Jon Stewart and Fox News anchor go head to head
June 19th, 2011
03:54 PM ET
3 years ago

Jon Stewart and Fox News anchor go head to head

(CNN) – Comedian Jon Stewart sparred with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace over media bias Sunday and argued that "the bias of the mainstream media is toward sensationalism, conflict and laziness," instead of a liberal agenda.

When challenged on how he develops his stinging – and persistent – satiric critiques of Fox, Stewart joked, "It's actually quite easy when you feel it. You got to feel it in your soul, you know?"

But Stewart stood up for his "Daily Show" antics.

"Here is the difference between you and I," he said, "I'm a comedian first. My comedy is informed by an ideological background, there's no question about that.

"The thing that - in some respect - conservative activists will never understand is … I'm not an activist. I'm a comedian," Stewart said.

He argued that his own influence is drawn only from the public's own letdown in the media.

"The embarrassment is that I'm given credibility in this world because of the disappointment that the public has in what the news media does," he asserted.

"There's no question that I don't tell the full story.

"But I don't not tell the full story based on a purely ideological partisan agenda," Stewart continued.

The comedian also showcased his serious side, admitting that he voted for George H.W. Bush because "there was an integrity about him that I respected greatly," and revealing his disappointment in President Barack Obama because, "I thought he understood the corrosiveness of the system that existed, and I thought he was going to do more to blow the system up."

And he denied his own ambition to be a "political player," saying instead, "Do I want my voice heard? Absolutely. That's why I got into comedy."


Filed under: Fox News • Jon Stewart
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. Allen

    Honest and funny – the exact opposite of Fox News. Wish we had a lot more "John Stewarts" on TV; maybe the Nation would gain a few IQ points. He goes after hypocrisy and stupidity on both sides...

    June 19, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. DENNA

    The comedian also showcased his serious side, admitting that he voted for George H.W. Bush because "there was an integrity about him that I respected greatly," and revealing his disappointment in President Barack Obama because, "I thought he understood the corrosiveness of the system that existed, and I thought he was going to do more to blow the system up."
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________
    As a liberal I agree with Jon Stewart on both counts. However, I think that President Obama would have accomplished more without the toxic atmosphere of disrespectful racism (think Joe Wilson outburst) and a resurgence of outright racism cloaked as 'concern for our country' (think Taliban Tea Party). The biggest example was his health care initiative. Among Tea Partiers, even though some parts of the plan would help them at their age, they acted like scalded cats when the bill was passed and hired 'hit men' in the form of the 2010 election to repeal the bill. They don't even seem to care that the Republicans promised to get the jobs market going – they only care that they are trying to undoing whatever good President Obama has tried to do.

    June 19, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. chris

    Jon Stewart for President 2016

    June 19, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. John Eaton

    Jon apologized at the end, ruining everything he had said up to that point, fail

    June 19, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. TedTheEnigma

    "and revealing his disappointment in President Barack Obama because, "I thought he understood the corrosiveness of the system that existed, and I thought he was going to do more to blow the system up.""

    LOL. I thought that Jon Stewart knew that a politician is a politician. No matter how many catchy sayings or impressive speeches someone has, presidents are always corrupted.

    June 19, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. reggie from LA

    He'd better mind his honesty when it comes to GOP. I'm surprised some silver haired gentlemen hasn't walked up beside him and escorted him off the stage. That just happened with a comedian (Obama impersonator) who got too close to truth. Comedy began to invoke awkward laughter and groans and poof, off the stage with him. Mind yourself there "Johnny Boy"!

    June 19, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Never forget Republicans said "we want this President to fail", they meant it and that's treason.

    June 19, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. michael

    repuclican morons. the republican party is the big joke anywhere these days

    June 19, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. Republicans - The "Not Inteded To Be Factually Accurate" Party

    I didn`t see the intervew nor do I equate Limbaugh or Coltier with Stewart, bu I can`t imagine those two having the courage to go be interview by Rachel Maddow or George Stephanopolous.

    As an aside, to be funny, a comedian need only repeat, damn near verbatim, the words that come out of Republican`s mouth like Fey doing Palin or my use of Kyl`s words as the moniker for this post.

