Saturday, February 14, 2009

Funny - Ha, Ha

So this past Thursday on The Daily Show, Jon ran a segment called American Grandstand, during which he rightfully mocks several members of congress who seem to have come to the conclusion that their best hope for re-election comes from dragging high-ranking bankers to Washington, and attempting to humiliate them on C-Span. Stewart knows pandering when he sees it, and invites his audience to join him in sneering at the rather transparent efforts of our nation's legislators to elevate their own standing at the direct expense of currently unpopular citizens.

But left unsaid was one very important point. The congress members shown were publicly flogging bankers because it works. They understand that despite the laughability of it all to the cynical, someone back home watched the charade, and was convinced that their legislator was, in fact, standing up for them to the evil Powers that Be.

While it's easy to mock politicians when they blatantly pander to other people, do we understand when they're telling us what we want to hear? Sure, we tell ourselves that all we want is the truth, no matter how much it might hurt, but is that ever really true? Sure, Representative Brad Sherman seems like a sanctimonious jackass in the video, but the public, lead by the national media, was pretty bent out of shape about the whole flying-in-private-jets episode, and what politician wouldn't have rushed to lead that parade (or lynch mob, as the case may be)?

Jon Stewart's smart enough not to obviously do so on the air, but I suspect that he was actually laughing at us, and not with us. Because we never seem to figure that part out, either.

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