Masters of War

I have no problem at all acknowledging my man-crush on the great Media Matters writer Eric Boehlert, but even the great ones can get it wrong sometimes. Such was the case with Boehlert’s February 13 lament about the end of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show tenure:

Here’s what Stewart and [Stephen] Colbert were not: They were not boring, they were not con men, and they absolutely refused to pit people against each other while appealing to base fear. In other words, they were the anti-Glenn Beck and the anti-Rush Limbaugh of partisan media.

And now those voices are gone. Or will soon be gone. The question is, will the model and will the voice they helped create carry on for years to come. (The Daily Show will continue without Stewart; Larry Wilmore is anchoring The Nightly Show in Colbert’s old time slot.) Longevity is the goal. But there’s also a chance that Stewart and Colbert’s rise to stardom signaled a cultural peak that liberals won’t again be able to scale.

To the contrary, Stewart’s legacy–controversial as it was–will go on the form of independent progressive media entities, which are flourishing by doing the job the mainstream media used to do. Democracy Now!, The Young Turks, The Real News, Secular Talk, David Pakman, Sam Seder, Thom Hartmann and other bold progressive voices will continue to hold the mainstream media and political establishment accountable. May their kind increase.

Speaking of The Young Turks, Cenk Ugyur’s February 18 analysis of the nexus between politics and terrorism is so accurate as to be beyond refutation:

The same goes for Secular Talk host Kyle Kulinski’s February 17 take:

Frankly, I don’t fear ISIS. I’m worried about domestic threats, not imported ones–and you should be, too. In fact, if you’re an American, you have a better chance of being killed by a deranged gunman or a drunk driver than you have of being killed by ISIS. If you’re an American woman, you have a better chance of being killed by a Christian fundamentalist who sees you walking into a clinic than you have of being killed by ISIS. And if you’re a young African-American man, well

The folks who are hyping the supposed threat of ISIS are simply trying to hornswoggle us into another war–a war that, like Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, we cannot possibly win. Their tactics don’t work on me. Will they work on you?

UPDATE: More from Dan Larison and Adam Johnson.

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.