This is one of the most extraordinary things I’ve read in a long time. I had to order the DVD from CNN so I can see it for myself. Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show (sharp political satire using real facts), was invited onto CNN’s Crossfire tonight. It’s apparent that they invited him in order to be funny, to be a lightweight guest to provide some levity and entertainment for their audience.

Stewart refused to play. He wanted to have a serious debate, and started tearing them a new asshole when they evaded serious conversation in favor of what Stewart described as “partisan hackery”:

STEWART: But the thing is that this — you’re doing theater, when you should be doing debate, which would be great.

BEGALA: We do, do…


STEWART: It’s not honest. What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery. And I will tell you why I know it.

CARLSON: You had John Kerry on your show and you sniff his throne and you’re accusing us of partisan hackery?

STEWART: Absolutely.

CARLSON: You’ve got to be kidding me. He comes on and you…


STEWART: You’re on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls.


STEWART: What is wrong with you?

(APPLAUSE) CARLSON: Well, I’m just saying, there’s no reason for you — when you have this marvelous opportunity not to be the guy’s butt boy, to go ahead and be his butt boy. Come on. It’s embarrassing.

STEWART: I was absolutely his butt boy. I was so far — you would not believe what he ate two weeks ago.



STEWART: You know, the interesting thing I have is, you have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably.

CARLSON: You need to get a job at a journalism school, I think.

STEWART: You need to go to one.

Ouch. Perhaps one of the most cringe-inducing aspects of this show was that Carlson and Begala didn’t seem to be aware of the meta-level Stewart’s criticism was operating on. Or if they were, were doing their best to pretend it wasn’t happening so that the true extent of their worthlessness wouldn’t become too obvious. The video will probably tell me more, and it will become available on ifilm fairly soon, so I am told. More later.

UPDATE: I just watched a video of the show on ifilm. It looked to me like Stewart was being quite serious. The audience got it, and it sounded like they agreed with a lot of what he had to say. Carlson looked like he wished the earth would open up and swallow him, and tried desperately to change the subject or the mock Stewart’s criticism. Just extraordinary.

Hat tip to Fark for picking up this story.

One Response to “Jon Stewart Cleans Crossfire's Clock”
  1. Ed says:

    Good for Jon.
    I haven’t watched crossfire for years. I don’t think much of Hannity & Colmes for the same reason. They remind me of Dan Aackroyd and Jane Curtain on SNL. Nothing has changed. The premise requires them to be on violently opposite sides of every issue. Come on, everyone agrees with others on some things sometimes!

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