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Jon Stewart and John Stuart(mill)

December 9, 2010
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These are two clips of opposing forces in the media, the point of this post is to not put forward a conservative or a liberal idea, and I Glenn Beck and Jon Stewart because they represent a very visible divide in the media (plus it made my title work).

What these two clips do show is the function of a very Millian marketplace of ideas at work, both men use Television as their main vehicle to portray their respective ideas, and in these clips they debate and seek to disprove the different idea. Yet, both ideas are allowed into the marketplace to be debated, and in are judged by others to test their validity. Yet the simple act of being able to put your idea out there is as close to an application of a libertarian society that we can take part in today. Yet what is interesting is even with the huge importance of Freed of Speech to us is that we still have some limits on what we can be put forward, especially on TV. For example no swearing, sex, or drugs can be shown on TV, I’m not saying this is good or bad, yet rather interesting that we can write about accepting all ideas and having the complete freedom, but it seems to me that is part of human nature to still want some control over the Marketplace of ideas. Also, another interesting aspect of this is the whole phenomenon of Wikileaks, which is provoking a storm of controversy globally. With a complete libertarian society the complete democratization of information would be possible, yet clearly this is not the case. The secret documents being released are provoking strong governmental responses, again based on the argument of some information should not be shared, especially documents of a sensitive nature. What is the right answer? should all information and ideas be available to all? I don’t think that there will ever be a right one. Overall, probably a somewhere in between no control and complete control over the marketplace of ideas is where we are now, and probably will continue as such in the future.

3 Comments
  1. December 9, 2010 5:28 PM

    These shows represent a strong example of dialectical reasoning. Through publicized debate, people are given two opposing viewpoints and are able to take thesis and antithesis to create a synthesis. The debate over free speech is a very interesting one as well. Should free speech be absolute. Should tv stations be able to publish whatever they want? Its a tough call. Even thought that would enable full freedom, it might not be what is best for the viewers. Little kids would be exposed to things they definitely should not see. Also I am strongly for the restraint of libel and slander. People should not be able to voice malicious comments about other people freely. That is not right and not fair. That sort of action is not what freedom should promote.

  2. Cesar II Ruiz permalink
    December 9, 2010 5:58 PM

    I found it interesting that you tied together modern spokespersons and comedians to the ideas of John Stuart Mill. I thought that it was very interesting how the two oppossing views were characterized and how they responded. This was especially so in Glenn Beck’s response on th O’Reilly show. It was very “entertaining” to see the way that Glenn Beck responded to Jon Stewart mockery of his show. Simply saying that it was his point of view, and he has a freedom to express himself and voice his own view. This in turn, didn’t annoy him or make him angry at him “at all”.

  3. lrib12 permalink
    December 9, 2010 11:46 PM

    Great blog post. The use of the two video–the statement from Stewart and the response from Beck- is exactly what was needed in this post. I was very surprised to see that Beck acted in the way he did, frankly because Stewart does these kinds of things every show. Beck I feel took it to personal and used television and its power as his own vindication.

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