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Tom Junod's fascinating profile of Jon Stewart

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Double Down, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    It essentially eviscerates Stewart by walking you through the way he yearns to have influence, while at the same time hiding behind the shield of "I have no power, and I want to power, I'm a comedian! I'm in this for laughs!"

    http://www.esquire.com/features/jon-stewart-profile-1011

    I don't know that I agree with the conclusion (even if I appreciate the journey as a writer), but I will say this is what struck me most: At its essence, all great writing is the extension of great thinking. The powers of description are fine. They can make for nice writing. But being able to construct an argument this nuanced is like juggling 50 plates while walking a tight rope.

    Junod's mind is incredible.
     
  2. GBNF

    GBNF Active Member

    Yeah, except his entire lede was based on the false assumption that Stewart was implying he was better than the Fox News guy, rather than DIFFERENT.

    Stewart doesn't say "You think you and I are the same?" in a value-determining way. He's saying, "I'm a comedian who talks about politics for a comedy channel and you're a news man for a right-leaning news organization." There's a difference. And then Junod takes off on this rant about it being unfunny, when I cracked up the entire time.

    I'm a big Junod fan, but not of this. May be good writing, but not good.
     
  3. I read four pages and didn't like it... Did Junod talk to Stewart at all?
    I wouldn't call this a profile. It's Tom Junod's take on Stewart's schtick. And again - and I only read four pages - did he get Stewart's take on his thoughts?
     
  4. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Here is an interesting journalism question: does Junod need Stewart for this? I don't think he does. Magazine profiles have a rich history of not being objective. I say this as someone who loves Stewart.
     
  5. if you want to write a column? No... A profile w/o talking to the subject...Frank Sinatra has a Cold this ain't.
    To me this is a lot of Junod's observation with quotes sprinkled in to support his notions.
     
  6. YGBFKM

    YGBFKM Guest

    Thanks, DD, for having some perspective.
     
  7. baddecision

    baddecision Member

    For pure skill in explanatory writing, look at "Price Bullies are Beautiful" by Ken Kurson on page 80 of that same issue. I care very little for economics, Coca-Cola or the stock market, but this one-page article explained the under-the-surface, follow-the-money truth to me in crystal-clear fashion.
     
  8. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    No. In fact, it works better without Stewart, with the approach he took. This wasn't meant as a straight profile of Stewart. It was meant to be an analysis of Stewart's legacy from the outside looking in. The point was that Stewart has had his say for the last 10 years. Now it was Junod's turn to tell us what it all has meant.

    I really enjoyed it, particularly with the Rolling Stone interview of Stewart the same week. They worked very well as unintended complementary pieces.
     
  9. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    It sure made me want to go out and buy KO stock, that's for sure.
     
  10. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I thought the story was less interesting than Jones playing Bert to Timberlake's Ernie.
     
  11. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Did you really read it Mizzou? It echoes some of your complaits about Stewart.
     
  12. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I actually thought it was kind of harsh.

    I think Stewart is brilliant. There have been times where his fawning over a politician has been tiresome. Hell, he's even said his behavior in the John Kerry interview before the 2004 election even embarrassed him when he watched it again.

    Lately, I think he's been very balanced. Hell, as mentioned on other threads, the Solyndra piece they did on TDS was harsher than anything they've had on the networks and that includes Fox.
     
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