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Watch: Jon Stewart Mocks Media Coverage of Wisconsin Protests

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Naive news media outlets are comparing the Wisconsin labor protests to the uprising against oppressive regimes in the Middle East, and right-wing news outlets are turning them into the "Bizarro Tea Party".

Jon Stewart looks at Wisconsin's 'Revenge of the Curds', AFTER  THE JUMP...

 

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  1. The daily show has become so bland and milquetoast that it's unwatchable (and I'm a david brooks fan, so blah blah blah). Points for exposing the idiocy of false parallels, minuses for comparing the protesters to tea partiers, and creating a false equivalency of his own. All in all, no message, not much comedy, and no understanding...such is the cost of fence sitting.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 22, 2011 10:24:32 AM


  2. I just caught this segment and as a Wisconsinite - and a regular Daily Show watcher - it is extremely upsetting how he has portrayed the protests. The people protesting here are NOT the tea party in any way, shape, or form. They are educated, hard-working, and generally liberal/democrat, and pissed off at the bullshit trying to be shoved down their throats. I live in Madison, one block from the Capitol where all of this is going down, in fact, and I have been at numerous marches and protests in and around the capitol the past week. I am not a teacher or a unionized public-sector worker, but I have many friends and relatives who are and I have been there in solidarity. Walker is trying to undue 50 years of work towards worker's and the democratic process, destroy a state and its top tier education system, and fake an exorbitant deficit to further this agenda. The protests have been peaceful and inspiring and a model for workers all across the country. UGH JOHN... you are supposed to be on our side....

    Posted by: nham_WI | Feb 22, 2011 10:26:42 AM


  3. NHAM_WI

    I would not call the majority of Labor protesters liberal

    A large chunk of them are repub and regretting voting against their own economic self intersts because of the whole gawdddd gaysss and guns Repub BS

    A police union that endorsed walker has publicly apologized for said endorsment and turned against him siding with the other unions

    Anyway; the latest polling shows Walker down 10 points and the majority in WI siding with the teachers, police, fire men, state workers unions

    Recall on Walker will be next year per WI law = 1 yr

    It is time to draft Russ Feingold to run for WI Governor when the recall on walker goes through

    The funny thing is Walker had/has national ambitions. A successful recall 1 yr into term will nix that

    A bit of history, in the 1890's polish workers in WI marched due to the 10-16 hour work days 6 days a week demanding 8 hour work days. Then repub governor of WI bowed to pressure from the Buisnesses in WI and called in the militia who shot/killed a lot of women, children, and workers

    Average majority americans vs big biz oligarchs and repubs is not new.

    Posted by: mstrozfckslv@yahoo.com | Feb 22, 2011 10:40:25 AM


  4. I live in Madison also, and was there for a couple days of the protests. I'm not a union worker, but am a non-union state employee. What people don't understand is that unions set the bar for wages and benefits for all workers, not just union members. They also are a check against politicians who would like nothing more than to decimate the public sector in the name of "cost cutting", so that more money can be funneled into the bank accounts of wealthy corporate donors (see the recent $150 millon corporate giveaways from Mr. Walker right before announcing the dire circumstances requiring a return to robber baron business practices.

    Teachers. Nurses. Doctors. Social workers. Sanitation and construction workers. The people who answer your questions, process your paperwork, and get you through what is necessarily a bureaucratic system... these are the people who are protesting simply for their right to bargain collectively for working conditions and benefits. These are the people that the right wingers and even some self-described "moderate" republicans are calling "lazy", "good-for-nothing", "pathetic", and "greedy". Greedy? Really? Teachers? How many teachers do you know who are raking in the big money?

    Don't think that this is contained in the midwest, or that the republican attempt to redistribute even more wealth to the upper tiers of society will stop with us. What Walker does in Wisconsin will come to your doorstep soon, whether you work for the government or not, and whether you are a union employee or not. Many people died to secure collective bargaining rights for workers in this country, and unions exist for a very, very good reason.

