(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."