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Linkspam of fake-news-fandom holiday cheer. December 23, 2010

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: , ,

Jon and The Daily Show are getting some much-deserved credit for the resurrection of the Zadroga bill. (The NY Times report may not mention him directly, but the comments sure do.)

Indecision Forever has a roundup, with a comment that I want to pull out and spotlight:

Most people don’t know this, but in the months immediately following 9/11, Jon Stewart and his tickets dept. donated tickets for several of his shows to a Ground Zero relief task force that was bringing GZ firefighters to his show, as a way to get them off the pile, and maybe to just sit and laugh for an hour. I worked for that task force. Every time we brought in a new group of firefighters, Jon would greet them, talk to them and thank them personally. That’s the kind of person he has always been. As someone who worked inside GZ, I find it so disappointing that politicians can use 9/11 to justify a war or demonize a religion, but somehow they cannot use it to help the people who were actually PART of 9/11. Jon Stewart is a hero’s hero, and the best part, the part that makes it count, is that he did it simply because it was the right thing to do. ~HM http://americanraksha.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/i-am-zadroga/

Meanwhile, on the Report side of things, Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter accuse liberals and Colbert fans of not being charitable. NoFactZone promptly crunches some numbers and comes up with the following:

* DonorsChoose – $589,792
* Yellow Ribbon Fund – $319,000 (PDF link)
* Americone Dream Fund (donated proceeds from Ben & Jerry’s Americone Dream) – $440,357 (2007-2009)
* US Olympic Speedskating Team – $300,000 (2010)
* Gulf of America Fund – $100,000 (Bing), $44,187 (retweeting challenge)

The total for these five charities alone is $1,493,336, and this is nowhere near a complete list of the charity work that Stephen Colbert personally supports, and encourages the Colbert Nation to support.

You know, I would probably be in this fandom no matter what. It’s funny, it’s clever, it’s far-reaching; it includes all kinds of topics that hit straight in the middle of my personal flail zone, from the serious (in-depth analysis of religion!) to the silly (gratuitous drag!). The surfaces of the shows stand on their own, even if you don’t bother learning about the creators behind them.

So it’s not often that I step back and really appreciate how these folks don’t just make good TV. They are, unassumingly but actively, Good People. And they bring out the goodness of others in their wake.

Joy to the world.



1. X - December 26, 2010

Unfortunately, this was another case where Stewart was quick to make fun without understanding the situation. The GOP objections to the bill weren’t because they wanted to leave the workers in the cold – it was because as it was there were issues of both getting the money TO those workers and pegging down a source for the money (no source for the money = they get an IOU and no help, as can happen with government programs). However, they couldn’t fix the problems because the Democrats refused to allow amendments or discussion when they introduced it to the Senate.

This was a typical dirty political move on the part of the Democrats to setup several scenarios: a) make Republicans vote for a bill that they knew had issues, b) risk voting against it/blocking it and looking like bad guys, and c) stall the tax cut issue to wear down the GOP’s stance. The filibuster, while costing some PR points, was a valid option for them in this kind of trap. (Mainly since they did successfully get everyone to keep their own money, which was a great moment of sanity for the country.)

This is yet another case where Stewart poked fun before his writers had all the facts, reminiscent of when he completely missed the point about the Food Safety Bill and why it was a very bad idea. (Bipartisanship stemming from bribery to both parties by government-subsidized agribusinesses isn’t progress!) His point shouldn’t have been, “OMG Republicans are blocking this bill that makes them bad guys!” but, “So why is this bill being blocked? Oh, it’s because it has flaws in it that politicians are refusing to let anyone fix!”

Instead of looking like an intelligent thinker, he came off once more as a White House shill – which is probably why the White House is lavishing such credit on him. It’s “Thanks for being a sucker!” praise. I expect better of him, because, as you said, he is a good person. I’m disappointed when he doesn’t think things all the way through.

(I don’t know if the compromise bill they passed fixed the issues with the original, but we can all hope it did.)

I take very little Ann Coulter says seriously. At this point I’ve been assuming she’s a highly advanced method-actress who’s been outdoing Colbert at his own act for far longer.

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