Video: Jon Stewart fawns all over Bolivia’s Evo Morales

posted at 12:25 pm on September 27, 2007 by Bryan

For some perspective on why it matters, we turn to See-Dubya:

I won’t pretend that Evo is a dictator to the degree of Chavez or Ahmedinejad, but he’s good buddies with the former and his pro-coca candidacy was subsidized by Libya. He’s a socialist and a nationalist and also he has staffed the government with his fellow loonball bat-crap crazy-go-nuts types merrily driving the country into Oblivia.

Yeah, amazing Horatio Alger story, Stewart. Fire up rioting crowds of farmers and miners with chicha and singani and get them to shut down the capital city and pretty much all commerce all over the impoverished nation. Hold it hostage long enough, and they surrender and put this wacko in charge.

Read the rest. It’s as enlightening as it is entertaining if you’re not familiar with Morales. Now, here’s the video. Note that the audience applauds at the list of Morales’ accomplishments, which sound like they could have been proposed by Gus Hall. Do Americans really think that nationalizing industries, i.e. government confiscating private wealth and property, is a good thing? Stewart’s audience apparently does.

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yea idk wat stewart was thinking here…and although the guy has been moderate enough to warrant objective coverage from sources like the economist…he’s still a socialist, and his ideas are still wrong as hell

ernesto on September 27, 2007 at 12:28 PM

I wonder if the TV guy in Bolivia who would likely lose his job to a government freindly appointee feels the same way John ?

William Amos on September 27, 2007 at 12:29 PM

Stewart’s audience? Like I give a rip what those clowns clap for.Maybe in the sense that if they clap for it it is wrong, but other thatn that, they must pack the crowd with oblivious moonbats.I cannot even watch that drivel and dreck anymore, don’t need to start drinking at 11PM.

bbz123 on September 27, 2007 at 12:30 PM

It really said something about this country when Crossfire was killed by the absolutely worthless crap spewed from this witless and clueless fop.

MadisonConservative on September 27, 2007 at 12:33 PM

Did he break out a new sweater for the appearance?

thebrokenchair on September 27, 2007 at 12:39 PM

I find it SOOOOOO hard to watch him anymore. My remote get’s an enormous workout from 11 to 11:30 as I try to catch a few laughs on topics OTHER than Bushco/Iraq/Rove etc etc etc….He was a talented & funny comedian before he decided to become a political hack.

commonsensehoosier on September 27, 2007 at 12:39 PM

Dinnerjacket is meeting Morales…I think today, then on to Hugofest.

Limerick on September 27, 2007 at 1:06 PM

Do Americans really think that nationalizing industries, i.e. government confiscating private wealth and property, is a good thing?

The answer to that question is a big yes. Most of the Daily Show‘s psuedo-intellectual viewers are slightly to the left of Howard Dean.

As for Bolivia, they appear to be doing enough to combat drugs that they’ve been certified by the State Department. A somewhat promising sign.

Hopefully Evo will turn out to be simply another parochial, left leaning populist and not a disruptive, malevolent force like Hugo Chavez.

Mike Honcho on September 27, 2007 at 1:10 PM

Ah yes, the Evo sweater. It’s a new one!

see-dubya on September 27, 2007 at 1:12 PM

John Stewart makes Communism funny!!!!

Evo looks Emo.

Hening on September 27, 2007 at 1:15 PM

Jon Stewart is a total butt clown.

And the slackers who watch his show, and claim it to be their main source of “news”, are even more pathetic than he is.

Always Right on September 27, 2007 at 1:41 PM

Do Americans really think that nationalizing industries, i.e. government confiscating private wealth and property, is a good thing?

Related: I heard a Rasmussen poll today that said that 40% of Americans think that the government should provide free health care. Wha??? It absolutely terrifies me to think that there are so many Americans who are so completely clueless! God help us all…

As for John Stewart — hack ptui! Sometimes I’ll walk in the living room and my husband is watching this dreck. I just shake my head and walk out, making gagging noises the whole way.

lan astaslem on September 27, 2007 at 1:42 PM

lan astaslem on September 27, 2007 at 1:42 PM

Only 40%?…if you rob Peter to pay Paul, Paul never complains.

right2bright on September 27, 2007 at 1:45 PM

I find it SOOOOOO hard to watch him anymore. My remote get’s an enormous workout from 11 to 11:30 as I try to catch a few laughs on topics OTHER than Bushco/Iraq/Rove etc etc etc….He was a talented & funny comedian before he decided to become a political hack.

commonsensehoosier on September 27, 2007 at 12:39 PM

This is the great thing about living on the west coast.

