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Jon Stewart Crossfire

Jon Stewart of the Daily Show held an intervention on Crossfire this evening. Jon took Paul and Tucker specifically and the media in general to task for doing such a terrible job.



Quicktime Video 15.73MB 13'24

It took Jon Stewart to gun down Crossfire
Last Friday afternoon, when comedian Jon Stewart called CNN Crossfire co-host Tucker Carlson a body part exclusive to men, maybe half a million viewers finally saw an honest moment on this program.

Too bad. While it was not the first time ever on TV that the American media punditocracy was ripped for its failures, it was probably the most satisfying.

That's because it was live, and Stewart confronted the enemy head-on, instead of mocking it from his Daily Show perch where he anchors his celebrated "fake news" program.

No wonder more than a million people have downloaded video of the exchange. (Try onegoodmove.org or mediamatters.org.) In fact, due to traffic, some websites crashed.

But then, how often does one get to see a TV star refuse to play the TV game?
CNN's Tucker Carlson, Jon Stewart Feuding
Left Hooks and Right Jabs: Stewart Tangles With Carlson

Jon Stewart and Tucker Carlson got into a brawl yesterday when the faux newsman began to lecture CNN's Richie Rich about journalism on the cable news network's "Crossfire."

Jon Stewart Bitchslaps CNN's 'Crossfire' Show

In what could well be the strangest and most refreshing media moment of the election season, "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart turned up on a live broadcast of CNN's "Crossfire" Friday and accused the mainstream media, and his hosts in particular, of being soft and failing to do their duty as journalists to keep politicians and the political process honest.

click continue reading for the transcript

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART")

STEWART: Meanwhile, the president's challenger was also in New York, also facing some difficult questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How to you stay in shape?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you eat something?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have a routine? Do you...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: It's like Nerf CROSSFIRE.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(APPLAUSE)

BEGALA: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE.

As both of our loyal viewers, of course, know, our show is about all left vs. white, black vs. white, paper vs. plastic, Red Sox against the Yankees. That's why every day, we have two guests with their own unique perspective on the news. But today, CROSSFIRE is very difficult. We have just one guest.

He's either the funniest smart guy on TV or the smartest funnyman. We'll find out which in a minute. But he's certainly an Emmy Award winner, the host of Comedy Central's "Daily Show" and the co-author of the new mega best-seller "America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction," at your bookstores everywhere.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the CROSSFIRE Jon Stewart.

STEWART: Thank you.

CARLSON: Thank you for joining us.

STEWART: Thank you very much. That was very kind of you to say.

Can I say something very quickly? Why do we have to fight?

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: The two of you? Can't we just -- say something nice about John Kerry right now.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: I like John. I care about John Kerry.

STEWART: And something about President Bush.

BEGALA: He'll be unemployed soon?

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: I failed the test. I'm sorry.

CARLSON: See, I made the effort anyway.

BEGALA: No, actually, I knew Bush in Texas a little bit. And the truth is, he's actually a great guy. He's not a very good president. But he's actually a very good person. I don't think you should have to hate to oppose somebody, but it makes it easier.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Why do you argue, the two of you?

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: I hate to see it.

CARLSON: We enjoy it.

STEWART: Let me ask you a question.

CARLSON: Well, let me ask you a question first.

STEWART: All right.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Is John Kerry -- is John Kerry really the best? I mean, John Kerry has...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: Is he the best? I thought Lincoln was good.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Is he the best the Democrats can do?

STEWART: Is he the best the Democrats can do?

CARLSON: Yes, this year of the whole field.

STEWART: I had always thought, in a democracy -- and, again, I don't know -- I've only lived in this country -- that there's a process. They call them primaries.

CARLSON: Right.

STEWART: And they don't always go with the best, but they go with whoever won. So is he the best? According to the process.

CARLSON: Right. But of the nine guys running, who do you think was best. Do you think he was the best, the most impressive?

STEWART: The most impressive?

CARLSON: Yes.

STEWART: I thought Al Sharpton was very impressive.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: I enjoyed his way of speaking.

I think, oftentimes, the person that knows they can't win is allowed to speak the most freely, because, otherwise, shows with titles, such as CROSSFIRE.

BEGALA: CROSSFIRE.

STEWART: Or "HARDBALL" or "I'm Going to Kick Your Ass" or...

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Will jump on it.

In many ways, it's funny. And I made a special effort to come on the show today, because I have privately, amongst my friends and also in occasional newspapers and television shows, mentioned this show as being bad.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: We have noticed.

STEWART: And I wanted to -- I felt that that wasn't fair and I should come here and tell you that I don't -- it's not so much that it's bad, as it's hurting America.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: But in its defense...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: So I wanted to come here today and say...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: Here's just what I wanted to tell you guys.

CARLSON: Yes.

STEWART: Stop.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America.

BEGALA: OK. Now

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: And come work for us, because we, as the people...

CARLSON: How do you pay?

STEWART: The people -- not well.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: Better than CNN, I'm sure.

STEWART: But you can sleep at night.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: See, the thing is, we need your help. Right now, you're helping the politicians and the corporations. And we're left out there to mow our lawns.

BEGALA: By beating up on them? You just said we're too rough on them when they make mistakes.

STEWART: No, no, no, you're not too rough on them. You're part of their strategies. You are partisan, what do you call it, hacks.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Wait, Jon, let me tell you something valuable that I think we do that I'd like to see you...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: Something valuable?

CARLSON: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: I would like to hear it.

CARLSON: And I'll tell you.

When politicians come on...

STEWART: Yes.

CARLSON: It's nice to get them to try and answer the question. And in order to do that, we try and ask them pointed questions. I want to contrast our questions with some questions you asked John Kerry recently.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: ... up on the screen.

STEWART: If you want to compare your show to a comedy show, you're more than welcome to.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: No, no, no, here's the point.

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: If that's your goal.

CARLSON: It's not.

STEWART: I wouldn't aim for us. I'd aim for "Seinfeld." That's a very good show.

CARLSON: Kerry won't come on this show. He will come on your show.

STEWART: Right.

CARLSON: Let me suggest why he wants to come on your show.

STEWART: Well, we have civilized discourse.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Well, here's an example of the civilized discourse.

Here are three of the questions you asked John Kerry.

STEWART: Yes.

CARLSON: You have a chance to interview the Democratic nominee. You asked him questions such as -- quote -- "How are you holding up? Is it hard not to take the attacks personally?"

STEWART: Yes.

CARLSON: "Have you ever flip-flopped?" et cetera, et cetera.

STEWART: Yes.

CARLSON: Didn't you feel like -- you got the chance to interview the guy. Why not ask him a real question, instead of just suck up to him?

STEWART: Yes. "How are you holding up?" is a real suck-up. And I actually giving him a hot stone massage as we were doing it.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: It sounded that way. It did.

STEWART: You know, it's interesting to hear you talk about my responsibility.

CARLSON: I felt the sparks between you.

STEWART: I didn't realize that -- and maybe this explains quite a bit.

CARLSON: No, the opportunity to...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: ... is that the news organizations look to Comedy Central for their cues on integrity.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: So what I would suggest is, when you talk about you're holding politicians' feet to fire, I think that's disingenuous. I think you're...

CARLSON: "How are you holding up?" I mean, come on.

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: No, no, no. But my role isn't, I don't think...

CARLSON: But you can ask him a real question, don't you think, instead of saying...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: I don't think I have to. By the way, I also asked him, "Were you in Cambodia?" But I didn't really care.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Because I don't care, because I think it's stupid.

