Centrist Central: How Stewart and Colbert are Selling the Neocon Agenda to the Left
I just have to ask, is there anything, anything, that billionaire Sumner Redstone’s progressive propaganda tag-team of Jon Stewart & Steven Colbert won’t do to help turn the supposed left 180 degrees from positions they held during the previous administration?
I have written several times about Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert turning into blatant propagandists since the Chosen One took office.
For example: there’s the time Jon Stewart played the MEMRI TV video demonizing Palestinians, Steven Colbert’s recent revolting sucking-up to globalist Joe Biden, there was Stewart’s story about the South Park episode psyop involving Revolution Muslim which turns out to be run by a “converted” jewish ex-settler from the West Bank, Steven’s sycophantic groveling and rebranding the Afghan occupation just after Obama took office, and then of course Stewart’s ambushing of Rod Blagojevich which I thought was a pretty funny position for a “progressive” to take after he practically gave back rubs and “happy endings” to each and every neocon that has come on his set to pimp their new books or try to re-brand themselves as anything but the war criminals they are. That list includes but is not limited to Bill Kristol, Ari Fleischer, John Bolton, Douglas Feith, Thomas Friedman, Tom Ridge, and John Yoo. Each and every one of the previously named neocons and or war criminals, Jon Stewart treated with more respect than he did Rod Blagojevich who’s only crime was to threaten Bank of America if they didn’t live up to the conditions of the banker bailout bill.
Recently these two progressive shills have each taken on a new directive which certainly lives up to their pathetic performances in the past.
Jon Stewart is now involved in what he calls the “Million Moderates March” and the premise of this is that everyone who is anyone in America these days is a “centrist” or a “moderate” and that only the “fringe” are getting any attention.
Centrism i,s of course, just another name for the Washington Consensus, which is neoliberal/DLC “New Dem” corporatist fiscal ideology.
I seriously doubt that Stewart is correct in that assumption considering so many people are suffering under this economy, but since he recently had to grovel at the ultimate neoliberal’s feet (Bill Clinton), its not surprising that he would come out with this “move to the center” propaganda. Also interesting to note that he announced this new propaganda effort the same day he had Clinton on his show.
What is surprising is that Stewart chastised the radical left for holding such beliefs as “George Bush is a war criminal” and called to “restore sanity” on Oct. 30th 2010.
He later labeled it a “Million Moderate March.” The purpose, he said, is to counter what he called a minority of 15 percent or 20 percent of the country that has dominated the national political discussion with extreme rhetoric. He tarred both parties with that charge, mentioning both the attacks on the right against President Obama for being everything from a socialist to un-American and on the left against former President Bush for being a war criminal. Glenn Greenwald
Greenwald also noted Stewart’s history of aiding neocons with their image rebranding and book sales, though he doesn’t draw any conclusions about it like I do. Very polite of him if you ask me.
… but far more important than tone, in my view, is content. For instance, Bill Kristol, a repeated guest on The Daily Show, is invariably polite on television, yet uses his soft-spoken demeanor to propagate repellent, destructive ideas. The same is true for war criminal John Yoo, who also appeared, with great politeness, on The Daily Show. Moreover, some acts are so destructive and wrong that they merit extreme condemnation (such as Bush’s war crimes). Glenn Greenwald
Personally, I have to agree with Mr. Greenwald in that certain actions merit extreme condemnation (like impeachment and imprisonment) and to that list I would like to toss out 1. lying 935 times to justify an illegal war which has killed over a million Iraqi people and dislocated about 4 million others, 2. creating false documents (Niger Yellow Cake) like the neocons at the Office of Special Plans did to justify an illegal war, 3. torture, 4. rendition, 5. secret prisons, 6. CIA backed mercenary death squads 7. depleted uranium spread across Iraq … I mean, if these actions don’t merit calling George W. Bush (and several of Jon Stewart’s recent guests) a war criminal, what does?
Is turning a blind eye to such atrocities and war crimes really “sanity” or is it something else?
