I apologize for putting up two Daily Show posts in a row, but this is a topic that particularly interests me: blogging. Self-proclaimed “blogging evangelist,” Arianna Huffington was on to plug the new Huffington Post book. She gives pointers on what people should blog about and spars with Stewart over just how much should be blogged about.
Although I visit her site constantly, I find Huffington to be a bit abrasive. It may just be the fact that she sounds like The Count from Sesame Street talking politics, but her site bothers me when it puts up stories like this one. It calls Sarah Palin out for wearing the same clothes at appearances that she wore on the campaign trail, the same ones they made fun of her for spending too much money on. If I buy a coat for even just $300, I’m wearing that coat in the shower sleeping in it. This kind of counter logic that plagues all partisan punditry, detracts from the site’s credibility.
It is safe to say I am a huge Jon Stewart fan, but this interview makes me question where he stands in the old journalism versus new journalism debate. Stewart points out the perceived weaknesses of blogging and doesn’t really act convinced by Huffington’s arguments against them. In fact, his argument that people don’t really need to blog about eggplants, is kind of stupid. At the end of the day, if there are people who want to know more about eggplants and you have that information, throw it out there.
Maybe Jon Stewart was just prodding his interviewee to get her ideas across. After all, though the interview did not close an argument, it never got personal. Maybe he wasn’t expressing his ideas, but the ideas of a part of society. But it seems to me that when Stewart interviews someone he agrees with, he works to get these people to express why their ideas are right and possible counterarguments are wrong. With Huffington he criticized her and didn’t point out blogging’s merits much.
This makes me nervous when one of the leading political voices of our generation (you’re just lying to yourself if you don’t see it), not buying into what I see as the future of journalism. But then it hit me that this may not be the case. This interview revealed a little animosity between the two, particularly the part where they talk about Stewart blogging for Huffington. I’d be surprised if he did this because of the ridiculously liberal skew of the site, but he seemed a little annoyed with her in general. I believe Stewart’s lukewarm treatment of Huffington is much like the way hot, but kind girls act towards ugly, but forward guys when they’re trying to bring them home from a bar. These girls aren’t objecting to the idea of sex, but more to sex with those guys, so they act pleasant but don’t leave the possibility out there.
This was not Stewart’s finest interview, but there is still plenty of hope for blogging. I just hope Stewart and Huffington have an affair, because the hits on this post will shoot right through the roof.