CARLSON: I can tell.

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: But my point is this. If your idea of confronting me is that I don't ask hard-hitting enough news questions, we're in bad shape, fellows. (LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: We're here to love you, not confront you.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: We're here to be nice.

STEWART: No, no, no, but what I'm saying is this. I'm not. I'm here to confront you, because we need help from the media and they're hurting us. And it's -- the idea is...

(APPLAUSE)

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Let me get this straight. If the indictment is -- if the indictment is -- and I have seen you say this -- that...

STEWART: Yes.

BEGALA: And that CROSSFIRE reduces everything, as I said in the intro, to left, right, black, white.

STEWART: Yes.

BEGALA: Well, it's because, see, we're a debate show.

STEWART: No, no, no, no, that would be great.

BEGALA: It's like saying The Weather Channel reduces everything to a storm front.

STEWART: I would love to see a debate show.

BEGALA: We're 30 minutes in a 24-hour day where we have each side on, as best we can get them, and have them fight it out.

STEWART: No, no, no, no, that would be great. To do a debate would be great. But that's like saying pro wrestling is a show about athletic competition.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Jon, Jon, Jon, I'm sorry. I think you're a good comedian. I think your lectures are boring.

STEWART: Yes.

CARLSON: Let me ask you a question on the news.

STEWART: Now, this is theater. It's obvious. How old are you?

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Thirty-five. STEWART: And you wear a bow tie.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Yes, I do. I do.

STEWART: So this is...

CARLSON: I know. I know. I know. You're a...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: So this is theater.

CARLSON: Now, let me just...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Now, come on.

STEWART: Now, listen, I'm not suggesting that you're not a smart guy, because those are not easy to tie.

CARLSON: They're difficult.

(LAUGHTER)

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...

(CROSSTALK)

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...

(CROSSTALK)

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

(LAUGHTER)

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.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

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.

The thing that I want to say is, when you have people on for just knee-jerk, reactionary talk...

CARLSON: Wait. I thought you were going to be funny. Come on. Be funny.

STEWART: No. No. I'm not going to be your monkey.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: Go ahead. Go ahead.

STEWART: I watch your show every day. And it kills me.

CARLSON: I can tell you love it.

STEWART: It's so -- oh, it's so painful to watch.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: You know, because we need what you do. This is such a great opportunity you have here to actually get politicians off of their marketing and strategy.

CARLSON: Is this really Jon Stewart? What is this, anyway?

STEWART: Yes, it's someone who watches your show and cannot take it anymore.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: I just can't.

CARLSON: What's it like to have dinner with you? It must be excruciating. Do you like lecture people like this or do you come over to their house and sit and lecture them; they're not doing the right thing, that they're missing their opportunities, evading their responsibilities? STEWART: If I think they are.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: I wouldn't want to eat with you, man. That's horrible.

STEWART: I know. And you won't. But the thing I want to get to...

BEGALA: We did promise naked pictures of the Supreme Court justices.

CARLSON: Yes, we did. Let's get to those.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: They're in this book, which is a very funny book.

STEWART: Why can't we just talk -- please, I beg of you guys, please.

CARLSON: I think you watch too much CROSSFIRE.

We're going to take a quick break.

STEWART: No, no, no, please.

CARLSON: No, no, hold on. We've got commercials.

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: Please. Please stop.

CARLSON: Next, Jon Stewart in the "Rapid Fire."

STEWART: Please stop.

CARLSON: Hopefully, he'll be here, we hope, we think.

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: And then, did U.S. soldiers refuse an order in Iraq. Wolf Blitzer has the latest on this investigation right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington.

Coming up at the top of the hour, the Pentagon investigator a report that U.S. soldiers refused to go on a dangerous mission in Iraq. We'll have details. In medical news, the FDA prescribes a strongly worded label on antidepressant drugs. And why some experts think the flu vaccine shortage is a grim warning about U.S. vulnerability to bioterrorism.

All those stories, much more, only minutes away on "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS."

Now back to CROSSFIRE.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE.

We're talking to Jon Stewart, who was just lecturing us on our moral inferiority.

Jon, you're bumming us out. Tell us, what do you think about the Bill O'Reilly vibrator story?

STEWART: I'm sorry. I don't.

CARLSON: Oh, OK.

STEWART: What do you think?

BEGALA: Let me change the subject.

STEWART: Where's your moral outrage on this?

CARLSON: I don't have any.

STEWART: I know.

BEGALA: Which candidate do you suppose would provide you better material?

STEWART: I'm sorry?

BEGALA: Which candidate do you suppose would provide you better material if he won?

STEWART: Mr. T. I think he'd be the funniest. I don't...

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: Don't you have a stake in it that way, as not just a citizen, but as a professional comic?

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: Right, which I hold to be much more important than as a citizen.

BEGALA: Well, there you go.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: But who would you provide you better material, do you suppose?

STEWART: I don't really know. That's kind of not how we look at it. We look at, the absurdity of the system provides us the most material. And that is best served by sort of the theater of it all, you know, which, by the way, thank you both, because it's been helpful.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: But, if Kerry gets elected, is it going to -- you have said you're voting for him. You obviously support him. It's clear. Will it be harder for you to mock his administration if he becomes president?

STEWART: No. Why would it be harder?

CARLSON: Because you support...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: The only way it would be harder is if his administration is less absurd than this one. So, in that case, if it's less absurd, then, yes, I think it would be harder.

But, I mean, it would be hard to top this group, quite frankly.

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

STEWART: In terms of absurdity and their world matching up to the one that -- you know, it was interesting. President Bush was saying, John Kerry's rhetoric doesn't match his record.

But I've heard President Bush describe his record. His record doesn't match his record.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: So I don't worry about it in that respect.

But let me ask you guys, again, a question, because we talked a little bit about, you're actually doing honest debate and all that. But, after the debates, where do you guys head to right afterwards?

CARLSON: The men's room.

STEWART: Right after that?

BEGALA: Home.

STEWART: Spin alley.

BEGALA: Home.

STEWART: No, spin alley.

BEGALA: What are you talking about? You mean at these debates?

STEWART: Yes. You go to spin alley, the place called spin alley. Now, don't you think that, for people watching at home, that's kind of a drag, that you're literally walking to a place called deception lane?

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Like, it's spin alley. It's -- don't you see, that's the issue I'm trying to talk to you guys...

BEGALA: No, I actually believe -- I have a lot of friends who work for President Bush. I went to college with some of them.

CARLSON: Neither of us was ever in the spin room, actually.

(BELL RINGING)

BEGALA: No, I did -- I went to do the Larry King show.

They actually believe what they're saying. They want to persuade you. That's what they're trying to do by spinning. But I don't doubt for a minute these people who work for President Bush, who I disagree with on everything, they believe that stuff, Jon. This is not a lie or a deception at all. They believe in him, just like I believe in my guy.

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: I think they believe President Bush would do a better job.

And I believe the Kerry guys believe President Kerry would do a better job. But what I believe is, they're not making honest arguments. So what they're doing is, in their mind, the ends justify the means.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: I don't think so at all.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: I do think you're more fun on your show. Just my opinion.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: OK, up next, Jon Stewart goes one on one with his fans...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Now, you're getting into it. I like that.

STEWART: Yes.

CARLSON: OK. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BEGALA: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. We are joined by Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, host of "The Daily Show" and author of No. 1 bestseller, "America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction."

CARLSON: And a ton of fun, I like that too.

BEGALA: Some questions from our audience. Yes sir, what's your name, what's your name?

