Jon Stewart gets a (mythical) Reinhold Niebuhr award* for bringing good temper and integrity into the political fight.
The highest level of political ethics is to call out members of one’s own party. We expect to see Republicans calling out leftish commentators like Keith Olbermann, just as we expect to see Democrats criticizing Bill O”Reilly. And to see Bill-O and Keith ranting out each other. Ho hum, no surprise there, and no contribution to the integrity of the political fight.
But when liberal Jon Stewart calls out liberal Keith Olbermann, that’s BIG, and surprising, and a contribution.
Our civic society is being ripped by the bitter antagonism between left and right, the worst since the bad old days of Senator Joe McCarthy, red hunts, and leftish defenses of Soviet spies. It’s made worse by the ease of getting all one’s news from a kind of “Daily Me,” an assortment of media that reflect only one’s own bias.
Stewart’s fair and balanced skewering of fellow-liberal Olbermann is in the highest traditions of Niebuhr’s goal of a healthy society. And funny as all get-out. Watch it at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/22/jon-stewart-takes-on-keit_n_433179.html
Christian theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote, ‘The temper of and integrity with which the political fight is waged is more important for the health of our society than the outcome of any issue or campaign.”