“After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes,” Taguba wrote. “The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.” Glenn Greenwald
It’s clear that Stewart is doing his part to help the globalist regime in charge whitewash the past 10 years. He’s actually helping to rewrite our collective history on these matters and turn “moderate” progressives, those with their heads buried in the sand, against those “fringe” elements who tried to demand justice and accountability from the previous administration. If anything proves Jon Stewart’s complicity in the globalist criminal actions, this is certainly it.
Colbert is certainly not being left out in the cold either. He just recently “testified” before a congressional sub-committee in congress speaking out in favor of the precursor to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill being pushed by the Obama/Clinton regime but it was actually a holdover from the George Bush administration, that little tidbit they don’t like to mention too much these days. They also don’t like to hear the word “amnesty” tossed out in these congressional hearings, judging from a Democrat’s behavior.
Colbert’s presence at the hearing was insulting to say the least.
His presence was insulting to the congress members who were there and insulting to any intellectually honest American who would be offended that a paid comedian who has been shilling for his globalist boss would actually be asked to join in on any part of a serious discussion of the matter.
John Conyers, to his credit, asked Colbert to submit his “testimony” for the record and excuse himself before the hearing took place. He politely reminded Steven he had nothing of value to add to the discussion, but Colbert couldn’t resist the spotlight and all the play he could get out of the stunt, so he remained but he was clearly shaken that someone there reminded him in public that his presence was nothing more than a PR stunt. He felt foolish and it showed. It was an embarrassing thing to watch, and if you absolutely have to, here it is.
Colbert’s qualifications for being at the hearing was apparently centered around the fact that his film crew and he went out to an upstate New York farm where they filmed him acting like a completely spoiled, lazy American who couldn’t do the work a 65-year-old man sitting on his ass and picking beans in the field could do. Of course, the 65 year old man is here illegally so somehow that makes him capable of doing something a 30-year-old unemployed American can’t do. That’s pretty much the sum total of Stephen Colbert contribution to the discussion.
The Ag Jobs Bill this committee is discussing is an effort supported by big US agriculture and other major corporations and in essence it would create an official 2nd class citizen status in America for these seasonal migrant workers and give them credit for the years they have worked in the agricultural industry toward a “path toward citizenship” (in short – coming to America illegally to work for slave-wages for 3 years would put them ahead of Mexicans who apply for citizenship legally and have to wait for 6 to 8 years for a green card) . It would also help create an increase in surplus labor which would certainly only serve to drive wages in the agricultural sector to near record lows. But it’s not only the agriculture industry that would be effected as Dr. Carol Swain pointed out during the committee hearing since many of the illegals once here, migrate out of the fields and into other, low skilled jobs, which only serves again to create a labor surplus in those fields and thus even more reductions in pay. The bill will give these slave-citizens the right to organize, a right they actually already have, but since the head of the UFW is clearly in bed with big agriculture here in America, that is like giving autoworkers the “right” to be represented by the UAW… and we all know what that has been good for recently.
Colbert’s testimony has been widely panned and with good reason.
Colbert’s “testimony” was painful to watch and adding insult to injury were his two staff members sitting behind him who clearly understood their little stunt wasn’t going as well as they had imagined it would. Life’s a little harder when you don’t have a studio audience being prompted by electric signs to laugh and applaud when they are told to. It’s also harder when your boss is sitting in front of you pretending like he had something to add to the hearing when he didn’t.
“Maybe this Ag Jobs bill would help. I don’t know. Like most members of congress, I haven’t read it. But maybe we could offer more visas to the immigrants, who, let’s face it, will probably be doing these jobs anyway. And this improved legal status might allow immigrants recourse if they’re abused. And it just stands to reason to me that if your co-worker can’t be exploited then you are less likely to be exploited and that itself might improve pay and working conditions on these farms and eventually Americans may consider taking these jobs again.” Stephen Colbert
In the history of convoluted logic, this stands in a seminal position in our recent congressional record, right up there with the healthcare bill being called the best thing for Americans since the New Deal, I suppose.
