John Nagl on ‘Daily Show’

LTC John Nagl, author of How to Eat Soup With a Knife appears on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart explaining Counterinsurgency doctrine. Stewart's reaction to "Be polite - Be professional - Be prepared to Kill" is priceless.

LTC John Nagl, author of How to Eat Soup With a Knife appears on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart explaining Counterinsurgency doctrine.

Stewart’s reaction to “Be polite – Be professional – Be prepared to Kill” is priceless.

via Bruce McQuain

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Christopher says:

    I’m not sure which is worse, James: You watching “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart, or you thinking he was funny. So what was so priceless? He laughed in astonishment. Wow. One for the ages.

    But being, as you claim, a right leaning moderate but-in-truth-probably-liberal that you are, it does not surprise me in the least that you watch that show. The people with the stupidest ideas about politics love it. Its like people who really aren’t readers who read Harry Potter. Or people who know nothing about music and listen to lots of rap. Or…well, you get the idea.

    Jon Stewart is about as left leaning liberal as you can get. He can have all the illiterates that watch, they don’t vote anyway.

  2. Joe says:

    Christopher, I don’t watch the Daily Show, so I can’t speak to how it usually is. But I thought this segment was fine. On the one hand, the media is damned when it holds the military at arms length, and often criticized for putting the military in a bad light. Interviews like this to engage and humanize the military should be encouraged. This shows the public that we have soldiers who can discuss culture or call in an airstrike, and are doing their best to know when to do which.

  3. Michael says:

    Jon Stewart is about as left leaning liberal as you can get. He can have all the illiterates that watch, they don’t vote anyway.

    I no longer have the link, but several months ago there was an independent study that showed Daily Show viewers to be better educated and more knowledgeable of politics than O’Reilly Factor viewers, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that James watches. Besides that, it’s intentionally funny, as opposed to Bill.

  4. Christopher says:

    Good points, Joe. But who is watching Jon Stewart? Seriously. It is young people who don’t vote, and of the viewers that do vote, the show is one of their only sources of political commentary, and it is overwhelmingly liberal (hence, James watching). Having the military as a guest I would have to assume does nothing to convince hardly anyone to change their opinion of the military.

    But I guess it is better than nothing.

  5. Christopher says:

    “I no longer have the link”

    Oooooh, big surprise.

  6. Eneils Bailey says:

    Christopher,
    You have hit upon a point that I have failed to mention over the months and few years I have been coming to OTB.
    “But being, as you claim, a right leaning moderate but-in-truth-probably-liberal that you are,”
    You reflect what I think in your comment.

    Mr Joyner,
    I am not trying to sucker punch you here, but in coming to and reading the posting on your site every day, I also would have never suspected you of being anywhere to the right of center. I have always interpreted you as being to the left of center, placing more importance on what the few around Washington think as opposed to the people West of Reston.

    Some time ago I read a post you made about a self test that classified you as being left of center, you were surprised, I was not.
    I just think it is interesting to see how people in different parts of the country describe and and support their political ideology. I am a poor rural southern person with a tenth grade education who has learned a lot from visiting around to certain sites on the net. I will continue to visit your site and comment sometimes when I feel as though I have something to say.
    This is not meant as a criticism, but as an expression that maybe as a conservative, right of center, I don’t understand your claim to that foothold.
    Again, I will tap in everyday, enjoy your post and everyone’s comments here, whether I agree or not.

  7. PT says:

    I’ve been reading OTB for some time now, and continue to do so because I find the content interesting. I may not always agree with opinions expressed here, but who wants to have their exact viewpoint regurgitated back? The Daily Show can be very entertaining. Sometimes the Daily Show is out and out hilarious. (please try to remember its on Comedy Central… Not Fox News) But even funnier than Jon Stewart (or James on occasion) are those, particularly those that leave comments around the blogosphere, that feel like they’re scoring points for their political “team” by attacking the other side. Sadly, this occurs from one end of the political spectrum to the other. If James’ politics offend you, don’t read the posts at OTB. If you’re afraid that Jon Stewart will render you illiterate, don’t watch. Maybe you just don’t get the jokes.

