Episode 37: Fair and Balanced

The Overthinkers tackle the Watchmen movie one last time, the Jim Cramer vs. John Stewart showdown, and our Google Reader habits.

Mark Lee hosts as he, Matt Belinkie, and Josh McNeil overthink the Watchmen movie one last time (at least on the podcast), the Jim Cramer vs. John Jon Stewart showdown, and our Google Reader habits. Plus, Lee reveals a deep, dark secret from his past for the first time. (Feel free to flame him in the comments.)

Tell us what you think! Email podcast AT overthinkingit DOT com or call 20-EAT-LOG-01—that’s (203) 285-6401. And do us a favor and take the very short survey!

Download Episode 37 (MP3)

9 Comments on “Episode 37: Fair and Balanced”

  1. Swirthe #

    What’s happened to all the posts? This is the first real thing in over a week, and I can’t listen to it at work!
    I miss daily doses of overthinking!


  2. fenzel #

    Overthinker Stokes is getting married, and most of the writers on this site converged in New York City this past weekend for his bachelor party. We also were planning it ahead of time.

    So yeah, we’ve been kind of distracted :-)

    No worries, we’re ramping up content again, and you’ll be seeing the return of a regular flow of overthinking soon – in fact, it has already begun!


  3. Gab #

    I don’t really think Stewart asserting himself is as inappropriate as all that. Al Franken used to say the same sort of “at the end of the day, I’m a comedian,” kind of thing, and now look at him. And when reading his books and listening to his commentary in interviews years before he actually ran for office, many (myself included) felt he SHOULD run because he was so capable of analyzing, critiquing, and red-flagging- and add to it his ability to make it funny successfully, and you have a brilliant man. So I don’t think being a comedian doesn’t necessarily make one lose credit for commenting if they are capable like Franken or Stewart. (Another example of a comedian that proves extremely articulate and intelligent is Bill Maher.) Let’s not forget how comedy makes things more accessible, either- so I can’t help but say Stewart’s being a comedian makes this even more powerful. It means so much to him that he brought it up and yes, started dropping the F bomb, thereby touching his audience- a group of which a large chunk would have no idea what is going on otherwise with an issue it would be in their best interest to know about. Bringing it to comedy brings it to a level “the average person would understand,” giving it the accessibility regular politicians strive for. Someone calling him the “Walter Chronkite of our generation” or whatever proves why he’s necessary: the serious media is doing such a poor job that it’s up to the COMEDIANS to call people on their sh**. This has come up with regards to him in the past, like during his big Bill-O battle (and same with Al Franken, too, during his).

    (I’d totally dig a Podcast devoted to politics, btw. Hell, I’d be sad I wasn’t able to participate directly.)

    I don’t listen to Rush, but I watch Bill-O because it makes me righteously indignant. I agree that they probably *should* have let FOX host a debate and a good opportunity was missed there. I don’t know if “proud” is the right word, but I was certainly glad when Obama spent all of that time on FOX- he gained access to a crowd that would normally only hear about him when the “terrorist fist jab?”-esque stuff was being thrown about. But this does make me wonder how often CONSERVATIVES watch MSNBC for the same reasons liberals watch FOX- do people that watch Bill-O for serious also watch Olbermann to throw their banana peels at the screen the way I and others to the inverse?

    I use iGoogle apps that function like Google Reader on my homepage for my news- I’m signed up for a few sources like NYTimes, Google News (which, admittedly, sometimes links to the same things as the others), BBC, and AP. I also have the only C-Span related one (it doesn’t give articles, but vidz). Every so often, I’m able to catch the news on TV, and I’ll jump around among the Big Three. And I do watch C-Span if I’m home when they’re on the floor (or supposed to be, at least…). (I have Overthinkingit posts and comments in my Google Reader. ::stalker:: )

    Oh, and I wouldn’t flame you Lee, even if you still listened to Rush for serious. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I lose my respect when they automatically disregard what someone has to say because they know it’s different. And when someone thinks everyone is entitled to THEIR opinion (as in everyone must agree with MEEEEEEEE and you’re a moronic asshat if you don’t).


  4. Rob #

    I agree with McNeil’s sentiment that today, there seems to be almost no publicly held distinction between politics and entertainment; but this is hardly a new phenomenon. For crying out loud, it’s more than 40 years since California elected Ronald “Gipper” Reagan as its governor. And even before the advent of radio-television-interwebs, politics always was a part of popular culture, or at least of the culture experienced by those who were eligible to vote. Andrew Jackson and Robert E. Lee were famous in their times, William Jennings Bryan and Theodore Roosevelt in theirs. Politicians have always sought to conflate politics and entertainment; for some early American examples, google the phrase “the age of the lowest common denominator man”… (links seem to be giving me trouble in submitting this comment…)

    The most striking thing to me in the “Stewart-versus-Cramer” hoopla is that the media chose to portray this as a personality clash instead of as a critique of the media establishment. And by ignoring Jon Stewart’s point, they pretty much made it for him. But they had every reason to get it wrong – a) personality conflicts are easier to understand and easier to hype, which boosts ratings, and b) of course they want to divert viewers’ attention from the fact that mass media serve the-powers-that-be more than they serve the-people-at-large. So it’s a real catch-22 – how can we convey to the masses that mass media don’t work for us?

    Belinkie – “daily kos” rhymes with “daily dose”; the dude’s name is “Markos” and he goes by “kos” for short.

    Wrather – it’s “Jon” Stewart, short for “Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz”. No “h” in his nickname, or in that of most other famous Jonathans. (Lil Jon, rapper from Atlanta; Jon Favreau, speechwriter for President Obama; Jon Kyl, US Senator from Arizona; Jon Arbuckle, lonely schizophrenic comic strip character). In fact, “Jonathan” is closer in origin to “Nathan” than it is to “John” – in Hebrew, Jonathan means “gift of God”, and Nathan means “gift”, while “John” and “Jonah” are Anglicized versions of the Hebrew Jochanan, “God is gracious” (cf. Hannah, “grace”). Unfortunately, the latest generation of parents didn’t get the memo and has started inserting a second “h”, naming kids “Johnathan” and obscuring the true etymology of ostensibly Biblically-derived names.


  5. Matthew Belinkie OTI Staff #

    @Rob – That’s a good catch about the pronunciation of “Daily Kos.” It’s something I type everyday, but never ever say outloud.


  6. Gab #

    AH!! Congratulations, Stokes!


  7. Swirthe #

    @Fenzel: Fair enough! Hope it was good. Congratulations to Stokes!


  8. stokes OTI Staff #

    Aw, shucks. Thanks, everyone! (And yes, it was awesome.)


  9. John P #

    To answer Matt Belinkie’s (probably) spurious question that started off the podcast: no, all the money that was lost did not have to go anywhere. Short version: a lot of that wealth existed only on paper.

    Mark Lee has a voice for radio. It’s smooth and comforting, like whiskey with a black label.


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