Bully Pulpit 101 – Your instructor – Professor Emeritus Jon Stewart

The 911 First Responders Bill…

Also known as the Zadroga bill – was apparently DOA in the US Senate with faint hope that the anemic  resuscitation attempts by the democrats would be successful.    The bill itself seemed almost forgotten in the morass of the of the tax bill, repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell, and nuclear START treaty.

Enter Jon Stewart and the Daily Show….

After his much criticized rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial – Jon Stewart did what he does best – he took on one issue – mounted the bully pulpit and shamed the republicans into action.

The bottom line was that the  business interests of a robber baron economy were holding this bill hostage.  How dare anyone get in the way of a corporations off-shore account?  No one wants their beloved loopholes closed and since democrats are beholden to the same interests as republicans – the bill went nowhere.

But Jon Stewart doesn’t get campaign contributions –

so – he did what the previous masters of the bully pulpit did:
On his show he..

1. Presented the issue
2. Emphasized the following:

  • that it is not getting covered by mainstream media
  • that democrats are not pushing the bill strongly enough
  • that the 911 cheerleaders in on the right are more worried about taxes for the rich
  • that the bill is being held up because to pay for it, corporate tax loopholes would have to be closed.

3. Interviewed first responders on national television who have a real financial stake in the outcome and have suffered financially as well as physically.

A History of the Bully Pulpit:

This is not rocket science. The bully pulpit was invented by Theodore  Roosevelt who counted the adjective “bully” for meaning “wonderful” or “superb.”  He referred to the White House as a  “bully pulpit”  because it could be used as the ultimate platform for pushing an agenda.   FDR, Harry Truman, JFK, and Ronald Reagan all made use of the bully pulpit and their agendas did well by their efforts.  Where was Obama in all of this?

Jon Stewart “did” while others “negotiated”…..

The result was that as the story was picked up it went mainstream where the republicans couldn’t broom the bill  under the rug.  It was front and center for all to see and get angry about.   And the best thing is this – it left the republicans with little or no “ethical out” for not passing the bill…

Further Reading:

The Republican’s final excues

Jon Stewart Gives Up:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Worst Responders
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
9/11 First Responders React to the Senate Filibuster
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

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2 Responses to Bully Pulpit 101 – Your instructor – Professor Emeritus Jon Stewart

  1. Cletis says:

    We need a new Mount Rushmore for citizens. Stewart should be first.

  2. admin says:

    Well – the NY Times suggested he was becoming a latter day Edward R. Murrow. I wasn’t around when he was reporting, but I have read a great deal about Murrow and I must say – Stewart has some of his passion. Those who think of him as a light-weight comic do so at their own risk.

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