August 25th, 2008
03:34 PM ET
13 years ago

Jon Stewart lectures reporters on coverage

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/25/art.stewart.gi.jpg caption="Jon Stewart met with political reporters in Denver Monday."]DENVER (CNN) – As Comedy Central's "Daily Show" descends on Denver for four days of coverage, Jon Stewart took after the "established" media for getting too cozy with candidates and regurgitating campaign spin when it comes to political coverage.

In a breakfast with reporters, Stewart directed most of his ire at the 24-hour cable news networks, which he called "gerbil wheels," and said the media at-large had "abdicated" to what he called the "slow-witted beast."

He said the never-ending television news cycle creates a "false sense of urgency" and forces reporters to "follow the veins that have been mined," instead of pursuing serious and in-depth reporting.

Even as Stewart shredded reporters for, in his estimation, getting too cozy with and used by political candidates, he readily admitted that candidates flock to his show to attract his much sought after younger audience. "It's just one part of their sales pitch," he said.

Stewart said he found neither Sens. McCain or Obama particularly funny and it was "absolutely irrelevant" which one takes the White House because "the jokes will be there." He dismissed criticism that comedians are having a hard time joking about Obama because of his race and said "the age joke with McCain is somewhat meaningless because it's already trite."

The choice of Joe Biden as Obama's runningmate, Stewart said, was refreshing because of the Delaware senator's large personality and endless possibility for jokes. "Biden is really nice. His style is so effusive and unguarded," Stewart said. "He's emotion plus."

Stewart said politicians in recent campaigns are "animatronic" because all of the "humanity has been managed out of campaigns." He referenced the back-and-forth during the Pennsylvania Democratic primary over Obama's lack of bowling skills.

"It's stunning where this election is going to be decided on," he said. "Or what we allow it to be decided on."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (264 Responses)
  1. Proud to be American

    The news media should report the news versus letting the repugs determine the topic of the day.... the media is slanted and I am sure they do not represent the entire America heck I do not know anyone that has been polled ..... Stewart tells it like it is.....

    Obama & Biden 2008!

    August 25, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  2. mango

    stewart is the smartest democrat in the country..which is only fitting.a comedian from a joke of a political party.

    August 25, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  3. S. Piel

    Jon Stewart is the one news source I trust. He may be comedy, but he's better and more authentic than all the others combined.

    August 25, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. Dan

    When Americans take satirical comedy shows (and their hosts) as real news shows it means a large group of the population is not stupid (as so many haters seem to believe about the American public). It does mean they are just very confused.

    The man (Stewart) is a comedian NOT a reporter NOT a journalist!!!!!

    When I see people touting Obama and saying how stupid people are for voting for McCain and in the same blog say how insightful Jon Stewart is, and or call him a journalist or reporter, is I almost fell off my chair.

    Oh wait SNL's Weekend Update has a news alert "America has lost its entire grip on reality"

    Americans just wants to hate itself (eaiser to hate rather than heal). America wants to blame all its problems on the other party and others and not take any responsibility for their actions (if Obama looses it wont be his fault will it???? Polls going down the polls must be rigged right???? etc etc.......)

    You can feel the love... no wait... thats H_A_T_E

    Many Obama supporters do seem to be filled with disdain and hate for any one who has the audacity to vote for anyone other than Obama.

    And the hate goes on........

    August 25, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  5. Hobo

    Jon Stewart is marginally funny and very average. He likes to make fun of conservatives for being dumb but he lacks the resume to throw the first rock. He surely thinks he is bigger than he is... Which is a nobody...

    August 25, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  6. Roy Mitchell

    Not a huge Jon Stewart fan but he hit the nail on the head on this one!

    August 25, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  7. Repugnantican for Hillary

    I'm a Republican pretending to be a die-hard Hillary supporter to give CNN some spice! I want to interfere with Democracy and turn the Democratic Party against itself. I've been successful so far! Thank you, CNN!!! Thank you for your shoddy coverage.

    August 25, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. alice

    Thank you Jon!

    August 25, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. Susan

    Absolutely dead on, Mr. Stewart!