QUESTION: Hi, my name's David. I'm from Boston.

STEWART: Hi, David.

QUESTION: My question is, what do you think the hump on G.W.'s back during the debate was?

STEWART: Say it again?

QUESTION: What do you think the hump on George's back during the debate was?

STEWART: The hump on his back?

BEGALA: Oh, you're familiar? This is (INAUDIBLE) conspiracy theory. Can I take this one?

STEWART: Yes, please.

BEGALA: It was nothing, his suit was puckering. A lot of people believe he had one of these in his ear. If he was being fed lines by Karl Rove, he would not have been so inarticulate, guys. It's a myth.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: It's not true. There's this huge myth out on the left.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Yes, ma'am.

QUESTION: Renee (ph) from Texas. Why do you think it's hard or difficult or impossible for politicians to answer a straight, simple question?

STEWART: I don't think it's hard. I just think that nobody holds their feet to the fire to do it. So they don't have to. They get to come on shows that don't...

BEGALA: They're too easy on them.

CARLSON: Yes. Ask them how you hold...

STEWART: Not easy on them...

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: ... saying we were too hard on people and too (INAUDIBLE).

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: I think you're - yes.

CARLSON: All right. Jon Stewart, come back soon.

BEGALA: Jon Stewart, good of you to join us. Thank you very much. The book is "America: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction."

From the left I am Paul Begala, that's it for CROSSFIRE.

CARLSON: And from the right I'm Tucker Carlson, have a great weekend. See you Monday.


 

Comments

I've never been prouder of anything a celebrity has done than I am of what Jon Stewart did on Crossfire Friday night. He showed these guys for the lame-ass entertainers (as opposed to journalists) they truly are.

Notice how outraged Tucker Carlson got at what he said. He has no problem with a guest like Ann Coulter who has written that the only problem she had with the Oklahoma City bomber is that he didn't blow up the New York Times building--that to him is "legitimate political commentary"--but have the nerve to tell these jerkoffs to their faces that their show is a carnival side show and all hell breaks loose.

If Jon Stewart never does another thing in his life, telling the Crossfire assholes, "No. No. I'm not going to be your monkey" is more than enough for me. The guy's a fucking saint.

I share your admiration. It was truly a breath of fresh air.

user-pic

That is the most amazing thing I've ever seen on political tv.

Jon Stewart is my hero.

Thanks for posting this, I wouldn't have gotten to see it otherwise. It is pretty embarrassing that we have to rely on The Daily Show for some of the best journalism on TV. Thank God Jon Stewart takes the job seriously!

John Stewart calling Tucker Carlson a dick on Crossfire is something we all wish we could do.

The guy is a hero--no doubt about it. As when he was interviewd by Ted Kopel, Stewart, a comedian (as if that is a lesser profession than "journalist"), comes off as the voice of reason while the "journalists" sound like hacks and buffoons.

Thanks for posting this--I would never have seen it, because I'd never watch Crossfire. I agree with the others--Jon Stewart IS a saint--which ironically is not that hard today, since we've sunk so low that anyone with a shred of concern for anyone but themselves is in the running.

I always thought he was a smart, commonsense guy--but I can also see that he genuinely, genuinely gives a shit about what happens in this country beyond his own bottom line. It really shows here. And I cannot think of another person on any show out there that actually operates that way--except possibly Bill Moyers.

I love how Jon Stewart makes millions from corporations, uses a comedy show to plug Kerry by having him on and kissing up to him the whole time. Yet, when the people on CNN do it, they're told, "right now you guys are helping the politicians and the corporations and were left out there to mow our lawns..." Lets just close out eyes and pretend that's not hypocrisy. And no, I don't support Bush.

There is a difference between comedy and news. Let's not compare apples and oranges.

How refreshing! I hope Jon doesn't go down like Phil Donahue and Bill Maher for his honesty. Of course, once GW and party are gone and behind bars, and the war in Iraq declared illegal and senseless, these people will be back and given sainthood in the media.

Much thanks for posting the transcript. I don't watch Crossfire either - for the reason Jon argued - and I am almost done with mainstream media altogether. FSTV, Moyers and the like are the only honest stations left. There's some value to mainstream media, but I'm tired of sifting through the propaganda and lies to get to the truth.

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Jon Stewart is not held to any standard of objectivity. He is a COMEDIAN. His job is to make us laugh, not tell us the truth. Journalists, on the other hand, are bound by a standard of objectivity, which they have basically thrown out the window. The Daily Show is obviously NOT a real news show and does not purport to be an honest assessment or reporting of news and current events. Furthermore, the interview segment is for entertainment. It should not be a "feet to the fire" moment or no self-respecting politician would deign to appear. I mean, come on, the guy has just as many actors on the show as politicians. Should he hold Tom Cruise's feet to the fire, as well?

Thank you Jon. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Jan

Kristi Wilkins,ever heard of freedom of @#$%ing speech!

i agree with you kristi, well said. jon stewart, you made so many people feel proud and refreshed.

Jon Stewart is too good. He just took on the news guys on a "debate" show and came all trumps. Its ridiculous to expect Jon to ask Kerry some serious tough questions... its a COMEDY CENTRAL SHOW, for crying out loud. Did Jay Leno get similar comments after Laura Bush's or John Edwards' interviews? No. That would be equally ridiculous.

Isn't it some sorry state of affairs that Jon Stewart show actually has better "journalistic standards" than the real news shows?

Its a pity that the two presidential candidates are reluctant to make themselves avialable to answer serios questions about the future of the country. Its an even greater pity that the journalists, who are supposed to hold these candidates responsible for any "spins" do a he-said-she-said reporting. And the greatest pity of all is that being a liberal is shameful; being a religious, pseudo-scientific, venom-spouting bitch is being patriotic.

What does freedom of @#$%ing speech have to do with any of this?

Absolutly awsome what he did there, the fact he didn't let up and eventually called him a dick. Priceless.

Thank you Jon. The world, as it is now, needs a person like you to stand up for all of us who have no voice to be heard on such a grand scale. Your bravery will echo through the halls of journalism for a long, long, time. In your own words, "Please." don't stop!

Voltaire would be proud of the work The Daily Show has been doing during this election campaign. A twit like Tucker Carlson deserves to be slapped in front of his own audience and told that he needs to go back to journalism school. CNN needs to be told that it is a joke.

After watching that, I see Jon Stewart as the worse kind of coward. He acts as a liberal hollywood apologist and then when he�s called on it he whines �But I�m just a comedy show! Don�t take me too seriously!� And he claims any show that doesn�t fit his political bent is working for the "evil corporations". He�s the classic example of Stalin�s useful idiot.

I've was so delighted and impressed by Jon Stewart's appearance last Friday on Crossfire I spent two or three hours over the weekend either sending e-mails to Comedy Central and CNN, or searching Google for follow-up commentary on the show. His was the "straightest shootin'" I've heard on the box in a long time. Thanks Mr. S. for saying what many of us have been thinking.

Stewart's right, no one holds politicians' feet to the fire anymore. There isn't any civil discourse. All we have are Carvilles and Carlsons who bicker amongst each other and like Jon said, don't make honest arguments. Jon Stewart may be left-leaning, but his points make a lot of sense. I don't necessarily agree with choice of confronting Carlson and Begala on their own show, but watching it nonetheless was refreshing. Who really cares about the Bill O'Reilly vibrator story or the Laci Peterson trial or the Kobe Bryant case? There are so many more meaningful and more important topics that need to be addressed properly, and yet often are reduced to theater, just like Stewart said. I'm behind Jon Stewart all the way.

