On The Daily Show Jon Stewart called out Fox News’ hypocrisy on their support of the Bush tax cuts and their demonization of Wisconsin teachers. Stewart said, “Not when it comes to the Bush tax cuts. They’re not big shot teachers with their desks, seemingly endless supply of multi-colored construction papers, oh, and their number two pencils.”
First the Fox News support for Walker’s war on teachers:
Stewart described Walker’s position as, “We all are in it together. All of us have to sacrifice. Teachers, teacher’s assistants, student teachers, retired teachers, school janitors, everybody has to sacrifice. Why teachers? Well as Republicans and their kin in the media know, you gots to follow the money.”
Jon Stewart played a clip of Fox’s Eric Bolling saying, “We’re taking a $90,000 nine months’ worth of work all in package. Boy that sounds pretty darn good to the 14 million people who out of work.” The Daily Show host responded, “You know what? That does sound great to someone without a job, and did you know, you’re not even gonna believe this, some of these fat cat public school kids are getting a hot breakfast free every morning. I’ll bet starving people’d like a piece of that action. Don’t ya think?”
Then the Fox News hypocrisy about the Bush tax cuts:
Stewart said, “These folks just want teachers to give back, because they believe that $50,000 in salary plus medical and dental benefits incredibly generous bordering on avarice, and I imagine these same people will feel the same way about couples earning more than $250,000 a year being asked to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire so that they would have to pay a slightly higher income tax rate.”
Cue the video of Fox News and Republicans freaking out and claiming that people who make $250,000 are not rich. After the video Stewart said, “No, that is not. Not when it comes to the Bush tax cuts. They’re not big shot teachers with their desks, seemingly endless supply of multi-colored construction papers, oh, and their number two pencils. I guess number 3 pencils aren’t good enough for your majesty.”
After video of Fox News defending the Wall Street bailouts and arguing for Wall St. CEO pay, Stewart said, “Absolutely, we have got to pay those bailed out firm CEOs top dollar. Otherwise those companies could end up being run by a couple of jackasses who f**k things up so royally that it torpedoes the entire global economy. Would you want that to happen? Now to be fair, let’s be fair. We are nothing but fair. We could not have cut those Wall St. CEOs’ pay even if we wanted to. They had contracts.”
Then a montage of Fox News talking heads claiming the iron clad CEO contracts could not be broken was followed by Stewart saying, “Absolutely, you know our financial system is built on faith. Our word is our bond, and even if we could get the Wall Street bonus money back, what do want the Wall St. workers to do? Untake those two weeks on a yacht in St. Martin? Unrerennovate their kitchen? By the way, what about rescinding contractual obligations to teachers?”
Stewart played a clip of Fox’s Tracy Byrnes arguing against the teachers’ contract, and concluded, “She’s absolutely right, and I say this. When will America’s teachers follow the lead of Wall Street, and start making some sacrifices for the children?”
The hypocrisy is obvious. If people making $250,000 aren’t rich, then how are teachers who make only $50,000 overpaid? Why is a Wall Street CEO’s contract an untouchable binding document, but the teachers’ contract can be tossed aside at any second? The answer can be found in the right’s blind faith in the infallible nature of the private sector. In their view, the private sector is always better and more deserving, even when, as was the case with the Wall St. bailouts, the facts prove that they really aren’t. For the right, ideology trumps logic, reason, and consistent argument.
Jon Stewart was 100% correct, but to the right the public sector is always bad, because they see government itself as always bad. There are no facts involved in this belief. Their convictions don’t change on a case by case basis. The private sector is always good and government is always bad, end of story. This myopic dogmatic thought process has led many on the right to shut off their ability to critically think and be guided by blind faith in the free market and emotion.
The result of this psychology is the fatal flaw in the way that conservatives govern. Most Republicans don’t see these ideological inconsistencies, and if they do see them, they don’t care. This self imposed intellectual blind spot is why right wing conservatives always fail when they attempt to govern, just as Scott Walker is doing right now in Wisconsin. Ideology isn’t a one size fits all solution, and as Jon Stewart highlighted when ideology is not consistently applied, the right ends up looking like a bunch of hypocrites and fools.