Chris Wallace schools Jon Stewart.

You know, I think that I want Chris Wallace to be in charge of the 2012 debates. He deserves a reward for giving Jon Stewart the business in this one:

The fun really starts at about 5 minutes in: Stewart tried what Ace calls the “Clown Nose On / Clown Nose Off” (after stating, more or less, that conservatives are incapable of understanding liberals’ motivations) and Chris Wallace demonstrated that he was expecting precisely that answer. Because, really, nobody is as smart as they think that they are. As Jon Stewart demonstrates, over and over and over again; his repeated insisting that he wasn’t being ruled by his biases kind of lost power with every counter-example that Wallace put up on the screen. But then, it’s rare on television that people are actually grilled on things.

Watch the whole thing; it’s fifteen minutes of pure political entertainment, and Stewart probably should have quit about eight minutes in. Mostly because Wallace maneuvered him into a position at the end where Stewart himself had to admit that conservatives are routinely attacked – INCLUDING BY HIM – for a variety of things that we, in point of fact, are not actually guilty of. Which would have been… nice… of him to admit, except that nowhere did Stewart actually promise to reform his ways. As Wallace demonstrated at the very end, by cheekily accepting an apology that Stewart did not actually offer. Which is illustrative of Stewart’s pseudo-detached style in general; only, it’s a lot uglier without the laugh track.

So, let Wallace be in charge of the debates; I’d be interested to see what he’d do with them.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: “You.. ah, planning a remake of Amos & Andy?” – In response to Jon Stewart’s imitation of Herman Cain. Jon visibly did not like being treated like a conservative who did the same thing would have been treated; and his response – whether Wallace would have asked the same question about Stewart’s New York voice, or his Chinese Guy voice, fell flat partially because he was definitely stung. But it mostly fell flat because conservatives aren’t actually allowed to do funny Chinese Guy voices, either, without getting raked over the coals for it. Heck, we’re not even allowed to have New York accents.

PPS: I actually like Jon Stewart. But he’s not going to remember this interview fondly.

11 thoughts on “Chris Wallace schools Jon Stewart.”

  1. The funny thing about Jon Stewart, it seems to me, is that he often does more real reporting than the…. ‘real’ (msm) …. reporters… do… and he’s just clowning around. Which says quite a lot about the quality of the msm’s reporters, none of it good. Maybe the “clown noses” are on the wrong faces?

  2. I love how acidic he got when he claimed that Fox viewers were CONSISTENTLY!! the most uninformed yet didn’t bother backing it up. He was definitely uncomfortable in the interview.

  3. I actually like Jon Stewart a lot. He’s 10x better than Colbert. He’s got a liberal bias but I feel like he’ll call out a liberal position that is obviusly ridiculous. He’s fairer, at least in my mind, than most of the msm.

  4. I find it odd that the right thinks that Wallace owned Stewart. I had watched this interview by launching it from a link on HuffPo, and therefore my reaction was not influenced by Moe or anyone else on the right who have since linked it. My first impression was that Wallace was trying too hard to nail Stewart and in the end couldn’t lay a glove on him.

    The analysis on the right has swayed me — but only a little. At least I now get why Stewart came across as so tense. But in the end, the money quote was when Stewart said (to paraphrase): “I’m not what’s new here (as a political satirist), you guys are (as 24/7 news outlets that need to create controversy and interest).” That’s absolutely true.

    Does he overstate the bias of Fox? I suppose. But is it any worse than when the right point out the worst stuff on MS-NBC? Nope. I’m with Breitbart on this: The answer is for the media to admit its biases and then act accordingly.

    1. Hmm. I’ve noticed that there’s a definite difference of opinion on the Right about whether Wallace hit the target or not, and I think that I’m seeing a trend where the folks who started off on the Left and then went Right are giving Wallace a higher score than the ones that were on the Right all along. I wouldn’t trust my weight to that hypothesis, but it’s interesting.

  5. You’re in the interesting position (like me, I suppose) of liking Stewart enough to trust his sincerity. Many on the right do not.

    I watched it again, and I think if Stewart recognized ideology at The Times, at a minimum, he’d have “won” the conversation on points. He did expose himself as a little blind to rampant bias of the core media elite.

    1. Oh, is somebody upset that Jon Stewart lost his cool for a brief-but-memorable second when he got called on his Herman Cain impression? Ach, well, I suppose that we’re all allowed our little enthusiasms.

  6. I’m a fan of Chris Wallace, but I think he got his you-know-what handed to him in this discussion. Stewart skewered the 24-hour news stations and provided a nuanced argument for what he does vs. what Fox does. He then got Wallace to admit that their coverage is agenda-driven as Wallace in his own words says that Fox is a “counter-weight” to the liberal bias in other news organizations. So rather than covering what happens, they cover what happens from a conservative/right wing perspective. All fine and good. Just don’t call yourself “Fair and Balanced” when in your own words you are not.

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