THE BLOG
12/15/2009 11:00 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Jon, Stephen, You're Off Track Lately

Recently Jon Stewart had right-wing fundamentalist Mike Huckabee on his show--for the third time! They had their usual cutesie conversation which seems designed to show liberals that Huckabee is not such a bad guy, by allowing him to banter humorously with Stewart, appearing reasonable while never actually giving any ground on any of his core right-wing beliefs. Jon, c'mon, leave the puffball questioning to Larry King, okay?
Soon after, Stephen Colbert had on Andy Schlafly, son of staunch anti-feminist right-winger Phyllis Schlafly, where they discussed Schlafly's idiotic and totalitarian project "conservapedia," which among other "1984-type" efforts is "re-translating" the Bible to make it even more conservative. Had Colbert taken Schlafly apart for altering "God's Word," perhaps it would have been worthwhile. Alas, that night Colbert left his usual rapier wit in his other suit...
Hey, guys, I love you both--but to quote a famous and wise comedian, "I watch your show every day. And it kills me." At least lately. You just seem off track recently. Let Rahm appease the right-wingers, your job is to mock them when they pander to their fundamentalist or corporate backers.
And if you're hurting for intelligent, smart guests, who have actually written something more useful to American democracy than Huckabee's latest book of Christmas stories or Schlafly's bad translations of the Bible, why not invite on your show my friend David Swanson, author of Daybreak, a great book on the crumbling of our Constitutional rights? His small-press, internet-driven book sales actually topped Glenn Beck's dreck on the nonfiction list! (Isn't that alone worthy of recognition?)
Or consider another friend of mine, Kevin Alexander Gray, a long-time African-American grassroots activist and writer who can talk intelligently about two books of his that should matter in our current politics, Waiting for Lightning to Strike or The Decline of Black Politics.
Or invite on some more grassroots folks who aren't my friends.
My point is, if you're not ready to rest on your laurels just yet, then don't forget the historic court jester roles you had been playing in American politics. Keep speaking truth to power. And don't forget to keep inviting on your shows some of those less-powerful voices to help you do so.
We still need you.