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Jon Stewart was on FoxNews Sunday with Chris Wallace in a highly entertaining interview. It’s rather eye-opening to see how much Wallace tries to set up trap questions and how easily Stewart disarms him by deflecting bias with his humor. His comedy cuts both ways, when Wallace would clearly like to reduce that to one. Interesting snippets from the transcript:
WALLACE: Sarah Palin and the herpes drug, really?
STEWART: Yes, as a technique for the commercial? You know, so, you’re saying that by comparing the technique that she used in her video —
WALLACE: You are not making a political comment?
STEWART: You really think that’s a political comment?
STEWART: You’re insane.
STEWART: Yes. Here is the difference between you and I — I’m a comedian first. My comedy is informed by an ideological background. There’s no question about that.
The thing that will never understand and the thing that in some respect conservative activists will never understand is that Hollywood, yes, they’re liberal. But that’s not their primary motivating force. I’m not an activist. I’m a comedian.
WALLACE: Are you disappointed in Barack Obama as president?
STEWART: Yes, I think I am.
WALLACE: Do you think he’s lived up to his promise to fix the economy?
STEWART: No. I don’t know the kind of sway that a president can have on the economy, but do I believe that he is lived up to the promises? No.
He came in and said you can’t expect to have a different result with the same people. That was, in many ways, his seminal campaign focus. And all I see as far as economic stewardship are the guys that got us into this mess in the first place.
Whether he sees it in himself or not, Fox News is clearly reacting as if Stewart is a political player. This is probably because their ratings have been badly beaten by the hordes of young people who turn to The Daily Show for political insights and crude fart jokes (sometimes) about whoever is acting the fool this week in sensational news.
It’s plain to see how Wallace tries to marginalize Stewart, but in reality conservatives ought to embrace him. If anyone could honestly claim to be “fair and balanced” during all of Sunday’s lineup… it was probably Stewart.