Like everyone else in the blogosphere, I enjoyed watching Jon Stewart attack the CNN Crossfire hosts on their own show (I saw the Windows Media clip via BitTorrent). The only problem is the confrontation took place on Crossfire, which means reaction shots of the guffawing audience, a pre-prepared graphic of Stewart's softball Kerry questions designed to make Stewart look weak and stupid, the emphasis on gotchas and zingers that seems to be TV's sole reason for being, and, worst of all, the presence of the two toxic hosts, doing their best to get the better of their guest. Stewart's admission that he watches their show every day considerably weakened his case in my eyes. Attacking the show on the show innately smells of co-opting--it just provides more "good television."
Stewart opened with a statement that he had been calling the show bad elsewhere, and felt it was only fair to say it to their faces. I enjoyed that fact that he slapped them around on their own turf.
I really think the only meaningful way to combat the shouting head shows is not to watch them (and for invited people, not to go on them as a guest). Otherwise it's like railing against factory farming while continuing to eat shrinkwrapped meat. I get most of my info about those shows secondhand, from reading or clips--that's enough. With the Presidential debates, I snapped off the TV the second they ended so as not to witness "spin alley."
novak is the patron saint of crossfire. on the daily show because of the plame affair, stewart has been calling novak a douchebag every chance he gets. the show really is awful. i try to watch it every once in a while and am always put off.