"After watching that, I see Jon Stewart as the worse kind of coward.

Um... no he's not.

"He acts as a liberal hollywood apologist"

Um... he makes fun of whatever is absurd.

"and then when he�s called on it he whines �But I�m just a comedy show! Don�t take me too seriously!�"

Um... his IS just a comedy show... that people watch way too much now that corporate media is shit.

"And he claims any show that doesn�t fit his political bent is working for the "evil corporations""

Um... When did he do that?

"He�s the classic example of Stalin�s useful idiot."

Um... no he's not. Next Question.

The 4th wall was not just crossed, but knocked down courtesy of Jon Stewart, helping me to NOT believe for the first time in a long time that conservatives control not only their own output of propaganda, but staged left reaction as well--now we are left standing at full attention with the most absolute demonstration of honesty. It's quite sad that a comedy guy has to take it upon himself, on behalf of a troubled and dumb nation, to actually spur these plastic journalists to do their jobs and give it something it can use.

Funnier than that, Tucker Carlson probably went to the men's room, as he likes to do after debates I hear, looked down at his dick and thought, "Hey, that's what Jon Stewart called me on my own show, not only because I've asked for it with this ridiculous puppet theatre show I "host," but that because I don't know how to debate on my debate show was left utterly defeated by the same comedy guy I tried to ambush." CNN cries about it's terrible ratings, Jon Stewart gave you a gift--cancel these losers.

When you read the transcripts, it's suprising how many times Jon Stewart is interupted, his ideas completely cut short. I'm not accustomed to Crossfire, but these interuptions totally support Stewarts point. These shows control the content, and when they disagree with what is being said, they don't allow their "guest" to finish what they have to say. Jon Stewart, your actions are more powerful than your words, and your words were perfectly powerful.

go, Jon! so impressive how you held your line of discussion despite frequent interruptions. and the sad fact is, they still don't get it. thanks for posting, WebHost, the cnn.com site craps out just when it starts getting interesting.

"He�s the classic example of Stalin�s useful idiot."

Jason Nichols seems to be making the rounds. He has posted this very comment on yet another blog. I wouldn't be surprised if he has posted it, verbatum, on several sites discussing the Jon Stewart Crossfire episode.

Tucker Carlson aka Jason Nichols.

Perhaps Tucker, er.. I mean Jason, should come clean.

Hooray for Jon Stewart! I feel sorry for what will happen to him as a result of this, however. The only way people on TV can get away with telling the truth is if they disguise it as comedy. He let the joker mask slip, and for that he will be made to pay.

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I am a Bush supporter and I 100% agree with John's comments about what the media has become. During election years, I stop watching the news. I can barely take it when they do doom-and-gloom for 3/4 of the newscast and then do fluff pieces that don't have a shred of actual news in them. I don't need to be actually insulted during the political process. Most of the stuff you see (such as crossfire, or anything on CNN for the most part) insults the intelligence of the average viewer by trying to pass off blatantly partisan line-toeing rather than honest interviews and commentary.

I don't mind people saying they agree with this guy or that one, but to claim you are a disinterested party and then not report that way is a joke. Grr... Why does everyone have to demonize people they don't agree with? I don't agree with a lot of John Kerry's stands/plans, but I don't think he's some sort of evil man trying to fool us into voting for him. I agree with some of Bush's stands/plans, but I don't think he's infallible or that I will agree with every single thing he says or does. I digress...

Anyhow, Thanks again, John, for pointing out the problem with the mainstream media. It's a breath of fresh air.

I love Jon Stewart!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

I love Jon Stewart!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

Regarding the questions that Carlson Tucker hammered Jon Stewart for asking John Kerry:

Jon was "bowing to the Buddha" in the man, and honoring him as one human being to another. Perhaps this is what made Tucker chafe and writhe?

It is simplistic and thoughtless to believe that the only valid method of discourse with a politician is an argumentative one. I would personally like to see as many dimensions of my prospective representatives as I possibly can before making my decision. (And, yes, I am undecided.) But I guess a great deal of Americans would rather view the political process as more of a sport, where human qualities are secondary at best, and not really critical at all.

I am amazed that anybody would consider it a suck-up to ask a man who is going through what you know has to be a harrowing ordeal, "How are you holding up?" or "Is it hard not to take the attacks personally?" But that's compassionate partisanism for you.

By showing respect for Kerry and setting him at ease, Jon created an bubble of opportunity for the man to relax, be himself, get off the straight-line rhetoric and say things spontaneously for a few moments -- which he did, a little bit. It helped me get a rounder picture of the man. Remember, prior to that we hadn't really seen him in very many different kinds of contexts. By contrast, we'd seen George Bush in a wide variety of situations, casual and formal, candid and contrived, over the past 4 years. So I didn't see it as inappropriate at all, even from a purely political point of view, for Jon to furnish us with a chance to see the man in an unfamiliar situation. You know, you can learn a great deal about a man by speaking to him as a brother (or sister) that you will never, ever discover if you constantly put him on the defensive in every situation.

(Incidentally, I will not be surprised if I see a knee-jerk rightie-fundie or two leap on my use of the word "Buddha" and claim that I am elevating Kerry to the stature of a god, thereby revealing a profound ignorance of the meaning of the phrase, as well as the culture and religion from which it comes to us. Not to mention a pitiable lack of patience and attention span, since reading the whole post would forestall this event.)

come on with all this ass-kissing. who wants to read 150 messages on how much we all wanna lick jon stewart's balls?

yes, his point was worthwhile. those crossfire guys, especially that moron tucker carlson, ARE dicks. but jon stewart didn't make any case for discrediting their show. i've never seen crossfire and i was really curious to find out exactly what it is that they do that's so inept and harmful. there was no mention of it. no examples or evidence.

true, those dicks wouldn't give him a chance to speak, but he should have realized that way before his time was up and jumped to the point. he wasted so much time repeating himself. repeating generalizations about what they do vs. what he does. i was waiting for him to get to the meat cuz he was my only hope of hearing some reason.

clearly those two hosts have their heads up their asses, but i was hoping jonny would have been able to stick it to them in a more direct, less general-you guys suck-kinda way. that would have really been influential to some people. still, he gets credit for making the point at all, cuz it really needs to be made in a big way.

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God bless Jon Stewart, a true American patriot.

Jon is a courteous man with a high sense of civil discourse, something he was trying to afford the wingnuts on Crossfire who declined to participate on that level. Those who were privileged to see this episode saw our current corporatocracy in action--please erase the terms, conservative & liberal from your memory banks and insert corporate and independent, you will have a lot less headaches! And the fog of politics will disappear!

The Four Stooge Media's job is to point out/amplify the imperfections of any Democrat who is making noise nationally and to ignore/deflate any imperfections in a counterpart Republican. Want proof? Why is BushInc still in office when Clinton was impeached for a blowjob?

Why does this take place? The Four Stooge Media are all multi-national corporations that make the bulk of their revenue from industries that profit from the current state of war. MSNBC, CSNBC and NBC are owned by General Electric the number one weaponsmaker in the WORLD.

GE recently got 7bn in last week's tax cut, their 2003 reported earnings were 15bn, why do they deserve a tax cut--because they are getting bribed to get BushInc re-selected.

