“Stewart argued that, unlike a newspaper with clearly labeled news and opinion sections, viewers might not realize that shows such as Glenn Beck’s and O’Reilly’s were not news, to which O’Reilly answered that it’s so obvious that his program belongs in the “opinion” category that even people in Pakistan know it — a point he illustrated by doing an impression of Pakistani viewers watching his show.”

“Viewers might not realize…” Jon Stewart himself defends the Daily Show repeatedly by rightly pointing out that viewers are smart enough to understand what they’re seeing. He wants to have his cake and eat it too. He criticizes Cramer for misleading viewiers but then defends his own show as not serious. He criticizes FoxNews for misleading viewers while his own brand of misleading is just “entertainment” or “fake news.”

I’m sure there’s plenty of bias to be found in the general “objective” news segments on Fox. Stewart for whatever reason makes no attempt to demonstrate that. Instead, he goes after shows that are clearly opinion such as Hannity, Beck or O’Reilly. These shows are no different than Maddow, Olberman … The Daily Show. Stewart has acknowledged in interviews that his own show has a “liberal” bias. He defends this by hiding behind the words “fake” or “funny” as if that somehow makes his show different than O’Reilly. He makes the same defense when he’s criticized for not asking tough questions or taking interviews seriously enough. He’s not serious, except when he wants to be. None of these shows are “news” if by “news” we mean the unbiased coverage of current events.

As a matter of fact, finding such outlets anywhere is pretty scarce. For a while, there was a somewhat golden age of television journalism where everyone was watching the same three channels and the journalists made an effort to report the news without inserting their own opinionated slant. This generation sees that age as the norm because we grew up with it. We definitely view that era through rose colored glasses but also, that was an anomaly in the history of news. For a while, we were all watching the same information and having the same conversation. The advent of cable and the Internet promptly ended that circumstance and we’ve gone back to a million information outlets and a million fractured conversations.

This is how it’s looked through most of our history. Various camps setting up “news” sources and working hard to smear eachother, promote their own interests, defend their own points of view, etc. FoxNews is the norm not the exception. And if you think CNN, Time, The New York Times, the Associated Press and many others aren’t slanted towards the left, you just aren’t paying attention. Stewart complains that Fox does not warn its viewers of the slant on some of its shows (as if say, Hannity’s show being opinion is not self evident). Meanwhile, he himself does not provide any warning for his own show’s admittedly liberal bias. This is OK because John Stewart is just trying to be funny. Comedy gets a free pass. Stewart’s too consumed by his own hyperbole to notice his own hypocrisy.