"CNN sort of started it. They had this idea that, you know, the fight in Washington is Republicans and Democrats. So why don't we isolate that and we'll stand back here and Democrats and Republicans will go at it. Red and blue staters will go at it. What it does is amplifies a division that I actually don't think is the right fight," Stewart said.
"What I do believe is both sides have their way of shutting down debate and the news networks have allowed these two sides to become the fight in the country. And I think the fight in the country is corruption vs. not corruption. Extremists vs. regular [people]."
I don't know, Jon. How about fantasy vs. reality? How about "liberals are fascists" vs. "fascists are fascists"? How about, "You belong to the reality-based community" vs. "WE belong to the reality-based community." How about "Obama is Kenyan" vs. "Obama's father was Kenyan." How about "The federal debt 30 years from now is an immediate crisis!" vs. "Real unemployment close to 20% is an immediate crisis"? How about "global warming is a hoax" vs. "global warming is just one of several ways in which human activity is pushing the Earth beyond the limits of sustainability in its current state"? How about "Iraq had WMDs" vs. "Bush was developing war plans for Iraq before 9/11."
Now, MSNBC doesn't perfectly embody the "reality" side of the above. Nobody does. And there are folks--like Amy Goodman, for example--who consistently do it better. But as far as major corporate media entities are concerned, the FOX/MSNBC divide can be said to match "fantasy vs. reality" nearly as well as it matches "Red vs. Blue".
So it seems to me, Jon, that you might want to go back to the drawing board and ponder that a bit, before coming up with your next grand plan for how the media might should organize itself. Plenty of "regular people" wouldn't know reality if it came up and bit them in the ass:
And plenty of folks you might call "extremists" are "extremists" precisely because they are in touch with reality. Heck, they might even know that George Bush is war criminal.