When will they ever learn?

Fox News is a favorite target of Jon Stewart who mercilessly lampoons their pretensions to being a news organization. It must clearly get under their skin since they know that young people watch the show in large numbers and this is the demographic TV lusts after. Every once in a while, someone at Fox decides to try and fight back.

This is a big mistake. You should never take on a good stand up comedian (which Stewart used to be) unless you are on rock-solid ground. They are usually smart and quick-witted because they hone their skills by batting down hecklers. Add to that a comedian who has at his disposal his own TV show, a team of skilled comedy writers, and people who can comb through the vast treasure trove of news and old videos, and you are just asking to be clobbered.

Fox News personality Eric Bolling is the latest victim. He took umbrage at Jon Stewart’s ridiculing his network’s characterization of how poor people use food stamps and decided to take him to task and ‘school’ him. As I could have told Bolling from seeing other people try something similar, he was the one who was going to be taken to the woodshed.

And so it came to pass last Thursday, in the form of a brilliantly savage takedown.

(These clips aired on March 13, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)

Bolling came back last Saturday with a feeble attempt to say that he and Stewart agreed on something. Luckily for him, The Daily Show is taking a break this past week so he was spared a further humiliation. At least until the show returns.


  1. Francisco Bacopa says

    And how do we know that Fox News didn’t pay surfer dude to buy lobster tails with his EBT card?

    And fuck that “Job Creator” bullshit. Banks and businesses are sitting on mountains of cash. Banks don’t even want cash holdings anymore. There are tons of idle cash that could be supporting growth. So why doesn’t it support growth. Lack of consumer demand.

    So what do we need to do? Further increase personal exemptions and dependent deductions and lower the weekly paycheck cut for lower income working people. Restore Obama’s payroll tax holiday for new hires. And spend the hell out of infrastructure improvements.

    And how do we pay for this? Up the capital gains rates to the 90’s level and tax the crap out of estate transfers. Call it the “death tax” if you want, but if we are really to have a level playing field we have to tax large inheritances at a high rate.

  2. says

    Lobster tails? It’s legal to buy any sort of food with a SNAP card, as long as it isn’t sold for consumption on the seller’s premises, including his parking lot. Note that feeding people is actually a side effect of SNAP (originally Food Stamps) . It was written as a goodie for the farm lobby.

  3. Onamission5 says

    My first thought was that while buying lobster isn’t a particularly prudent use of limited resources, the guy buying it likely knows very well what the longer term cost to him is going to be and has calculated that going hungry later is worth a splurge now.

    I realize that fox was implying that enrolling in SNAP is so profitable one is able to eat like a millionaire (or a resident of coastal Maine) all the time. Reality, as if fox has ever heard of it, is that buying expensive food items means your SNAP runs out faster. Unlike the taxpayer funding that fox’s favorite pundits enjoy, which provides for them to eat lobster every day if they so choose, whether they go to work or not.

  4. lochaber says

    So first they rant about people having refrigerators.

    And then they rant about people buying ready-to-eat food, or take out, or well, basically anything that doesn’t involve a refrigerator, stove, or microwave (it’s been a while since I’ve seen the original clip complaining about refrigerator ownership, but I think it involved several appliances that are generally viewed by most (reasonable) people as necessities…)

    Relatively recently, I’ve repeatedly run across the idea that extreme poverty/wealth inequality is a form of form of violence, and should be treated as such (no idea if it’s recently gained popularity, or if I’ve just encountered it recently). And the more this bullshit continues, the more I question my dedication to pacifism…

  5. says

    The problem for Fox Nuisance, the republiclowns, teabaggers and others in the right wing echo chamberpot is that they assume everyone does things the same way they do.

    They don’t just do poor research, they ignore facts that contradict their arguments. And then they are surprised when those like Stewart , FAIR or Media Matters expose them. Those who don’t fact check don’t expect to be fact checked.

  6. Wylann says

    I don’t know what the current level is, but I would like to see inheritance tax not be punitive on the middle class. I’m not sure what typical inheritance is for a middle class family, but I would guess that it is less than $250k. I would like to see at least the first $500k (total, or maybe $250k/person breakdown) or so not be taxed, so that those who do modestly well can at least help out those who stand to benefit from it. Going from living paycheck to paycheck to having $500k or so, especially if it’s set up in a trust fund or something like a 401k, maybe, has the potential to really help those who are struggling, without letting the 1%ers off without paying any taxes.

  7. khms says

    I just had an idea.

    Divide the total population in three groups, by how much of the nation they own. Those owning the smallest pieces, accumulated to a third of the total, don’t get to pay any direct tax¹. Of the total tax amount, the middle third pays one third, and the top third pays two thirds. (Presumably the actual rates would be on some slope, not making large jumps at the boundaries, avoiding the “earning more means going home with less” problem.)

    How many people would be in each group? What would the tax rate of the 1% be?

    ¹Indirect tax – like sales tax – is a debate of its own. Right now, I tend to the position that they’re fine if the point is influencing behavior (like reducing smoking with a tobacco tax), but not when the point is getting more tax money, and dicey when the point is to tax supposed luxuries. But I could probably be convinced to shift my position on this.

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