FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

It’s Time for Stewart and Colbert to Retire

by PETER BRESCHARD

The King is delighted when the Village Idiot is mocked by the Fool. The King is delighted when anyone is mocked by the Fool other than the King. Unfortunately for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, their job is to mock the King and they have failed to do that for quite some time.

How would today’s Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have covered the Irish Potato Famine?

“Stephen, did you see this piece in the Fine Outstanding Xenophobian today? I mean really. Blaming all the famine deaths in Ireland on a Papist pact with the devil.”

“Jon, how can you appear shocked? Those drooling cretins come up with the most ludicrous stories every day. Please, aren’t we above such things?”

“Stephen, true. We are above all this, but it doesn’t make their rants any less hilarious.”

“True, Jon. I mean really, do you see where they say Papists all have tails like the devil, which is why God is punishing them with this famine?”

“Stephen, you are so right. Everyone knows Papists don’t have tails. Even imagining Papists with tails has to be the silliest thing I’ve seen in a long time.”

“Jon, Papists with tails. The Xenophobian has done it again. Aren’t they just the village idiot? We are so much cooler than that.”

“Right, Stephen. Now, moving right along to today’s silly cat drawing.”

Not a word about the suffering Irish. Not a word about where the surplus food in Ireland was being shipped. Not a word about all those profiting from this particular genocide. Instead, they discuss the alleged flaws of the British propaganda system. Jewels before swine. Parody gold ignored for cheap laughs.

And there you have it. Even back then the Fox network would have decided the topic of discussion. And Stewart and Colbert would be more than willing to echo the distraction of the day. Fox tells you where to look, classic misdirection, and the two of them, for whatever reasons, are all too willing to follow Roger Ailes commands.

At times it feels like half of their broadcasts are wasted calling the Fox Village Idiot an idiot. Pitiful. Lazy.

It’s as if Stewart and Colbert were in high school and instead of mocking the principal, they decide to pick on the special education kids, who the principal encourages to smash ice cream cones against their own foreheads.

If Roger Ailes and his paymasters at Fox aren’t paying Stewart and Colbert, they should be. If they’re not being paid by Fox directly, they’re either complete morons or being reimbursed indirectly. “I don’t care what they say about me as long as they spell my name right.” Fox thanks both of them whenever they broadcast.

Satirists have to be held to a higher standard than the obvious low bar Stewart and Colbert have now set for themselves. They keep reveling in the awards received from those who benefit from their harmless (to them) form of social criticism. At the moment neither are worthy to lick Russell Brand’s boots.

We know they’re both middle-aged men with families, well, that probably says it all. Family men often have good reason to act in ways that others might call cowardly. It’s the same type of knee jerk fear which Fox feeds upon. Perhaps it’s time for both to pull a Chappelle and simply walk away. They’ve lost their edge. Leave it to younger or older people to carry on the attack. Leave before they become caricatures of themselves. Leave before they become even more of an embarrassment.

“Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.” Not long ago that quote cited by Peter O’Toole was brought to mind. Comedy is hard, gentlemen, and the two of you have gotten far too soft.

Peter Breschard is the author of Circus Rider and other works of fiction and fact. His work has appeared elsewhere and here.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
Norman Pollack
Fissures in World Capitalism: the British Vote
Paul Bentley
Mercenary Logic: 12 Dead in Kabul
Binoy Kampmark
Parting Is Such Sweet Joy: Brexit Prevails!
Elliot Sperber
Show Me Your Papers: Supreme Court Legalizes Arbitrary Searches
Jan Oberg
The Brexit Shock: Now It’s All Up in the Air
Nauman Sadiq
Brexit: a Victory for Britain’s Working Class
Brian Cloughley
Murder by Drone: Killing Taxi Drivers in the Name of Freedom
Ramzy Baroud
How Israel Uses Water as a Weapon of War
Brad Evans – Henry Giroux
The Violence of Forgetting
Ben Debney
Homophobia and the Conservative Victim Complex
Margaret Kimberley
The Orlando Massacre and US Foreign Policy
David Rosen
Americans Work Too Long for Too Little
Murray Dobbin
Do We Really Want a War With Russia?
Kathy Kelly
What’s at Stake
Louis Yako
I Have Nothing “Newsworthy” to Report this Week
Pete Dolack
Killing Ourselves With Technology
David Krieger
The 10 Worst Acts of the Nuclear Age
Lamont Lilly
Movement for Black Lives Yields New Targets of the State
Martha Rosenberg
A Hated Industry Fights Back
Robert Fantina
Hillary, Gloria and Jill: a Brief Look at Alternatives
Chris Doyle
No Fireworks: Bicentennial Summer and the Decline of American Ideals
Michael Doliner
Beyond Dangerous: the Politics of Climate
Colin Todhunter
Modi, Monsanto, Bayer and Cargill: Doing Business or Corporate Imperialism?
Steve Church
Brexit: a Rush for the Exits!
Matthew Koehler
Mega Corporation Gobbles Up Slightly Less-Mega Corporation; Chops Jobs to Increase Profits; Blames Enviros. Film at 11.
David Green
Rape Culture, The Hunting Ground, and Amy Goodman: a Critical Perspective
Ed Kemmick
Truckin’: Pro Driver Dispenses Wisdom, Rules of the Road
Alessandro Bianchi
“China Will React if Provoked Again: You Risk the War”: Interview with Andre Vltchek
Christy Rodgers
Biophilia as Extreme Sport
Missy Comley Beattie
At Liberty
Ron Jacobs
Is Everything Permitted?
Cesar Chelala
The Sad Truth About Messi
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail