Steve Almond on Comedy and Politics

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“Why take to the streets when Stewart and Colbert are on the case? It’s a lot easier, and more fun, to experience the war as a passive form of entertainment than as a source of moral distress requiring citizen activism.”

At The Baffler, Rumpus columnist Steve Almond takes on comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, arguing that the comedians serve, largely, to mollify the public by staunching desire for active action against unjust power structures by engaging in acts of essentially harmless ridicule.


Walter Gordon is an intern at The Rumpus. He is a native of Berkeley, CA and goes to college in Oberlin, OH. He spends most of his time reading. His eyes hurt. Other hobbies include photography, writing fiction, and sitting on top of tall piles of rocks. More from this author →