With regard to Rush Limbaugh:
The standard excuse people like Mr Limbaugh make in these circumstances can be encapsulated in a word: "entertainer". His political allies also offer him this cover. Whenever cornered on why he has fibbed, or gone too far, or not proposed constructive public policy himself, he'll fall back "my job is to provoke" and the like.With regard to Job Stewart:
Jon Stewart is vastly different from Mr Limbaugh temperamentally, and far more sympathetic, and from the other side of the political spectrum. Yet the host of Comedy Central's "Daily Show" tries a similar trick. He really is funny, and yes, he is paid by Comedy Central. But he is undeniably a national political figure. Every night, the show's take of the day's politics is eagerly consumed by millions. It is satire, but with an unmistakable political bite. [..]Here's the thing: Mr Stewart is also prone to constant criticism of journalists, doing more than just hinting that only he, Jon Stewart, tells the hard truths and asks the tough questions. He famously ripped the political-journalist class as a guest on one of its television programmes, Crossfire, in 2004. [..] But when Tucker Carlson, one of the hosts, challenged him by asking why Mr Stewart had failed to be tough in an interview with John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, Mr Stewart retreated: "If you wanna compare your show to a comedy show, you're more than welcome."Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy Job Stewart. But after reading this opinion-piece, I wonder how much of it I enjoy because our political opinions align more than mine do with Rush Limbaugh's. However, the most interesting part of the piece was the recommendation of whenever you made something up, went too far, or just plain wrong, you can just call yourself an entertainer or the like. That if you say something controversial, you can just say "well I'm just playing devil's advocate" or "trying to encourage conversation and debate". I wonder where the role of blogging fall under this category and how bloggers are not afforded journalist legal confidentiality privileges.