    Ignore Wisconsin at your peril.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Feb 22, 2011 11:23:37 AM


  5. protests are also going on in Ohio over repubs wanting to pass SB5 that would also eliminate collective bargaining rights of workers

    The oligarchs/repubs have overplayed their hand and hopefully america is waking up that gawdddd gaysss and gunsss from the repubs just doesn't cut it when the same repubs try to steal the food from average american's mouths to hand over to their corporate overlords

    This dear teabaggers is what real gressroots looks like, not your Koch brother astroturf BS

    Posted by: mstrozfckslv@yahoo.com | Feb 22, 2011 11:45:44 AM


  6. I've really only heard democratic state senators from WI compare this to Egypt. I saw a clip on GMA this morning that they took from Fox News. A democrat senator who is hiding out in Chicago compared this to Egypt. Not a republican.

    Secondly, do you not understand that the state cannot afford the benefits? I pay 26% of my healthcare costs. My friends who are teachers pay 6%. Why shouldn't they pay 10 or 12%? They all make more than me. A first year teacher in Cleveland, OH (a fincially broke district) makes around $32,000 a year. Not bad for a 22 year old just out of school. I didn't make $32,000 until I was in my mid 30s, and I've had my Master's Degree since age 25! My employer (which is funded mostly by tax revenue, but none of us are union) had to stop contributing to my 401K completely, halted all raises for 3 years and we just had lay-offs. Why? Because we have no money left. The states are broke. Wasn't it Obama who said we all need to have some "Skin in the game?" Well, it is time for the unions to give up some skin like everyone else does.

    No one is looking to go to a 12 hour work day or a 7 day work week. Why should public employees be immune to the financial burdens everyone else needs to share?

    Posted by: BC | Feb 22, 2011 12:32:19 PM


  7. To the commenters above extolling the benefits of unions: Unions are necessary and good. In the private sector. Where they negotiate across the table from management and where all sides are constrained by economic reality.

    In the public sector, there is no competition. The "management" is dominated or controlled by the union, and even when it isn't, it is hopelessly conflicted. The result is collusive contracts that take money from the working class and bestow it upon a privileged class of government workers. Their gains do NOT set any bar in the private sector. That is why no private sector workers have pensions, but public sector workers do. That is why, while private sector workers get no pension and work into their late 60s, public sector workers routinely retire in their 50s, spike their pensions by cashing in on years of sick pay and manipulated raises and overtime to boost their guaranteed pensions, thus shafting the taxpayer for the next 30-40 years of their retirement. If public unions were "setting the bar" for the private sector, this disparity would not exist.

    But you probably know all this. That is why you desperately want to make this about "unions".
    If we want to improve the lot of all workers, then that should happen through legislation applicable to all workers, not by protecting outsized benefits for one class of worker that were obtained through collusion.
    We need to fight all cronyism, whether it benefits Wall St. or the SEIU.

    Posted by: David | Feb 22, 2011 12:38:37 PM


  8. Are you people insane? A "privileged class of public workers"?!?

    First of all, public workers are hardly privileged. Check the job postings and look at the salaries being offered.

    The State of Wisconsin is not broke. The government could afford hundreds of millions of dollars worth of tax breaks to big business political donors to the Walker campaign just 2 weeks ago. Hundreds of millions. And 2/3 of the businesses in Wisconsin don't pay ANY corporate tax at all... none. So much for businesses being part of the community.

    Public employees do not retire in their fifties. That's crap, and a dirty lie. I'm a public employee and I'll likely die after tripping over my beard on the way back out to my car. No retirement for me in my 50s, that for sure. And no one I know, either.

    There is no such thing as manipulated raises in the public sector. Public employees rarely get raises to cover even the cost of living.

    The benefits of public workers are a bit more generous because the wages are lower than the public sector. That's the way it's always been. Did public employees reap the huge bonuses and dividends from the boom years of the 90s? No, we didn't.