Red Eye is there for me right at 11.

Funnier. More informative. Better presentation. Both sides of the debate actually get heard. Andrew Levy. Manages to be smarter than either Colbert or the Daily Show, and that’s including all the crude humor.

I pity the East Coast. O’Reilly’s second re-run at 11 ET pretty much ensures that Red Eye will never get that slot on the East Coast.

Of course, that’s the time I watch Bill out here, so I wouldn’t want to change that either.

Hawkins1701 on September 27, 2007 at 1:54 PM

You’re surprised that Stewart is a socialist pig? Why?

georgej on September 27, 2007 at 2:02 PM

And the slackers who watch his show, and claim it to be their main source of “news”, are even more pathetic than he is.

This segment of the population is more commonly known as “future American leaders.”

Conservatives and Republicans must stop this incessant bitching about Those Durn Libruls That Own The Media(tm) and start encouraging more young people on the political right to become writer, actors, artists, poets, and producers.

ScottMcC on September 27, 2007 at 2:20 PM

I have to come a little bit to the defence of Morales here.
Where to start: first of all, as JYD said, he is not a dictator of the ilk of Castro or Chavez. Or of any kind. There is no dictatorship in Bolivia. I don’t know if he will become the next Chavez, but it doesn’t really look that way at the moment. Bolivia is, however…as the history books show…a difficult country to govern.

Secondly, if you look at what has gone on in recent years in Bolivia, the country is an economic basket case. Yet, as the result of a disfunctional constitution and a disfunctional political class, government “changes” change nothing. It is just one face of an oligarchical elite replacing another face…the underlying power remained (and remains) in the hands of the elite.

Third: even so, to the extent there have been elections in Bolivia, up until the last elections it was always the same people winning. Last time, there was a change, when Morales won. Well? Is it really healthy in any kind of democracy, if the same party keeps on winning time, after time,after time? Of course, Bolivians voted for a change…wouldn’t you?

You can rightly point out that, as a result of Morales’ attempts to make some reforms (moving the capital, making some constitutional changes, taking steps towards nationalizing some national resources) there have been disturbances. But if you look at Bolivia’s history, this is not uncommon whenever anything is done. Maybe the boat has been rocked a bit by Morales but, in many ways, the “boat” is named “Titanic” and it needs to be rocked.

Morales is on excellent terms with Chavez. Fair enough; but I work in Colombia and it is fair to say also that President Uribe is on fairly good terms with Chavez. Does that make him a security threat? It’s not enough to just say he gets along with Chavez…it’s a lot deeper than that. In some senses, thousands of feet deeper. Specifically, where the oil is. Chavez has offered a lot of financial support to Bolivia; no one needs it more. What wealth there is in that country gets stolen by “corruptos” and meanwhile education and health go lacking. So it’s hard not to blame Morales for taking the help where he can get it.

Furthermore: have you ever looked at the map of Bolivia? the country is landlocked. It didn’t used to be. They lost the land in a war (The War of the Pacific) orchestrated by western (mainly British) commercial interests who opposed being taxed on the revenues they were making from Bolivian resources (it was over a hundred years ago and times were different…nonetheless, the resentment of Bolivians still continues, particularly against the Chileans who ended up with the land). So, there is a lot of distrust of business there. The country has been ground into poverty; the wealth there is is concentrated in a few hands; and the general well being continues to stagnate.

Morales offered a better option to the majority of the people, and they said “Let’s try it.” It is hard not to blame them.

I have been a bit mystified, honestly, by the west’s reaction to Morales. The other point JYD made is that he is a nationalist. What’s wrong with that? I’m a Canadian nationalist, and I’m pretty sure that a lot of people reading this (if you have gotten this far…I apologize for the length) are American “nationalists”. Morales is really all about “Bolivia for Bolivians”, and trying to get a better shake for the indigenous people there…maybe the poorest of the poor.