And don't forget the maximum of 4 judges the next President will appoint to the Supreme Court! Your choice--do you want more or less DEMOCRACY?

ditto that! bush be gone, by the flood of pissed off voters on election day. All the unpolled citizens will arise and swell the polling stations with votes for John Kerry. peace. NOt pieces. No more black anf white!

at least 3 weird homophobic-ish comments from tucker: 1) "i felt the sparks between you" 2) "sniff his throne" 3) the twice-uttered phrase "butt boy"

cheers to jon stewart for exposing these frauds

"come on with all this ass-kissing. who wants to read 150 messages on how much we all wanna lick jon stewart's balls? yes, his point was worthwhile. those crossfire guys, especially that moron tucker carlson, ARE dicks. but jon stewart didn't make any case for discrediting their show. i've never seen crossfire and i was really curious to find out exactly what it is that they do that's so inept and harmful. there was no mention of it. no examples or evidence."

For someone who has never seen the show, it is interesting that you have come so quickly to a conclusion about its hosts. That aside, as a previous poster said, Stewart was repeatedly interrupted. Also, unlike you (supposedly), the people in the audience and watching live were -- isn't it obvious? -- Crossfire watchers, and for them there was no need for Stewart to list all the show's sins in chapter and verse. It's obvious in every way, even to those for whom the show is a guilty pleasure. He did bring up his core critiques, especially that the "debate" is really just constant disingenuous spin rather than real engagement and that a daily public forum is being squandered by a self-proclaimed news network. If you want to hear his views in more detail, he has been on Charlie Rose, Fresh Air and other shows lately talking about exactly these points. Check those out if you're interested.

Now, back to the ball licking.

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Bravo Jon!

I just wanted to say that I actually watched the Daily Show in question where Tucker's quotes were taken from. Jon asked Kerry "How are you holding up?" FOR HIS FIRST QUESTION. As in, guest arrives on stage and just as he sits down the host (Jon) asks "How ya holding up?" as a way to ease his guest onto the program. All three of Tucker's "quotes" were taken drastically out of context. The question about "are you a flip flopper?" was asked satirically, with comedic tone, in response to the "Swift Boat" ads. Anyway, my point is, Tucker was the one trying to AMBUSH Jon - they had a pre-prepared graphic with the 3 questions -

"How are you holding up? " To be taken from Jon as - "Welcome to the show" Taken by Tucker as - "John Kerry, How are you holding up? (sticks mic into his face pressing for an answer)"

"Are you a flip flopper" - This was asked RIGHT after Jon said something like "So from reading the headlines I see that you were NEVER in Vietnam" - CONTEXT PEOPLE Tucker, again, makes this as if Jon was possing a REAL question.

Anyway I guess the point is that the CNN quotes, like all their other quotes, were taken out of context to provide ammo for the crossfire. To bad Jon is so quick on his feet.

Tucker wanted to compare questions Jon asked Kerry to questions asked on Crossfire .. however they did NOT post some of the REAL questions that Jon asks .. they used punch lines and sarcastic remarks as "quotes"...

BTW - if you guys vote Bush in again watch the Canuck loonie break even with the US dollar. We are at $0.80 on the dollar now, a 25 year high. Not since the 70s has our dollar been this high. Why? Bush. Simple. When Clinton was in power our dollar was around $0.55 - $.65 cents on the US dollar. Thanks GW!

By the way, "Unidentified Male" and "Unidentified Female" in the beginning of the transcript are Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa.

I think some people don't like Jon Stewart and The Daily Show because it asks us to think. Instead of just belting out the talking points, the Daily Show asks where the talking points came from. They're not a real news show, but in some ways, they do it better. If people would read books (for god's sake read) and think for themselves, shows like Crossfire and (sadly) the Daily Show would be unnecessary.

And I hate to say it, but we're all hypocrites. It doesn't matter. Christ's sake. Of course it looked like Jon Stewart was kissing his ass. He was being nice while he was there. If you watch the show with any regularity, you'll realize he make fun of them all. He criticizes them all, and when the person is actually there, he talks to them like a human being. And yes, Jon Stewart makes money. Oops. Is that a crime?

By the way, your grammar is atrocious. Here's how your sentences should have looked:

I love how Jon Stewart makes millions from corporations, uses a comedy show to plug Kerry, and kisses up to him the whole time. (non-parallel series corrected)

Yet, when the people on CNN do it, they're told, "Right now, you guys are helping the politicians and the corporations, and we're left out there to mow our lawns." (comma splice and lack of apostrophe)

Let's just close our eyes and pretend that's not hypocrisy. And no, I don't support Bush. (Lack of apostrophe, again, and misspelling corrected.)

Of course Jon Stewart was right on. Of course it was a risky decision to play it absolutely straight on a show which he criticized for never playing things straight. It was a breath of fresh air. The real problem is that we need a lot more fresh air if we hope to have a world that works. As long as people respond on a purely partisan (and illogical) basis to any points advanced in favour of alternate explanations or views there will be a continual decline in living standards. The media's role in this is crucial: the money that is being spent at a rate half a trillion dollars faster than it is being earned isn't just an accounting trick. Eventually, someone has to pay the bills.

This is only one (particularly clear and universally agreed upon by economists and analysts of all parties) example of a fact that is never allowed to get in the way of rhetoric and spin by either candidate. If Crossfire behaved as Jon Stewart suggests, they might actually debate how this mess was created and how it could be fixed, regardless of who was responsible for doing the fixing. The only reason they won't is because you would first have to admit that something needed to be fixed, and that someone (who caould be clearly identified) was responsible for this impending disaster. My biggest complaint about Bush's supporters in the media is that they like to procalim that perfectly justified criticisms of his actual deeds (or lack thereof) are being advanced for "political reasons".

If a society reaches a point where it can't define any of the serious problems it confronts, then it can't find solutions. Why can't Crossfire be part of the solution instead of the problem?

One last thing: I agree with Tucker Carlson on one point, that Jon Stewart isn't necessarily all that funny. But what Tucker doesn't get is that the humor doesn't come from some shtick, it comes from allowing us to see in a transparent and simple way the inherent ridiculousness of political life in the USA. Jon's just the straight man.

Kudos to Jon Stewart. I want to see Bush on his show! Then he'd be exposed as the nut that he is.

Of course Jon Stewart was right on. Of course it was a risky decision to play it absolutely straight on a show which he criticized for never playing things straight. It was a breath of fresh air. The real problem is that we need a lot more fresh air if we hope to have a world that works. As long as people respond on a purely partisan (and illogical) basis to any points advanced in favour of alternate explanations or views there will be a continual decline in living standards. The media's role in this is crucial: the money that is being spent at a rate half a trillion dollars faster than it is being earned isn't just an accounting trick. Eventually, someone has to pay the bills.

This is only one (particularly clear and universally agreed upon by economists and analysts of all parties) example of a fact that is never allowed to get in the way of rhetoric and spin by either candidate. If Crossfire behaved as Jon Stewart suggests, they might actually debate how this mess was created and how it could be fixed, regardless of who was responsible for doing the fixing. The only reason they won't is because you would first have to admit that something needed to be fixed, and that someone (who would be clearly identified) was responsible for this impending disaster. My biggest complaint about Bush's supporters in the media is that they like to procalim that perfectly justified criticisms of his actual deeds (or lack thereof) are being advanced for "political reasons".

If a society reaches a point where it can't define any of the serious problems it confronts, then it can't find solutions. Why can't Crossfire be part of the solution instead of the problem?

One last thing: I agree with Tucker Carlson on one point, that Jon Stewart isn't necessarily all that funny. But what Tucker doesn't get is that the humor doesn't come from some shtick, it comes from allowing us to see in a transparent and simple way the inherent ridiculousness of political life in the USA. Jon's just the straight man.