    Private sector workers DID have pensions, that is until the Republicans decided to push for having everyone's retirement benefits tied to the freaking stock market. Look how well that's worked... oh wait... it's only worked for people who made fat bank to begin with.

    If you think that private sector employers would be offering any benefits AT ALL to their employees without unions having established that expectation over many decades of tough negotiation, you're either dreaming or lying. Or both.

    Anti-worker Republicans... trying to make everyone equally miserable and poor for the past 50 years... while lining their corporate masters' pockets. You people who are going along with their screwed up logic are pathetic.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Feb 22, 2011 12:53:54 PM


  9. Oh and one more thing... the unions already agreed to the benefit cuts. So your bitching about your crappy benefits is meaningless and shows nothing more than a desire to make everyone in America as miserable as you are. Perhaps you could use a new job... or a union...

    Posted by: The Milkman | Feb 22, 2011 12:55:52 PM


  10. Yet public sector workers in wisconsin earn on average 4.8% less than their private sector counterparts, and this proposed legislation would slash their salaries by 10% and eliminate collective bargaining. That doesn't seem very privileged to me. Given that the state employee unions were willing to negotiate lower salaries in light of the budget shortfalls caused by the recession, housing crisis, and inability of state legislators to craft a coherent budget in light of these realities, but are still on the chopping block, this push for the elimination of collective bargaining isn't about the budget.

    Now what is the purpose of selecting the worst case scenarios of public sector employees and a few anecdotes to confirm your bias, and treating gaming the system like the status quo?

    And competition clearly isn't required to check the salaries of public employees in light of the fact that they're paid less, which pensions seek to offset. The availability of funds is. There is no "monopoly," considering the budget isn't crafted and amended by those fighting to keep the right to collective bargaining. Overall, how is further depressing incomes and increasing the unemployment rate in wisconsin supposed to lift it out of the depths of recession? The private sector has no answer, and hasn't for over three years.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 22, 2011 1:10:17 PM


  11. The drones who spout the Fox News/CNBC talking points about public sector unions being unfair are full of crap. The reason we have weekends, any pensions at all, and 8 hour workdays and worker safety regulations is because of unions in generations past. If there are less and less pensions in the private sector, it is because of unions lessening influence in our economy. And this is just another step.

    And believe me the forces at work busting public unions are NOT doing it just because they're public. The dislike like private unions just as much. Once the public unions are busted, they're going after the private next. All the rationalizations about private unions being ok by them will be forgotten.

    I really agreed with most of the comments though. Especially about the Daily Show. Jon Stewart is a fence sitter and appeaser and worst of all, not funny any more.

    Also, loved loved loved the Russ Feingold comment about him running against Walker for the governor after he's recalled. Brilliant. He's the only politician on the face of the planet worth a gosh darn in my opinion.

    Posted by: Dave L | Feb 22, 2011 1:37:24 PM


  12. I've been a fan and daily avid viewer for years but for the past few months found John Stewart more and more of a bore.
    He's lost his comic edge and voice. Maybe a sabbatical might be the answer or a retooling of the cast which has become stale and not very funny...John Hudjson and that new girl-kinda pretty but WHO CARES?
    I found myself confused by this segment and not really funny.
    I wish he finds his mojo again....otherwise...Colbert is getting better and better and a joy to see...

    Posted by: mcNnyc | Feb 22, 2011 1:47:44 PM


  13. @ BC sorry but WI congressman Paul Ryan was the one and from what I saw the FIRST to bring in Egypt comparison.
    And if you see the clip you notice that John Stewart cuts right before Paul Ryan was about to say it in response to the Face The Nation sock-puppet...hmmm wonder why "moral-equvilancy" John Stewart did that...

    Posted by: mcNnyc | Feb 22, 2011 1:53:00 PM


  14. Jon Stewart just wants to prove that the idea he promoted in his October sanity rally was correct: that the left and the right wings of American politics are the same thing, and their rhetoric equally bad/overblown/vindictive/inconsistent.