    June 19, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. Surry

    Like John Stewert said to a whining Tucker Carlson when Carlson accused Stewert of partisan hackery: "You're on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls."

    June 19, 2011 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  11. darla

    I like Johns honesty.and integrity. He never sided with anyone if he see whats wrong even in his own party he just tell it as it is. The only reason he seem more liberal its because the Republicans and the tea parties with their agendas are the gifts that keep on giving when it comes to providing materials for his routine. Maybe if the far right tries to behave like they know something about why they were voted for in office maybe John will not make fun of them all the time. As the goes when a person is arrogant and stupid they're just a fodder for intellectuals to snide on.

    June 19, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  12. Squigman

    I'd like to ask Mike Wallace a question. What happened to your son? You had credibility during your tenure with other news organizations. What happened to your son?

    June 19, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  13. Jim, Texas

    Claudia, it's not that Republicans "wanted this President to fail", they KNEW this president would fail due to the lack of experience he had! He was only a JUNIOR Senator from Illinois for God's sake when he was elected and only served 180 days!!! Before that, he was a community organizer. What exactly did people expect would happen? He is probably a wonderful person but did not have the experience of governing a city, state or big business to that matter. We need someone who will be able to FIX this economy not someone who "speaks well".

    June 19, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  14. Dan J

    I think a lot of the commentators are missing Jon Stewart's point. Comparing him to the actual news is comparing apples to oranges. All the major news outlets have a bias towards a party.

    June 19, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  15. Mark

    Claudia, you should probably learn what the wrod treason means before you throw it out there, that's the problem with today's parties, they have crazy people on both sides that are willing to throw any accusation around so long as it scores them political points and Claudia you are responsible, get a clue before you talk next time please

    June 19, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  16. thomas

    Fox is the bad news !

    June 19, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  17. rhumba

    It's scary when the people who make the most sense in an entire nation are its comedians. Stewart uses what the politicians and the commentators don't seem to know how to use– common sense.

    June 19, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  18. honestmistake

    Claudia, when you say things like: "Never forget Republicans said "we want this President to fail", they meant it and that's treason," it shows your own bias. One radio talk show host said he wanted the president's policies to fail. To lump that into ALL Republicans said that or believe that is ridiculous and you know it.

    June 19, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  19. ARTRaveler

    Can't wait to see The Daily Show on Monday when he takes the GOP apart for their hypocrisy during the CLC meeting in NOLA. It okay to smear the president of the US but not okay to comment on the 8, 9, or 20 dwarfs that the GOP is looking at to replace him. Grow up and grow some--.

    June 19, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Stewart showed that there is little that he won't make fun of or about. He is correct that much of Fox news caters to the conservatives. There are times that everyone slants the news. I do agree that much of the media is going after easy stories and sloppy journalism. Weiner's problem is just one example.

    June 19, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  21. Debbie

    Since the political climate has been turned into a political circus in: media (paper, radio, tv etc), Congress, etc then to have a comedian present views of many is highly appropriate.

    June 19, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  22. annie s

    I guess anyone can be duped, and anyone can vote for someone for all the wrong reasons. My question....if you're disappointed with Obama, how the heck do you feel about having voted for Bush?!

    June 19, 2011 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  23. Jimmy

    If John's barbs were unfounded, people wouldn't watch or find it so funny. But Fox makes his job easy. They should be careful when attacking someone for pointing out their hypocrisy or else the people will turn on them as they have the lying politicians they support.

    June 19, 2011 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  24. NVa Native

    To think the Pres needs to blow up the system is not realistic and expecting too much. The Pres needs to provide stability and guidence – especially when dealing with all destruction and corruption of the previous GOP controled administration and Congress. It is in our local elections where we need to support people who will work for the people instead of the GOP and their policies of sacrificing anything and everything for private profit.

    June 19, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  25. robbie Nelson

    Thought he hit the nail on the head but he know President Obama couldn't do what he wanted with the nasty behavior in Washington.

    June 21, 2011 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
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