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Why doesn't anyone mention Jim Lehrer and gang? I get balanced "debate" and civilized discourse on his show every night. Maybe instead of wasting time on shows like Crossfire (commercially supported CNN), let's put our money where our opinions are and support public television (both financially and by watching)! If enough people did that, these stupid shows would get cancelled--they are only on the air because PEOPLE WATCH THEM.

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Jon Stewart is fair and balanced...it is the CANDIDATES that are UNBALANCED. One has brains and is thoughtful and the other is trying to fit Karl's image of Reagan. I vote for brains.

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Thanks for posting the script, I missed the show. Who said he was not funny?? he was still funny!! Please post Jon Stewart with Bill Orielly on The Daily Show" if you can. America please do not loose this opportunity to elect a great guy like John Kerry. I was for Bush until recently, but I saw so much of him on TV. Common, he carries himself like some Mayor of Abiline Texas or Monroe Lousiana

One thing that should be pointed out here is that while Jon Stewart has only had John Kerry on his show and not George Bush, that is because George Bush won't do the show. Stewart has had plenty of Bush's people on the show, and even on monday when Ed Koch was saying he's pro Bush and the crowd Booed, Stewart agreed with Koch that it was uncalled for.

I think some people don't like Jon Stewart and The Daily Show because it asks us to think. Instead of just belting out the talking points, the Daily Show asks where the talking points came from. They're not a real news show, but in some ways, they do it better. If people would read books (for god's sake read) and think for themselves, shows like Crossfire and (sadly) the Daily Show would be unnecessary.

And I hate to say it, but we're all hypocrites. It doesn't matter. Christ's sake. Of course it looked like Jon Stewart was kissing his ass. He was being nice while he was there. If you watch the show with any regularity, you'll realize he make fun of them all. He criticizes them all, and when the person is actually there, he talks to them like a human being. And yes, Jon Stewart makes money. Oops. Is that a crime?

By the way, your grammar is atrocious. Here's how your sentences should have looked:

I love how Jon Stewart makes millions from corporations, uses a comedy show to plug Kerry, and kisses up to him the whole time. (non-parallel series corrected)

Yet, when the people on CNN do it, they're told, "Right now, you guys are helping the politicians and the corporations, and we're left out there to mow our lawns." (comma splice and lack of apostrophe)

Let's just close our eyes and pretend that's not hypocrisy. And no, I don't support Bush. (Lack of apostrophe, again, and misspelling corrected.)

I think some people don't like Jon Stewart and The Daily Show because it asks us to think. Instead of just belting out the talking points, the Daily Show asks where the talking points came from. They're not a real news show, but in some ways, they do it better. If people would read books (for god's sake read) and think for themselves, shows like Crossfire and (sadly) the Daily Show would be unnecessary.

And I hate to say it, but we're all hypocrites. It doesn't matter. Christ's sake. Of course it looked like Jon Stewart was kissing his ass. He was being nice while he was there. If you watch the show with any regularity, you'll realize he make fun of them all. He criticizes them all, and when the person is actually there, he talks to them like a human being. And yes, Jon Stewart makes money. Oops. Is that a crime?

By the way, your grammar is atrocious. Here's how your sentences should have looked:

I love how Jon Stewart makes millions from corporations, uses a comedy show to plug Kerry, and kisses up to him the whole time. (non-parallel series corrected)

Yet, when the people on CNN do it, they're told, "Right now, you guys are helping the politicians and the corporations, and we're left out there to mow our lawns." (comma splice and lack of apostrophe)

Let's just close our eyes and pretend that's not hypocrisy. And no, I don't support Bush. (Lack of apostrophe, again, and misspelling corrected.)

Stewart was right-on. Crossfire, Hardball, I-Wanna-Kick-Your-Ass, the major netwoks and especially everything on FOX -- they all have a partisan perspective. (Jim Lehrer on PBS at 7:00 p.m. EST is the only "fair and balanced" news to watch.) I just wish Jon had been more succinct, less repetitive, and had explained WHY these shows are hurting the country...how they let a lot of politicians' lies go unchallenged and allow viewers to make up their minds based on misinformation. That's why, once again, we'll get what we deserve in November.

It is great that we have a gadfly like Jon to police the media but I don't believe it is the media's fault that they put together a WWF news format like Crossfire.

All of the media focuses on Cheney�s daughter, on character assassinations, on expressions made during a debate rather than the debate itself, on distorted interpretations rather than substantive examination of policy. We are living in a country where riding on a tank, or a windsurfer, or frowning, or yelling �Yeehaw!� will affect whether you are able to be elected more than what you believe is right in foreign policy! Where what you did 30 years ago is more important than what you did last week. Where �folksy character� passes for sincerity and your ability to be personable is more important than whether, why, where and when you would send us to war. Where we ignore what the rest of the world thinks because we have the money and the military. Where we believe that power is more important than principle. I suppose that this is the typical rant for a Kerry supporter.

Lately, before I engage in the political discussion that inevitably accompanies every casual conversation, I have a few questions that I ask in order to determine whether the discourse can even be meaningful. The questions include, �Do you believe in evolution? Do you believe in separation between church and state? Do you believe that Democracy in the world is hurt by a loss of American credibility? Do you believe that the ends justify the means? (one that Jon mentioned on the show)."

These questions are my barometer. They help me to gauge whether I am speaking with someone with whom I can have a meaningful discussion. I avoid questions like, �Do you believe in preemptive war?� or, �Do you feel that you are being lied to?� because I am trying to establish common ground. In other words, I have resolved myself to the fact that I can only attack or defend opinions that are to some degree based upon reason and truthfulness (the mortal enemies of the fundamentalist Neocon agenda).

The scariest part of my political discussions lately is that supporters of Bush so rarely pass this test! It is absolutely amazing that the America that I grew up in has changed so fundamentally in its ideology!

It occurred to me in writing this that you can tell a lot more about a persons beliefs from their questions than their answers these days. You would expect traditional Conservatives to ask the following questions: �Do you believe that you can manage your money better than the government? Do you believe in deficit spending? Do you believe in abortion? Do you believe in preference based upon race?� All of these are issues that would demonstrate an agenda that was familiar and a philosophy that could be debated. I might even agree with one or two, having voted for Bush in the last election.

What is alarming is the list of questions that come from today's Bush supporters and how they differ from the familiar Conservative agenda. At this point they are represented by questions like: �Do you feel that it is fair to out someone�s daughter to win a campaign? Do you believe that France ought to be able to dictate our foreign policy? Do you believe that a person that can�t make up their mind should lead our country? Would you let someone who betrayed our military lead the nation? Do you believe in God?� None of these questions accurately reflect any of Kerry�s beliefs or issues that the candidates would reasonably debate, they are all predicated upon propaganda! I can�t debate lies or beliefs based purely on faith! It seems pretty clear that the only accurate definition for an old NEOcon is just a CON.

It is understandable that politicians use these techniques because they are effective. It seems that, no matter how distasteful it might be to Kerry, this race has been escalating towards ever more dramatic character assassination, reductive reasoning, negative campaigning, and fear mongering. Although the Democrats are coming up to speed with these techniques, it is definitely a rookie season.

It is also understandable that the media will report any story that is sensational because they are rated on share not on truth. Every reporter hopes that debates devolve into a Jerry Springer episode with candidates armed with folding chairs and that blond, topless analysts represent the spin-doctors.