The Ag Jobs bill is easy to find so there is no excuse for Stephen Colbert not to have read it, since it is the subject of his “testimony” before congress. The man had zero qualifications for being there and the least he could have done is read the bill. But he didn’t.
Basically, the bill itself is a holdover from the Bush administration that was tweaked and then submitted in May of 2009 just after the new neoliberal regime took office. It establishes a legal 2nd class citizen role by handing out what they call “blue cards” to certain migrant agricultural workers which locks them into a subservient role similar to the old feudal state. They basically have to take what they are given and STFU because if they get tossed out of the program, fired from the job, they get deported back to Mexico with nothing.
And it’s not just them. The bill creates a “derivative” legal status for the “blue card” worker’s wife and children which essentially means they can’t be deported even if they are here illegally, just so long as the worker behaves himself. Imagine the threat of having yourself and your entire family deported simply because you speak up for better working conditions or more pay. Quite a threat to be leveled at the worker, quite an incentive to take what he is given and shut up… and this is what the “progressive” left and Stephen Colbert are fighting for?
That’s neoliberalism folks.
This country has struggled for 200 years to earn the rights of each and every human being; to end the idea that there is a second class citizen status in America. People have marched, protested, fought and died for that principle. And here we have the “progressive” champion Stephen Colbert arguing for the creation of a second class citizenship of slave workers in America.
If you really want to understand what this is all about, you should have a listen to the testimony of Dr. Carol Swain from Vanderbilt University, a labor rights expert and activist of over 20 years. She used to be considered a hero on the left when she was railing against the injustices of the Bush administration but now that the Obama/Clinton neoliberal regime has taken office, she is vilified on the right AND left for fighting the same good fight.
Unlike Colbert, Dr. Swain has earned her right to testify before congress on this subject and her words prove it.
“I contend that America does not have a shortage of agricultural workers, instead we have a manufactured crisis by some who would like to ensure a steady supply of cheap labor and in some cases labor that bi-passes the H2A and H2B visa programs. … these unemployment numbers indicate there are native agricultural workers actively seeking employment in the sector… America cannot continue to bring in low skilled workers to compete with the most disadvantaged Americans…. nor can it continue to turn a blind eye to illegal immigration. Often surplus labor that starts in the fields migrates into other industries. Without surplus labor, employers would be forced to pay higher wages and many would be forced to improve substandard working conditions… the UFW ‘Take Our Jobs” initiative has not, in my opinion, made a serious effort to recruit American workers, this is a publicity stunt…. the rapid influx of cheap labor from foreign countries creates an over-supply of labor that works against the interests of native workers, it depresses their wages, it reduces their opportunities, and it deters employers from investing in native human capital…. this is a disgrace. Congress needs to reform immigration and they need to protect the most disadvantaged Americans.” Dr. Carol Swain
Once this bill is passed, and it will be, it’s impact on the already suffering disadvantaged in America will be staggering. There is also nothing that states that other industries won’t push for a similar bill regarding the H2B workers. The bill calls for the agricultural workers to put in 150 days per year and that of course frees them up to work in other industries the remaining 200+. The spouses of these workers will also be free to work in the country under their “derivative” status, which of course will only help to further undermine native workers wage structure even more.
There is nothing humanitarian or “progressive” about this bill, yet that won’t stop the “moderates” on the left from getting behind it simply because Stephen Colbert showed up at congress and made a fool out of himself. And that of course was the whole point.
As the neocon/neoliberal agenda moves on, shills like Stewart and Colbert are doing their part to re-brand the cruelty and inhumanity of their corporatist agenda to make it palatable to their audience; the left. These two recent propaganda efforts only prove how tightly the threads of “centrism” are woven in our dominating culture.
But they also show something else. That it only takes a few minutes, a little research and effort, to expose the fraudulent nature of their work. The emptiness that fills their words. While Stewart argues for the whitewashing of the Bush regime’s history and Colbert clowns for the creation of an indentured servant class of slave labor, each and every remaining liberal gets a little closer to seeing them for what they are; a clearer picture of the puppets and their masters.
We won’t be fooled again.