    August 25, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  10. draftedin68

    Jon's "gerbil wheel" characterization of so many in the CCM (Corporate Controlled Media) is great but I think I'll stick with my "ball-chasing puppies" description of these lazy, gutless, incurious, brown-nosers.

    If Edward R. Murrow came back and saw what was being done in the name of journalism, he'd never stop throwing up.

    August 25, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  11. Rick K

    Off topic – C-Span is showing a BRILLIANT DNC video on democratic leaders in the western states making progress toward renewable energy – CNN and Fox cut away from it.

    August 25, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  12. Independent

    Brenda S of NJ...I applaud you, very well said...Thank you....Prayers to you on your recovery from breast cancer...God Bless...

    August 25, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  13. hey all

    Anyone know if there is video of Stewart's 'talk' online?

    Id love to see it!

    August 25, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  14. Andy

    I usually don't pay Jon Stewart much mind (nothing against him), but he's said probably the most sane thing I've heard in the last 24 hrs. Watching Blitzer & Cooper tag-team the lead-up to the convention last night was part entertaining, part nauseating, part panic attack. Lay off, guys, and report NEWS. I don't care about "security gaffes" that cause peopel to have to wait in line. I don't care about one state changing seating arrangements. I don't care about hypothetical delegate counts on your fancy touch-screen electoral map! If I want to hear a discussion about how frantic Obama should be in light of the latest polls, I'll listen to my peers have that discussion. You're not paid to chat, you're paid to report – do your job!

    August 25, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  15. Chitown Jason

    Stewart/Colbert in 2012!!!!

    August 25, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. bert

    CREATE A PAPER TRAIL WHEN CASTING YOUR VOTE FOR OBAMA. THE MEDIA IS TRYING TO GET US READY FOR THE COVER UP. NO WAY THE NUMBERS ARE RIGHT. THEY NEVER POLLED ME OR ANY ONE I KNOW AND WE ARE ALL VOTING FOR OBAMA. BACK UP YOUR VOTE WITH A PAPER VOTE AS WELL SO THAT WE COULD HAVE ALL THE EVIDENCE WE NEED TO FIGHT THE racist MEDIA. CNN IS IN THE TANK FOR REPUB'S. CREATE A PAPER TRAIL WHEN CASTING YOUR VOTE FOR OBAMA. VOTE FOR OBAMA 08 AND 2012.

    August 25, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  17. Susan

    Jon Stewart for President!!

    August 25, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. Michelle

    It's not news anymore; it's infotainment. Ratings, baby!

    Investigative journalism? Ha!

    If the media had done its job, Obama would have been out of the running long ago.

    August 25, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. Shane

    you taking notes, CNN?

    U suck at news. Quit covering the PUMAtards (non-story)

    August 25, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. Nick

    Wow! I'm no fan, but CNN must be doing something right if both sides say CNN is in the other's pocket. Stewart's view is on point though. Too much coziness to take any stories seriously.

    August 25, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  21. Candice - Queens, NY

    Once again, Stewart plays the part of "Captain Obvious".

    August 25, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  22. jay dee

    has it really come to this. . .. lets just vote.....

    August 25, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  23. Lee Davis

    I am a 58 year old white woman and I really wanted Hillary to win the primary. But Obama won instead. To put Hillary on the ticket with Obama would have been such an insult to her. It would be like giving power to a child to do the work while the parent, who has life experience, common sense, patience, perceptions and a level of knowledge that only comes with age is told that she didn't quite have what it takes to do the kid's job. Joe Biden, on the other hand, didn't run but was selected by Obama after Obama won. That makes a difference. When I was thinking I wouldn't vote at all, I have reconsidered. With Joe Biden alongside of him, Obama will be able to accomplish a lot more than anyone else he may have chosen. Joe Biden is definitely the perfect choose for me.

    August 25, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  24. Dustin

    If McCain wins, America will need some good comedians.

    August 25, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  25. Fiona McCarty

    I wish Jon Stewart would run for President. Then maybe we'd see some honesty in office.

    August 25, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11