What is not easy for me to understand is why people in this society aren�t more curious to examine the truth, or ask the tough questions, or become outraged at clear moral indiscretions!

Have we become so lazy and anxious that we are just seeking easy answers? Are we so scared of the implications of the escalating destructive potential of technology that we must retreat from rationality into some Luddite, simplistic morality? Politics has become increasingly a faith-based endeavor where the candidate�s ability to convince people of their rightness is more important than the substance of the discussion. Is it any wonder then that the ability to be convincingly righteous is the principal trait shared by politicians, actors, and preachers and that we have confused these roles? What is driving the devolution of our society?

It seems to me that we should take a little time to reexamine our changing philosophy as a nation, because, and this belies my personal fear, we seem to be losing touch with our Democracy. This is not a superficial threat, and it is more fundamental than gay marriage, or the Patriot Act, or stem cell research, or even abortion rights. It is a more insidious shift in the way we think about ourselves and the world.

At the end of the day, it seems that Democrats are so ineffective at combating the Republican campaign because they are fighting anxiety and fear. It is natural for people to retreat from change or to hang on hard to what you have in the face of competition. It is natural to retreat to faith in the face of mortality. It is hard to be rational when the country is running on adrenaline. Belief vs. Fact, Status Quo vs. Change, Appearance vs. Substance, Sensationalism vs. Truth, Faith vs. Science, Corporate Dominance vs. Individuals Rights � these are the real issues that are shaping this election season. In order to decide to be brave, we must firstly agree to return to being honest and rational, and that may require some degree of bravery in and of itself.

So if you read this, and you took away something like: I feel Americans are lazy, and I fear competition, and I am against corporations, and that Democrats are rookies, I would guess that you watch a lot of Crossfire.

Man...do you know how much courage it must take to go one to someone's show, and tell them off to their face? Especially when there are two of them! Good for you, Mr. Stewart!

I agree that Jon Stewart made a valid point. However, to the person that admonished the other person's grammar: One of Jon Stewart's points was that people spend too much time attacking each other , especially over petty quabble like grammar, or choking on a pretzel, or an unattractive face. The opinion of a person with poor grammar is no less valid than the opinion of a Harvard English professor. I don't care that a person has poor grammar, I don't care that our president almost choked on a pretzel, I don't care if John Kerry ever had Botox (or however you spell it) and I don't care that President Clinton has his knob slobbed. I DON'T CARE, and no offense, but neither should anyone else. None of these qualities are pertinent to being president of the United State.

I thought most of what Stewart said was on-target, and it was an extremely humorous piece. Yet I find it disingenuous for him to use his 'comedy' show as a bully pulpit for what are truly serious issues, but then hide behind the fact that it's 'comedy' when he's taken to task on how he deals with pols.

Whatever he or others may think--his show is very influential--comedy or not--so to say he has no responsibility for what he does is not facing reality, whether it follows puppets making prank calls or not. BB

I would like to add, that in other shows of his, here is an example:

http://video.lisarein.com/dailyshow/sept2004/Sept12004/9-01-04-dan.mov

Jon Stewart asks the White House Communications Director, Dan Bartlett, "How are you all holding up?"

Tucker Carlson, I hope you are reading this.

I would like to add, that in other shows of his, here is an example:

http://video.lisarein.com/dailyshow/sept2004/Sept12004/9-01-04-dan.mov

Jon Stewart asks the White House Communications Director, Dan Bartlett, "How are you all holding up?"

Tucker Carlson, I hope you are reading this.

I find it interesting that Jon went on a "debate show" against two supposedly professional debaters and he was the only one interested in debating. The two "pros" were bumbling and fumbling like rank amatures while the amature held his ground, defended it, and score several hard blows. Outside of Jon's comments the show was chaos. Interuptions and commercial breaks relieved the over matched "debaters". Why a "creditable" news show would even want to compare itself to a comedy show is laughable. Any creditablity they had was lost then and there. It is like comparing the Mona Lisa to a Garfield comic strip, if you are the Mona Lisa, WHY would you want to, NOTHING good can come of it. I wrote crossfire off as unwatchable a long time ago and until I heard of the debacle Jon caused I had no interest in returning. I still will not watch it, but I can now say I enjoyed watching one episode at least (thank to the many internet postings) And if any of you think I have a political agenda on this, I don't. I am Canadian and I personally don't care who wins your elections cause I think both candidates suck. Oh and if someone wants to point out my bad grammer and bad spelling, go for it, I never once claimed to be able to spell.

Thank you Jon - You made me feel proud to be an American. Which is really damn good considering I'm British! Keep up the good work - and run for president yourself - you'd win!

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Tucker Carlson is a really smart guy...I do wish he would've backed the hell off of stewart for a second. The only reason he kept interrupting was to save his ego. I can't believe these opinionated cunt hairs (begala and carlson) can't handle a little criticism.

I think that it was cool for Jon to tell them off, but I wish he wasn't such a fucking liberal. The last thing we need is another famous left-wing hippie telling us "facts" about how it "should be".

I find it interesting that Jon went on a "debate show" against two supposedly professional debaters and he was the only one interested in debating. The two "pros" were bumbling and fumbling like rank amatures while the amature held his ground, defended it, and score several hard blows. Outside of Jon's comments the show was chaos. Interuptions and commercial breaks relieved the over matched "debaters". Why a "creditable" news show would even want to compare itself to a comedy show is laughable. Any creditablity they had was lost then and there. It is like comparing the Mona Lisa to a Garfield comic strip, if you are the Mona Lisa, WHY would you want to, NOTHING good can come of it. I wrote crossfire off as unwatchable a long time ago and until I heard of the debacle Jon caused I had no interest in returning. I still will not watch it, but I can now say I enjoyed watching one episode at least (thank to the many internet postings) And if any of you think I have a political agenda on this, I don't. I am Canadian and I personally don't care who wins your elections cause I think both candidates suck. Oh and if someone wants to point out my bad grammer and bad spelling, go for it, I never once claimed to be able to spell.

i think tv shows do waht they need to do to get ratings. comedy or news, the shows success is determined by its viewership. if american's wants honest debate, not bickering political hacks, they'll stop watching and the show will get cancelled. if americans's want crap tv, like crossfire, they'll get what they want. the public has no one to blame but itself. there is good journalism out there, you just have to find it.

i think tv shows do what they need to do to get ratings. comedy or news, the shows success is determined by its viewership. if americans wants honest debate, not bickering political hacks, they'll stop watching and the show will get cancelled. if americans want crap tv, like crossfire, they'll get what they want. the public has no one to blame but itself. there is good journalism out there, you just have to find it.

Man I love Jon Stewart!! I hope all americans realize that they are the joke of the world with Bush and his administration in control. I love the USA and I see the potential for a really great country. The USA can even go on with being the <

Find the Truth, the real one!

Michael Said: i think tv shows do what they need to do to get ratings. comedy or news, the shows success is determined by its viewership. if americans wants honest debate, not bickering political hacks, they'll stop watching and the show will get cancelled. if americans want crap tv, like crossfire, they'll get what they want. the public has no one to blame but itself. there is good journalism out there, you just have to find it.

The argument that the public 'gets what they want' is laughable. The corporations give us all that we are willing to take.

With only 5 or 6 companies controlling a vast majority of the image driven media available to us through mainstream means, it should suprise no one that they will invest as little as possible to produce their product: viewers. Once you realize that the viewer is the product being sold, and not the customer, the argument that they give us what we want falls apart. Through this lens, it is easy to see how the public will accept 33% of their TV viewing to be advertisements. You can see why we tolerate such a crappy selection of programming. Why local news is so horrible. The public has no say in the development of media, be it news or entertainment. We have no choice what is available to us. The only choice we have is to turn it off.

