Monday, October 01, 2007

Stewart and the Phantom of Liberty

For those of you who missed it a couple of weeks back., John Stewart had Bolivian President Evo Morales on his show, with a translator, a first in my memory for a prime time show. It was pretty surreal, with echoes of Bunuel and perhaps even Woody Allen's Bananas. Morales gazes lovingly at Stewart, and speaks at once in the most delicate and high-falutin idealistic language, next in a down to earth way about accomplishments and Stewart fawns on him with his doe eyes and feeds him softballs.

It was a very odd bit of primetime TV -- , but one that could only happen on the John Stewart show, or, during Colbert's book review. Between the two of them, hosting lefties and righties alike, these two goofballs have raised the bar of popular political and intellectual discourse in ways we couldn't have dreamed of 15 years ago. Nobody puts simple farmer poet Bolivian politicians on TV. This gives us a taste of the rest of the world's political delusions, and a break from our own.

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