Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jeffrey Lord goes after Jon Stewart for Stewart's pretty lame response to Comedy Central censoring South Park... and rightly so, but in doing so, Lord botches the 'I am Spartacus' analogy...

In the movie, the slaves were facing certain death and claiming 'I am Spartacus' was their declaration that they would rather accept that fate than live by ratting out the real Spartacus.

On Flight 93, while the passengers were trying to save their own lives as much as they were trying to keep the plane from being flown into the Capitol. They weren't choosing death over life; sitting still, they were doomed, it was only by standing up that they had a chance of living. No 'I am Spartacus' moment here.

As for Jon Stewart, unlike the passengers on Flight 93, he wasn't facing imminent death, nor unlike the slaves, was he offered a way of avoiding that fate. Standing up and declaring 'I am Spartacus' would have been risky... unlike the slaves for whom standing up was no different than sitting down and doing nothing.

The better analogy is that Stewart botched his opportunity to be a hero. He could have, like a fireman, left the safety of the sidewalk and gone up into the fire to be with and rescue the people trapped by the flames. He could have, like a soldier in combat, left the relative safety of cover to try to save civilians caught in a crossfire. Stewart could have left the safety of his anchor chair and aligned himself with Parker and Stone... but he didn't.

This doesn't mean Stewart is a coward... but it shows that, as his critics claim, he ain't such a hero either.