Once it was announced that Jon Stewart would retire from the Daly Show, you just knew it would set the chattering classes atwitter. The first wave of commentary would be fawning; we would hear about his comedic genius, how he changed the media landscape forever, and about how the fact that he launched so many other comedic careers is a testament to his enduring legacy...
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Matt K. Lewis
Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.
Some random thoughts about the media shock waves still reverberating this morning...
Responding to Vox's interview with President Obama, Politico Magazine's Jack Shafer accused the outlet of serving up softballs, noting: "I’ve seen subtler Scientology recruitment films." There is little doubt Shafer is right, and yet, isn't it interesting that -- despite the absence of contentious questioning -- President Obama still managed to say something controversial? (I'm referring to the president's agreeing that the media is guilty of hyping the threat of terrorism.)
It might be hard for non-writers to believe, but I almost never have an idea which of my columns will connect and which won't. There are things that I suspect will drive the debate, but go nowhere. And then there are things that surprise me when they strike a chord. I can't predict.
Politics is a microcosm of life. We pretend we can control events, but events so often shape us.
A couple days ago, Arizona Cardinals linebacker Larry Foote voiced criticism over Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch's example.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Rand Paul (and a few others) have sparked controversy over comments regarding vaccinations these last few days. It'll be hard to complain when this is cited as evidence of a Republican "war on science" -- even though the anti-vaxxer movement is composed of strange bedfellows.
Writing in the Daily Beast last week, Romney strategist Stu Stevens sought to explain why Mitt Romney opted out of a third presidential bid. "Running for president is a lot like trying to make it to the Super Bowl," Stevens said. "It’s terribly difficult to get there and once you do, half the teams lose."
Andrew Sullivan is retiring as a blogger, and though there's some suggestion his influence has waned, his farewell message raises questions about the medium and the toll it takes on writers. It's hard to bitch about being paid to blog (working a "real" job would be tougher), but being tied to a blog -- where you are perpetually expected to immediately have an opinion on every issue, and where the demand for constant content requires five or ten posts a day, every day -- can become a man-made prison.
Today marks the 29th anniversary of the Challenger disaster, and, of course, the speech President Ronald Reagan delivered that night.
A source tells Politico that Sen. Marco Rubio won an informal straw poll of donors at a recent Koch Brothers meeting.
One of the biggest mistakes a mayor or governor can make is to be unprepared for a storm. Say what you will about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, but this is a part of the job he has always embraced. And yesterday, when reports indicated a crippling snow was imminent, he instituted a travel ban.
My Sunday column in the London Telegraph will be on "Why The Left Hates American Sniper." (That's my beta title, at least.) You'll have to read it for more on why liberals are off base on this one. But my thoughts on the film exceed the 750 word column limit, and there's one aspect to this whole controversy that I didn't have room to address, and that is this: Despite the fact that patriotic and/or Christian-themed movies tend to do terrific at the box office (and, in the case of Sniper, also received six Oscar nominations), Hollywood doesn't seem to make that many of them.
By now, you've probably heard that pusillanimous Republicans have abandoned a bill that would have banned the vast majority of abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. (That's five months, for those keeping score.) Mollie Hemingway has written the definitive explanation for why this is cowardly and stupid. But I'd like to add a few additional thoughts....
Footballs aren't the only thing deflated. News that the "NFL has found that 11 of the New England Patriots' 12 game balls were inflated significantly below the NFL's requirements" may make it harder for the casual fan to root for the Pats in good conscience.
We spend a lot of time these days playing to the base and preaching to the choir, hurling fiery banter and red meat, and then -- when we win (forgive me for the mixed metaphors) -- dancing in the End Zone.
President Obama will call on tax hikes for top earners, coupled with other measures designed to help the middle class, during his upcoming State of the Union address. Regardless of the merits of these proposals (and I suspect there are pros and cons), this is a smart political fight to pick.
In the wake of the attack on Charlie Hebdo, you might have heard Pope Francis' most recent comments: "If my good friend Dr. [Alberto] Gasparri says a curse word against my mother," the pontiff said, "he can expect a punch. It's normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others."
My latest column for The Week grapples with why the conservative base backed George W. Bush in 2000, but is giving the cold shoulder to brother Jeb today. There are multiple reasons, but RedState's Erick Erickson hits on a fascinating theory that I missed. In short, blame Dick Cheney.
Writing at the Washington Post, Dana Milbank mocks Republicans who are criticizing President Obama's absence from the Paris unity rally, noting that "A decade ago, Republicans in Congress were renaming French fries 'freedom fries' and French toast 'freedom toast' because of that country’s refusal to support the Iraq war."