Funny man serious about politics

Many talking-hothead shows are as politically informative as kittens fighting to the death.

Fast-paced and high-energy talk shows, such as “Crossfire” and “The O’Reilly Factor,” are all the rage these days. Unfortunately, many of them are about as politically informative as watching rabid kittens fight to the death. Earlier this month, “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart gave talking-hothead shows a tongue-lashing that was well-deserved.

In an appearance on the much touted “Crossfire” with Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson, Stewart accused them and others like them of being partisan hacks. He also accused them of being political toys in a giant media machine. Stewart’s criticisms are not without merit.

Often, talking-head shows claim to be hard-hitting journalists, when in fact they are just hard-hitting hacks. The recent shows of popularity have blurred the line of news analysis and comic mockery. Stewart is very clear about his job. He announces that he is a fake newscaster. He is a comedian doing comedic work on a comedian television channel.

Unfortunately, other media personalities have chosen not to make such a distinction. Instead, they present their talking points as original analysis and only further polarize the country. Instead of explanations, the hosts aim for zingers.

Instead of clearing the issues, they have muddied the waters. They make the issue unclear by sneeringly stating the talking point defenses of the various campaigns. They claim to be journalists and as such must look at the issues at hand and present them. Instead, the analysis has been reduced to who can say the most cutting remark the quickest.

Stewart’s criticism is a welcome one. Instead of the one-sided bombast of senseless exhaust of pundits claiming to be journalists, Stewart provides a keen wit and intelligence to take a look at politics. More so-called journalists should take the cue from this comedian and look at the campaigns with a serious and critical eye, not to grab the most attention, but to provide the best information. Our democracy deserves better.