These companies are not interested in the well being of our society, in quality of information, in positive discourse, they are focused on profit. Attempting to inform or entertain people at the expense of profit would be unethical.

Keep in mind that the customers of the media are big corporate advertisers that have the same ethical standards.

Listen, it really doesn't matter what news stations put on. As long as they all are in step integrity-wise (that is, at a high level of integrity) ratings will be the same as they ever were. You think people in this country could go without television. The fact of the matter is that news corporations have all participated in a shift from journalism to, as Stewart aptly called it, theater. The fact that they all participated in this shift, makes them all guilty of hurting the United States.

I also see this event as a reaffirmation of the patriotism of the left. I feel the left is often portrayed as hating the United States for the mistakes of its politicians. However, this incident shows how that is untrue and that leftists, like Stewart, honestly put the country above themselves. I mean, goddamnit, the United States is the best country in the history of the world, and if we keep working on it, it always will be. This is a wake-up call to the American public, a public less informed and less intelligent (I know I will get some criticism for saying that, but, hey, I believe it's true) than most, to take an interest in what's going on around them in their own country. Even leftists that view global problems as more serious issues than domestic ones. I fall far on the left, but definitely, at least as of recently, have found a rejuvenated spirit of patriotism for my country. Let's fix our economy, reduce outsourcing, complain if your company hires foreigners with H2 visas. Foreign policy is a means to an end and I feel like some liberals miss that point. I could not care less whether we are liked in the rest of the world, just as long as we are tolerated. For more on that see the episode of South Park where Mr. Garrison is attempting to get fired for being gay, I believe the title is "Death Camp Of Tolerance." In the end, an important point is made regarding the difference between tolerance and acceptance and which is actually required in civilized society.

I've been rambling for a while and don't remember where I began but I hope someone enjoys reading this. Or not. Whatever.

CNN is trash in general. It's been awhile since I could stomach commercial TV, and watching this video reminded me why. Anyone who really believes that "Crossfire" and its ilk represent real attmepts at providing the public with honest and meaningful debate should watch this video carefully, and consider the following:

The large proportion of time devoted here to advertising says as much about CNN's real interests as Stewart did. Notice the painfully long first ad break (4 minutes). As someone who has worked behind the scenes in television production, I can assure you that this is because the producer of the show was in the control room throwing a fit, trying to figure out how to get the show back under his control, and how to convince its viewers that it has any relevance whatsoever. Ironically, because of this, the segment of the show in which viewers are actually allowed to ask their own questions was reduced to 2 questions with 10-second responses each.

Check out a few of the hard-hitting and intellectually-elevating items that are running in the ticker at the bottom, labelled as "Today's News":

  • "Swedish study suggests people with at least 10 years of cell phone usage might increase their risk of developing a rare benign tumor of the side of the head where they hold the phone" - This one's just your typical personal-injury fear-mongering report based on weak evidence at best (notice the number of qualifiers like "suggest" and "might increase risk"). It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't immediately followed by: "Weekly health update email alerts available at cnn.com" - Yeah, right. I know that's where I go for all my health info!

  • "'Sex and the City' star Krisin Davis is in negotiations to play Tim Allen's wife Disney's remake of The Shaggy Dog." (sic) In negotiations? What, you can't even wait until the deal is done, because you're being afraid of being scooped by Fox News' entertainment division?

  • And my favorite: "John McCune of Kansas is the first boy to win the National Easy-Bake Oven Baking Conteset since it began in 1998; He beat 4 other finalists... " (video ends). Damn! I was dying to learn how to make a quiche lorraine with a 45-watt light bulb.

It's funny to me that even as the hosts of the show were trying to defend its credibility, the damning evidence was scrolling along beneath them. To try and defend themselvels by comapring their format favorably to a satire program would be funny if these idiots didn't really believe their own hype.

I've been waiting for someone to step up and say something to the media about how they are ruining this country. We need a new source for our information. One we can trust. Does anyone really trust Fox News for "Fair and Balanced" information? I think we all know the answer to that. I don't know who to believe anymore. It feels like everyone is lying to us. Anyone have any ideas on how to fix this?

The whole premise of a differentiation between news/comedy/theatre has become antiquated. I think what Jon Stewart showed with his appearance on crossfire is that the political is not yelling at you from the cathrode ray tube but out on your f**king street. The binary power structure in the United States has concentrated power in so few hands that seemingly 'balanced' shows like crossfire are simply tools for those hands. Participate in citizenship by wrapping your sandwich in a USA Today while rising up...

I would like to lick Jon's balls. If he can successfully reduce all the other hacks to bumbling like these two, I'll lick his ass, too.

I would like Jon to produce a few CROSSFIRE shows. I'd like to see what an excellent debate show would look like.

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I think that it is a profound, and deeply troubling statement on the level of political discourse in the United States that a 'debate' show like crossfire was entirely unable to respond to a genuine challenger. Is this what the 'marketplace of ideas' has really become? Thankyou Mr.Stewart for bringing to attention perhaps the MOST salient issue facing America today. Do not be fooled by the raised voices, the insults or the oppositional labels... American political 'debate' has become nothing more than a contrived quibbling at the margins. The most poignant issues are never discussed. Instead one is left with an adversarial structure that leaves the impression that 'something' has been discussed, when really nothing has at all. This IS the responsability of the media, but until the public begins to assert their RIGHT as citizens to the reliable (impartial NOT neutral) information they need to actively engage their democracy, the media will continue to think that political discourse is their commercial property, rather than their civic duty. Good information is the oxygen of democracy... and your country is suphocating.

A Concerned Observer

to Bruce who posted on Oct 20:

Wow..just...wow. quoted:

"At the end of the day, it seems that Democrats are so ineffective at combating the Republican campaign because they are fighting anxiety and fear. It is natural for people to retreat from change or to hang on hard to what you have in the face of competition. It is natural to retreat to faith in the face of mortality. It is hard to be rational when the country is running on adrenaline. Belief vs. Fact, Status Quo vs. Change, Appearance vs. Substance, Sensationalism vs. Truth, Faith vs. Science, Corporate Dominance vs. Individuals Rights � these are the real issues that are shaping this election season. In order to decide to be brave, we must firstly agree to return to being honest and rational, and that may require some degree of bravery in and of itself."

I think you should consider getting Tucker Carlson's job. You obviously have the art of summary commentary down to a fine art. Enjoyed your post.

Generally, I am very glad a friend gave the URL for the Stewart interview. I also agree with the lion's share of the posters in that the Daily show is a better news show then the news shows. I think calling someone a dick on national tv is uncalled for except in the situation where they actually ARE being a dick and from what I saw, Stewart was on the money in calling Carlson on his behavoir. If you are being a jerk and someone calls you on it, don't try and hide behind the fact they called you a nasty name and ignore the fact of your behavoir. I think this is the sort of mentality which has created 95% of the problems with our political system right now. You go out here, are elected to a position and you screw up. Someone says 'hey, you are screwing up' and the spin machine tries to shift the focus away from their actions and instead draws and quarters the person for bringing it out. As long as the debates are name-calling moral pulpits where you get to espouse how virtuous you are and how much your mother loves you and not talk about the job you have done and the mistakes you have made, we won't make any progress. Finally, Jon Stewart I appreciate you having the guts to stand up and ask for some accountability of the media. It was well past time someone did.

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