesting give and take. I can only hope the rally will be as entertaining.

(x-posted and post-dated from Donklephant)

Divided and Balanced.™
Now that is fair.

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