March 19, 2009
For those of you keeping track, there has been a recent bevy of digital ink spilt on the Jon Stewart- Jim Cramer kerfuffle. At about the same time I chimed in, Mark Hemmingway at National Review gave us an excellent run down on this feud and the larger Stewart comedic bait-and-switch. Wunderkind Ben Shapiro presented a similar anti-Stewart brief over at Big Hollywood. Tucker Carlson has presented his insider's testimony about Stewart as pseudo-pundit. And the always enjoyable Jon Last has been following the business with a matter-of-fact and correct read on Stewart's soporific lack of funny. Furthermore, the CEO of NBC Universal, Jeff Zucker, has gone on the attack, calling Stewart's hit job "absurd."
A friend of mine reminds me that amidst all of this Jon Stewart-as-comic-or-pundit talk it would be best if we kept one neologism in mind: "clapter." About a year ago Reader's Digest ran an interview with Tina Fey. Like Stewart, Fey is about as mired in leftist politics as they come; unlike Stewart, Fey happens to be funny. During the interview, Fey was asked what pleases her more, applause or laughter. She responded, "Laughter. You can prompt applause with a sign. My friend, SNL writer Seth Meyers, coined the term clapter, which is when you do a political joke and people go, 'Woo-hoo.' It means they sort of approve but didn't really like it that much. You hear a lot of that on [whispers] The Daily Show." From the mouths of Democrats.