  8. Eneils Bailey says:

    “The Daily Show can be very entertaining.”

    Yes it can, The times I have tuned in, found it to be a good comedy on contemporary politics. Have to admit, I did guffaw a couple of times at some of the jokes.

    As an insult to my intelligence and rendering me illiterate, Jon Stewart has the same affect on me as “The Three Stooges.”

    It’s just comedy, the poor sap is trying to make a living. Anything I can do to help feed his family and children, I am more than willing to do.

  9. Michael says:

    Oooooh, big surprise.

    I found the link: http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=319
    There’s no reason to be an ass about it.

    But who is watching Jon Stewart? Seriously. It is young people who don’t vote

    From Wikipedia: “A 2004 Nielsen Media Research study commissioned by Comedy Central put the median age at 35.”

    the show is one of their only sources of political commentary, and it is overwhelmingly liberal

    Also from Wikipedia:

    “In 2006, a study published by Indiana University tried to compare the substantive amount of information of the Daily Show against primetime network news broadcasts. … when it comes to substance, there is little difference between the Daily Show and other news outlets.”

    If you’re going to be an ass, at least be right about it.

  10. Richard Gardner says:

    I really wonder if the folks bitching actually watched the link. If they did, I wonder if they have spent time in DC. OMG, a military officer showed up on The Daily Show ( after 30-levels of approval) Oops, sorry, the world is black and white, military is evil, or everyone against us” are evil. Communist dictatorships like in Cuba and Vietnam are the people’s paradise. Versus free Mumia. Folks, there is no right answer.

    I am a veteran. I’ve also worked in DC. Christopher is troll-bait.

  11. James Joyner says:

    So what was so priceless? He laughed in astonishment.

    Mostly, just the juxtaposition of a talk host with a highly intelligent, plainspoken Army officer. People in Stewart’s circles simply don’t talk like that.

    several months ago there was an independent study that showed Daily Show viewers to be better educated and more knowledgeable of politics than O’Reilly Factor viewers

    It was a Pew survey released in April and, yes, Daily Show listeners had the highest knowledge levels of any show with 54%. O’Reilly and several others, though, were within the margin of error of that with 51% or so.

    Having the military as a guest I would have to assume does nothing to convince hardly anyone to change their opinion of the military.

    Maybe not one time. Still, the fact that a guy can similtaneously be a LTC in the Army, a Rhodes Scholar, have a DPhil (doctorate) from Oxford, and hold his own with one of the leading humorists of the day on his own turf has to impress some people. Nagl, admittedly, is extraordinary but he’s by no means unique.

    This is not meant as a criticism, but as an expression that maybe as a conservative, right of center, I don’t understand your claim to that foothold.

    What probably confuses things is that I’m not a religious conservative but rather a small government one. I’m conservative in the way of Barry Goldwater or Phil Gramm or Jack Kemp or even Ronald Reagan rather than Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell or James Dobson.

    I’m more libertarian than conservative in my attitudes about the role of government but am certainly right-of-center on most issues.

  12. steve says:

    What probably confuses things is that I’m not a religious conservative but rather a small government one. I’m conservative in the way of Barry Goldwater or Phil Gramm or Jack Kemp or even Ronald Reagan rather than Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell or James Dobson.

    When those last lads take over, I fear you will be among the first to go to the wall.

  13. Wyatt Earp says:

    In my opinion, the Lt. Col. came off much better and more well-spoken than Stewart did, which is interesting, since people like Charlie Rangel thinks that the military is comprised of unintelligent sheep.

    And you have to admire the smattering of polite applause at the LTC was introduced. Sharpton gets a bigger ovation on that show. Disappointing.