    It was this dangerous and simplistic way of thinking that sparked the PBS controversy a few years back, when Wall Street Week was added to the line-up to counteract whatever Bill Moyers was saying.

    I'm not entirely convinced that this is not a ploy to pull to the center (wherever that is these days) in order to garner more ratings.

    In the process, Stewart has gone from being a sharp witted, seemingly intelligent commentator on the news to a seemingly dull witted naysayer to all with no real opinion. Center-liberal whining at it's worst and most un-self-reflective.

    There is a difference between what Fox News does, and what MSNBC does. There is a difference between what Republican politicians like Scott Walker is doing and what Nancy Pelosi did as Speaker. There is a difference between the Tea Party and the protesters in WI.

    Furthermore, it is hard to say that there isn't some connection - perhaps subliminal, perhaps emotional - between what has been happening in the Arab world and what is happening in Wisconsin. We are historically approaching a moment when entrenched powers (the business elites and their politician puppets here in this country; the dictators in North Africa and elsewhere) have worn out their welcome, and collective action appears to have been emboldened. It is happening quickly, perhaps testament to the rise of digital media and the 24 hour news cycle. But whatever the reason, when people see other people striving for freedom collectively, something more or less primal kicks in and others take the same steps. With the spread of digital media images, this is happening more and more quickly.

    Some people get it, others don't. Jon Stewart no longer gets it. Like every other aging (usually white) man, he just wants to be convinced that he is right, and will bend the evidence so it conveniences him. Qaddafi much?

    Posted by: Andalusian Dog | Feb 22, 2011 2:23:33 PM


  15. DEMS walked out in INDIANA! Keep the fight going!

    Posted by: PriceCut | Feb 22, 2011 2:53:58 PM


  16. when economic equality and the spread of wealth more evenly distributed amongst the largest majority of people possible...and a single person (yes it meant white males at the time sorry)could make an income to feed house clothe and educate a family of 4............... as vs now with concentration in the top 2%'s hands the Us was 1/3 unionized.....it was also the time of americas greatest strength and prosperity

    Now with the middle class being devestated and shrunk with the greatest concentration of wealth in the fewest hands in america the number of unionized americans has fallen under 9%

    Surprise surprise history shows that american strength prosperity and economic equality is when unions are strong. Weak to non existent unions= america suffers and falls

    Posted by: mstrozfckslv@yahoo.com | Feb 22, 2011 3:15:00 PM


  17. Jon Stewart's false equivalency of left and right wing media is getting really, really old. He's allowing himself to become a useful idiot for the Fox News set, in that they benefit most when people just go "well, they're all the same" and begin to believe there's some kind of equal radicalism to, say, Glenn Beck and Rachel Maddow.

    And Stewart's not really "straddling the fence," as much as he might like to pretend that's what he's doing, as that would mean there were equal sides of the fence to straddle. But as Stewart well knows, the right wing has the money and resources to majorly dominate media coverage these days in the way the left simply does not. So when Stewart gives the right wing cover, by making it all about some phony equivalency of "gee, everyone's acting equally naughty; can't everyone just play nice," he's making a distinct political decision that favors right wing power.

    Stewart's no dummy. He knows exactly how this works. But if you've watched his actions the last year or so and how increasingly fawning he's been toward right-wing guests (including those with majorly bigoted anti-gay records that don't get brought up while he's being buddy-buddy with 'em), you have to wonder how much Stewart's being paid these days, and by whom.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Feb 22, 2011 3:15:20 PM


  18. I'm unable to view this video in Canada. Even thecomedynetwork.ca video player just says "We are experiencing temporary difficulties downloading your lineup. Please wait another few seconds and try again if you're still having problems." (FU CTV)

    Perhaps someone can upload to YouTube? CTV parasites should not be getting between the actual authors of content, and the Canadian consumers of that content.

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 22, 2011 10:10:50 PM


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