For Arianna Huffington, that acronym stands for What Would Jon Stewart Do? — and it’s an insightful question. She compares and contrasts Jon Stewart’s ask-tough-questions interview with Jim Cramer with John King’s wussy interview with Dick Cheney in an excellent post today. Key quote:
Stewart kept popping into my head as I watched John King interview Dick Cheney on Sunday. Each time King let Cheney get away with spouting gross inaccuracies and revisionist history, I kept thinking how different things would have been had Stewart been asking the questions. Stewart without the comedy and without the outrage — just armed with the facts and the willingness to ask tough questions.
This is the problem with King and too many in the Pontius Pilot traditional media: They are so caught up in the obsolete notion that the truth always lies in the middle, they have to pretend that there are two sides to every issue — and even two sides to straightforward data.
Whether they work in power-soaked DC or small towns like Morgan Hill, nothing less than the future of our democracy depends on journalists willing to do what Jon Stewart did last Thursday night.