Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Video: Jon Stewart Goes Howard Beale on CNBC

Sometimes Jon Stewart uses his platform to explain new technology, like Twitter or the Kindle, to his audience. And sometimes he uses it for a trenchant media critique. Or, as in the case of last night’s segment on GE’s (GE) CNBC, not so much a critique as a full-fledged evisceration.

I’ve trimmed this one down to about six minutes, but if you’ve got a spare 20 minutes or so–perhaps you’re underemployed right now–it’s well worth watching the whole thing. He also roughs up Fox News, explains the Dow, and has a nice interview with New York Times columnist Joe Nocera.

Update: A MediaMemo reader wants to know who Howard Beale is. That question would normally make me feel old, but in this case I’m pretty sure the reader is older than I am. In any case, here’s Howard, also known as Peter Finch, also known as the “I’m mad as hell” guy. And if you really haven’t seen “Network,” go add it to your Netflix (NFLX) queue now.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work