When Jerks Collide


I learned a valuable lesson from observing the Iran-Iraq war back in the 80s. Namely that, despite what all the movies and TV shows I’d watched growing up suggested — in some fights, there is no “good guy.”

In other words, there are some wars where you don’t root for one side or the other, you just sit back and hope they inflict as much damage upon each other as possible and keep each other occupied.

I was reminded of that truth when I saw a clip of Jon Stewart’s recent interview of Chris Matthews on the Daily Show. I’m no Chris Matthews fan. I find his style obnoxious and his views offensive. But 30 seconds into the interview I found myself actually feeling a little sorry for Matthews. (Sort of like I used to feel sorry for the human waves of Iranian fanatics when Saddam would use mustard gas on them.)

What struck me as I watched the interview was how completely cynicism has consumed Jon Stewart’s persona. It’s more than his schtick now, it seems to be his religion and his worldview.

You can watch the whole awkward spectacle here.

It is no wonder Stewart is this nihilist-postmodern generation’s Walter Cronkite.

Of course, the true parallel to the Iran-Iraq war would be Jon Stewart and Bill Maher interviewing each other. Each would have half of the audience filled with mindless goons to whoop and hoot every time their guy got off a “good one.”

You know, that’s not a bad idea. They could keep each other occupied.