Thursday, February 12, 2015

Shooting fish in barrels

Eric Bolling complained that Jon Stewart frequently mocked the mistakes news commentators and guests made when they were live on the air. He challenged Stewart to do his own show live, without the benefit of hours of preparation and rehearsal.

Fair enough. Stewart has not been, and I suspect will not be for the rest of his tenure, above taking cheap shots at beleaguered anchors and reporters who got flustered in the moment, the way any of us would be flustered if we were in their shoes. A nation that made Candid Camera and America's Funniest Home Videos hits obviously has a taste for cheap shots and as conservatives like to say, Stewart is just selling the public what it wants.

If a reporter gets flustered while covering breaking news, I can generally ignore the flub. But when a commentator, in the heat of a discussion, says something dumb or offensive, I'm less forgiving. He might not have wanted to air the thought, but he did and there's no taking it back. That's how the game works. Bolling knows that. So does every other talk show participant. If you don't want to be called out for saying stupid things, don't go on a talk show.

Bolling likened Stewart's zingers to shooting fish in a barrel. Well, if you're on the receiving end of those zingers, Eric, remember: you jumped into the barrel.

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