I Am a Fan of the Wise Fool
When living in absurd times, it takes the wise fool to reveal the inconsistencies, the doublespeak, the elephant in the room that no one is talking about. John Stuart has been playing this role for some time (so has Steven Colbert, to some degree, but he is limited by the character he plays). The wise fool is often underestimated because of his (or her) goofiness. The clever wit can get dismissed, until the fool really takes a stand.
John Stuart really placed himself in the middle of public discourse over the mess our economy is in when he interviewed Jim Cramer from CNBC. He knew his stuff, pursued the truth, called Cramer on his irresponsibility, and wouldn't let go. He put mainstream journalism to shame with his ability to keep following through; he wasn't going to let Cramer get away with anything.
We have plenty of clever-sounding pundits making the rounds of the 24-hour news stations. But the wise fool also has humility and the ability to be gentle at the right moment. The pundits generally lack these two abilities.
If you are a fan of the wise fool, take the time to read anything by Christopher Moore. He doesn't take on politics; he is a wise fool of human nature and relationships. Nothing is sacred. He is also hysterically funny. His latest book, in which he takes incredible liberties with the story of King Lear, is titled The Fool. I think the main character is one he identifies with. It is good reading.
When exposed to the wisdom of the wise fool, it settles me in some way. I think I experience cognitive dissonance when the obvious and the absurd are repressed. I am thankful to the wise fools for bringing things out of the shadows and into the light.