But I don’t honestly think that he is an “enemy” of anyone. I think that if he thinks something will help his country, he will be for it. I am sure that he will try to nationalize a lot of resources but, given the theft of Bolivian resources in history, it may be the prudent thing to do. That doesn’t mean that leasing the resources is out of the question(did you know that, in Canada, all resources are owned by the government…maybe the Queen? That doesn’t keep us from being a capitalist country…businesses lease mineral/oil/timber rights).

I really believe that if, instead of treating him with hostility, the US, Canada and other capitalist countries would treat him as a friend he would probably be “friendly” back.

So long as it was in the interests of his people.

Blaise on September 27, 2007 at 2:30 PM

Blaise: he’s bought and paid for by Chavez and Libya and coca-growers. Bolivia’s gov’ts have alternated between parties for a long time since democracy was restored (quiroga, Banzer, Sanchez de Lozada, etc.). He took power by violent, destructive economic blockades that brought the ocuntry to a halt. Bolivia is in such bad shape in large part because of him, Quispe, and the other riot ringleaders who disrupt tourism, petroleum, and legitimate business. The ruling powers were scared to do anything about him. Now the economically productive Santa Cruz state wants to secede from the rest of the country.

PS: Banzer eliminated fifty percent of the coca production in Bolivia in three years. Now not only is raw coca production back up, there are cocaine labs set up on the Brazilian border.

Finally, yes, corruption is an endemic problem in Bolivia. But why in the hell do you think a socialist government that nationalizes private property–and removes the incentive to use it well that comes with ownership–is actually going to solve that?

see-dubya on September 27, 2007 at 2:46 PM

Question: Is there a dick-tator that Johnny won’t fellate???

Andy in Agoura Hills on September 27, 2007 at 2:47 PM

I haven’t watched this show since the day after the ’04 election, and I haven’t missed it.

Jim Treacher on September 27, 2007 at 3:00 PM

Excellent defense of socialism, Blaise. It’s “for his people”. Unfortunately, what you seem to be willing to ignore is that it doesn’t work, and that he has aligned himself with crooks and dictators, despite the mitigating rhetoric.

Have you deluded yourself into thinking that Chavez is improving the lives of Venezuelans, because he has nationalized some private industry that had corrupt leaders? This might be fun rhetoric for college classes, but it’s factually incorrect.

Evo is another domino in the chain of leftists south of the border, and when they all collapse, and the bidding goes out for a new sugar daddy, you’ll want to be high bidder then, too, right?

Jaibones on September 27, 2007 at 3:00 PM

Jaibones: My comment may have been many things, but it was NOT a defence of “socialism”. I’ll not defend socialism. Socialism destroys…destroys freedom, destroys families, destroys economies and, most of all, it destroys the soul.

But, you are operating under a misapprehension if you think that Bolivia (or, for that matter, Colombia, Peru etc) operate as “capitalist” economies. Capitalism is about the circulation of capital…reinvestment of profits in order to gain, hopefully, more profits. As capital is reinvested, more money is in the economy, more people are employed, more people spend money, more business grow etc. etc. etc. The multiplier effect allows capitalism to be the greatest engine for the creation of broad-based prosperity ever devised.

But that is not how it works in Bolivia, and other countries in this region. Profits are not reinvested. They are accumulated. They are diverted out of the economy. They are used to buy more lands and larger properties, usually at depressed values. They are used to buy condominiums, frequently in Florida, or are placed in foreign bank accounts.

You as an American, and I as a Canadian, come from societies in which there is some relation between our work and our pay. If we work hard we will earn more and probably be successful. Here it isn’t like that. Trickle down doesn’t apply. For example, why do you think that ,here, a Big Mac (or any other McDonald product) costs EXACTLY THE SAME (accounting for the exchange rate) as it does in Toronto, or Washington D.C.? The wages paid here (minimum wage here, if they get that, works out to about $220.00/month…yet the Big Mac still costs about $5.00 in a combo) bear no relation to what McDonald’s workers get in Canada and the US, yet the price is the same. Nothing is given back into the system…it’s not capitalism. There is no concept that if the McDonald’s staff got more money they might buy more stuff and, if this happened across the economy, the economy might grow and everyone would become more prosperous. The object, across the economy, is to squeeze as much out of the employees and pay the least. And, with the profits, buy a condo in Orlando.

