Roger Ailes spoke at Ohio University yesterday and one of the things he told the crowd is that Daily Show host Jon Stewart admitted to being a socialist.
According to journalist and media lawyer Jonathon Peters, who was in attendance, Ailes said, “Jon Stewart is a comedian. He wouldn’t do well without Fox. And he basically has admitted to me, in a bar, that he’s a socialist.” In case you were also wondering about the mindset that fuels the lack of news in Fox News, Ailes also said, “One thing that qualifies me to run a journalism organization is the fact that I don’t have a journalism degree.”
Fox News’s treatment of Stewart morphed from a symbiotic good natured interaction to editing the Daily Show host’s appearances to make him look bad, and personally attacking him as a racist. Ailes is greatly over inflating the value of Fox News as comedic fodder for Stewart. The Daily Show is a political comedy program. It isn’t a Fox News parody show. If Fox News vanished off the face of the earth tomorrow, Jon Stewart would be fine.
Notice that in typical Fox News fashion, Ailes provided no context to support his claim that Jon Stewart admitted to him that he is a socialist. For all we know, Ailes could have asked Stewart if he was a socialist, and he could have sarcastically replied, Yeah, right. I’m a socialist. The views Stewart expresses on his show are far from socialism. He has shown the ability to agree with both conservatives and liberals. If anything Stewart is a centrist. His both sides do it in politics claims pretty much rule out the fact that he is some sort of partisan bound, myopic, one sided lefty.
The most hysterically funny thing about Ailes labeling Stewart as a socialist is that we are supposed to recoil in horror and view socialism as a bad thing. The truth is that Americans love socialism. They have been conditioned by decades of conservative propaganda to believe that socialism is a bad word, but in practice Americans are very socialistic. How else can you explain members of the tea party protesting Obamacare, but demanding that the government keep its hands off Medicare? Medicare and Social Security are programs with socialistic values.
The term socialism is only an insult to those on the far right. It doesn’t matter to anyone on the left or middle if you call us socialists. We don’t care. Only in the right wing bubble is the word socialist considered a vile insult.
It is not exactly a fall off of your seat shocker that the man who runs Fox News would have little use for journalism. Ailes oversees a network where journalism is nothing more than a pretext for propaganda and message delivery.
Fox News hates Jon Stewart because he crushes them in the ratings. By using comedy to expose the propaganda techniques used by Fox on a nightly basis, Stewart is teaching viewers to think while they watch cable news, and educated questioning viewers are bad for FNC’s bottom line. Fox News already has the oldest viewers in all of television, and Jon Stewart’s popular program is inoculating millions of potential future viewers against being infected by the Fox News propaganda machine. This is why Ailes and Fox News would love to discredit Jon Stewart.
But, seriously, calling Jon Stewart a socialist was the best that he could come up with?
After all, who doesn’t like socialism? If you want to see how popular socialism can be, just ask your Fox News watching parents or grandparents if they like their Medicare.
Jon Stewart is the future, Rupert and Roger’s cable news conservative circus is the aging past. Everyday FNC’s viewership grows older, while Jon Stewart keeps future generations away. Roger Ailes won’t admit it, but Fox News as it is today could be a dinosaur on a low slow march to extinction.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association