Love ya Jon, but STFU about Wikileaks
Jon Stewart and the Daily Show, along with Colbert, are a required nightly ritual in our house. During the Bush years it was the only way I could stand to hear Dubya’s voice- without Jon’s “heh heh heh” following it, it all seemed too real and ugly. Of course, it was- and is- too real and ugly for sane people to tolerate. Stewart and Colbert are masters at skewering the pompous, mocking the endless propaganda of the right and the madness that is 24/7 TerrorVision cable news.
But when it comes to actual things that matter, TDS are nothing more than master gatekeepers– to the point you almost wonder if they have an Obama (or Bush) appointee on their writing staff. The notion of government involvement in 9/11 is mentioned only to deride “crazy” conspiracy theorists, the concept of Bush and Obama being war criminals (as they surely are) is mocked as “extremist” talk that they devoted an entire rally to quashing.
So I wasn’t too surprised when Stewart blasted Julian Assange and Wikileaks the other night:
“If this is the diplomatic 9/11, sack up,” Stewart said. “I’ll give you it’s diplomatic mischief night … maybe. But most of the shit in there is non-policy chit chat and things we already knew.”
Really, Jon? You read all 250,000 cables and came to that conclusion? Imploring our diplomats to get DNA from UN members is “mischief”? Obama in league with GOP higher ups, quashing the Spanish investigation into the Bush admin for torture, that’s “chit chat”?
Fuck you, Jon. You’re wrong. And worse than wrong, you’re dangerous. Anyone who can gather hundreds of thousands of people on the National Mall for what was essentially nothing, that is a powerful person. And when that person declares a false equivalence between liberal activists such as Code Pink and the Murdoch promoted goon squads, the astroturfing Tea Party, basically calling attempts to end the illegal wars and investigate torturers to be silly, you do a grave disservice to those who give a damn.
There is a nation of people who sat and watched in horror as the Bush, and now the Obama regimes discarded the rule of law on a whim, unaccountable to anyone. Wikileaks, and whistleblowers everywhere, are one of the few means of leverage available to common people. People who can’t get their faces on cable TV, or put a Congressman in their pocket. It is said history is written by the victors. And in the days of Gutenberg, that was true. But we don’t live in those times. We live surrounded by information, an entire internet of data, most of it crap to be sure, but amid all the tweets and Farmvilles sits a mechanism to fight back. To learn. To get angry. To get involved. To give a damn. We should be using it to get louder, not quieter. Angrier, not calmer. We should use this information to hound the guilty until there isn’t a place on earth a George Bush or Hillary Clinton can step without the threat of arrest.
So Jon, we still love ya. Keep sticking it to idiot pols from South Carolina, and Colbert, keep up the truthiness. But when it comes to real issues- and the dreams and passions of people who demand justice anyway they can- either lead, follow, or get the fuck out of the way.