The banking systems make it worse. Banks are supposed to be the engine of the economy…the means by which money is injected into the economy. Yet, in this region, capital is extremely difficult to get through the banks. As a result, even though the people are highly entrepreneurial, they cannot get working capital to open, or expand small businesses. In Colombia, which I know about, the official interest rate is 9.5%; in reality, after various surcharges and taxes, the lowest rate really available is close to 21%. Try running a business with that kind of interest rate…it would be like using your credit card for working capital (by the way, credit card interest here is around 29%)

I agree that these countries need more capitalism…that’s not what they have now.

As for the comment by See-Dubya above (and I enjoy your blog, by the way) there is no difference, essentially between Quiroga, Banzer and Sanchez. You can’t go by parties down here the way we do in Canada and the US…they’re a different breed of cat. They come from the same sector of society. (Just so you know: in the next Colombian election there is going to be a lot of concern in the US about the Polo party…a group of socialists. Relax. They won’t win but, even if they do, it won’t change anything).

Furthermore, the operation of the Bolivian constitution hamstrings anyone who tries to make changes from the top…that is why it is so difficult to get anything done through their Congress…the Congressmen have the same vested interests or are bought and paid for. And it’s a tragedy. It’s a tragedy that, in order to get change, people had to resort to an avowed socialist…but in the end it was better than the alternatives. And in the end, before being a socialist, Morales is a nationalist and indigenous.

So, See Dubya, I believe in capitalism and have had various small businesses in my life (from law firms to small schools here).I agree that, under our concept, private ownership should lead to better management. It should lead to a growing economy. But it hasn’t in Bolvia (things in Colombia are vastly better and are improving daily). But there has to be redistribution or something there will explode.

Remember: national ownership of resources is not a problem…Canada, Australia and I think even the United States (though I stand to be corrected on that) have national ownership of the resources in the ground. What developers own is a license. I think Morales will be selling licenses…let Bolivia have the same system that we allow ourselves.

Regards to all,thanks for replying, and sorry for having gone on at such length.

Blaise on September 27, 2007 at 4:09 PM

He always sucks up. He did that with Kerry during his campaign. “How are you holding up”?

I always thought Mellissa Ethridge was a lesbian until I saw here ride Dennis Kucinich’s dick during the gay debate

Never be surprised by Demo Log rolling

400lb Gorilla on September 27, 2007 at 5:48 PM

Blaise:

Guess we’ll have to disagree on this. Banzer, Quiroga, Sanchez de Lozada were all “neoliberal” reformers trying to bring the countyr out of the 1980s’ narco-dictator chaos. Evo’s partisans were nationalist and atavist–”El Gas, No Se Vende!” was their rallying cry. They want to keep all the natural gas in the ground where the Pachamama put it. Some of them want to re-create the Aymara empire. They’re basically Chavez (and Castro)-backed ghost dancers.

BTW I’m not sorry Stewart had him on the show. That’s an interesting “get”. I just think if there was ever a case for some hard questions instead of that tongue-bath, Evo deserved it.

see-dubya on September 27, 2007 at 6:27 PM

I am surprised that anyone is surprised about this?? As funny as Stewart can be at times, his radical left wing ideology has always been most transparent!

I hope to God that not many people take him seriously???

Shocking isn’t it!!!

Albertanator on September 27, 2007 at 9:56 PM

see-dubya, if there were any hard questions asked, they would have been greeted by silence.

blaise, you seem earnest and well-intentioned but I gotta tell you, I hear the exact same words from idiot American leftists about the U.S. economy. Only the rich benefit, the gap between the haves and have-nots, the condo in Orlando, the “real” cost of investment.

It all ends up sounding like empty rhetoric after a while. Of course Bolivia is bereft of opportunity and hope and investment and true capitalism by comparison to the U.S., so is Ireland. But how does that change by the election of an ignorant socialist who nationalizes the largest private industries in the country?

Of course, it will not, any more than Hugo Chavez is helping Venezuela’s poor.

Jaibones on September 27, 2007 at 10:29 PM

And Albert, I have never watched this dickeater’s show in my life. A couple of clips here at HotAir cured me of any interest.

He’s a tool.

Jaibones on September 27, 2007 at 10:30 PM

Ireland?

Karl on September 27, 2007 at 11:37 PM

Karl on September 27, 2007 at 11:37 PM

I was on a roll. Care to compare their economy with ours?

Jaibones on September 28, 2007 at 1:12 PM