Jon Stewart on Rumsfeld: A Failing of the Media

On Wednesday the 23rd, Donald Rumsfeld appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, a program on the Comedy Central channel. Rumsfeld was an invited guest on the well-known liberal program. The reason for his visit was to promote his new book, Known and Unknown, a semi-diary on his time in the Bush administration.

It would seem almost strange for Rumsfeld to appear on a program long known for its lambasting and criticisms of the right wing in America. Only upon watching the program does one understand why he did.

Stewart said that to him it seemed that the Bush administration was more interested in making the case for war rather than making preparations for possible terrorist attacks. What this demonstrates is a lack of passion and credibility on the part of Stewart. What he should have done is call him out as a liar and demand a real explanation for the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jon Stewart almost failed to even mention the torture Rumsfeld ordered US troops and CIA operatives to conduct. The issue was clearly skirted in order to allow Rumsfeld to pass without answering it. He hinted at the fact these tortures took place. I like many people were wondering why he didn’t call him out on it.

It seems Stewart was more interested in getting one of the big names from the neo-con movement on his show, than doing his job, even as a fake journalist. It is of course obvious why he didn’t call him out, and often times didn’t acknowledge he was lying… He wanted him to be there. If Stewart had been hard on him, asked the real pressing questions the people wanted him to ask, Rumsfeld wouldn’t have shown up.

This is a very common occurrence for supposedly left wing programs. Often people stand with breath held, anxious to watch the right winger get nailed by hard questions, only to be disappointed.

This shows the true lack of dissension that exists in the American media today. A neo-con can appear on Fox News and basically be given a podium in which they can announce anything they want. Or, they can appear on the supposedly other-side-of-the-spectrum programs like the Daily Show, and not be asked the tough questions.

A criminal like Donald Rumsfeld can either be allowed to publically lie about their actions, or be allowed to give phony justifications for for their actions. Options like this truly do not reflect a society in which media plays a criticizing role.

There are real answers that the American people are owed. There are real answers the people they have hurt are owed. There are real consequences for those who have lied to the people of America and caused so much misery and death internationally. Obviously the corporate media here in the West (including Jon Stewart) is not interested in exposing power, and investigating and obtaining answers.

Maybe it has some thing to do with the parent company who owns his show, Viacom, being a major contributors to both parties of big business.