Jon Stewart on Crossfire

Mirrored from Leonard and Haughey, here is Jon Stewart’s appearance on Crossfire in WMA (36MB) and AVI (70MB) formats. We could probably drop at least a few megabytes from each if someone could edit out the commercials. Anyone up for it? Update: Elliott Back cut the commercials out and dropped about 27MB. Thanks!

27 thoughts on “Jon Stewart on Crossfire

  1. thanks for hosting this guys. funnily enough i just made a Maher/Stewart banner a few days ago.
    it’s a 2 minute photoshop job so don’t be harsh. πŸ˜€

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  3. After watching that, I see Jon Stewart as the worse kind of coward. He acts as a liberal hollywood apologist and then when he’s called on it he whines “But I’m just a comedy show! Don’t take me too seriously!”
    And he claims any show that doesn’t fit his political bent isn’t serious. He’s the classic example of Stalin’s useful idiot.

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  5. Jason Nichols doesn’t get it. The whole point of The Daily Show is that it is satirizing the media. Merriam-Webster Online defines satire as “trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly”. The Daily Show is mocking the media because they have dropped the ball on every one of us, liberal or conservative. If the job of the media is to hold government officials’ feet to the fire, then they are doing a poor job of it. Jon Stewart is right on the mark when he says The Daily Show is just a comedy show not to be compared to “real” journalism. If journalists were doing their jobs, The Daily Show as biting satire wouldn’t exist in the capacity it does. Call Stewart a liberal, if you’d like, but he sees the absurdity from both sides of the aisle. I saw Jon on Crossfire that day and never once did I think he was being harder to one side than the other. Tucker Carlson flew off the handle and Jon engaged him, but Jon was as tough on Paul Begala as he was on Carlson. It would be hypocritical of Jon Stewart to embrace the antics of the hosts on a show he abhors. What we saw from Jon was honesty and integrity. Note that he wasn’t led astray by Carlson’s attempt to redirect the conversation to the sensational topic of O’Reilly’s vibrator. If the rest of America would reject such tactics, then maybe we’d actually get some real news reporting!

  6. Jason Nichols,

    Do you understand that Crossfire is a show that is supposed to put both sides of an argument out there for debate? How can it be that Jon Stewart “…claims any show that doesn’t fit his political bent isn’t serious.” when the show, again, is supposed to give equal time to both sides? He was basically calling them on not doing their job. He wasn’t indicting them for having a different opinion than his. He was calling them for not holding politicians accountable and making them answer a question instead of letting them “doublespeak” their way around it.

    I think you have a different political view than Stewart and because you disagree with that, you’re obliged, as I find many partisan folks (on both sides are) to disagree with other issues across the board. All or nothing.

  7. Here’s a interesting perspective about Jon Stewart. I think we give him quite a bit of credit with the abdication of being a comedian.

    This is from Lee Siegel, a columnist for The New Republic. It was written in April of this year:

    “Just at the moment when American politics is becoming no laughing matter, the job of
    commenting on American politics has fallen to the comedians, to “political satirists” such
    as Al Franken and Bill Maher, who have aligned themselves with the Democrats, or
    Dennis Miller, who has aligned himself with the Republicans. For the first time in the
    history of comedy, you have to register to laugh. And now, Jon Stewart and his “Daily
    Show” are following the same trend. With the comedians’ solemnity about their politics,
    with their grave concern about the direction the country is headed in, comedy is fast
    becoming no laughing matter, either. The marriage of comedy and politics is even more
    unhealthy than the marriage of church and state.

    Laughter is the essence of individuality. Sobs sound alike, so do moans of pleasure and
    pain, so do terrified screams; but each person has his or her own laugh. A horror of
    individuation is why Stalin asked a group of Polish communists how Comrade Z was, and
    when they stared at the ground in silence, he burst into laughter because he and they knew
    that he had had Comrade Z killed a few days before; it is why the Uruguayan junta called
    the prison where it tortured and killed suspected leftists Libertad–those were instances of
    politics pursuing and catching laughter, and then having the Last–the eschatologically
    last–Laugh. Politics hates the naked unbridled ego that laughter sets free; it hates it with
    the intensity with which laughter heaps its furies on the naked unbridled ego that hides
    behind the highflown sentiments of politics. When American presidential candidates make
    the by-now obligatory pilgrimage to the late-night comedy shows, and grovel, and pander,
    and even humiliate themselves, it’s not just because they want to reassure some anxious
    voters that, in this particular case, they shouldn’t worry about feeling diminished by a
    leader who is dignified, intelligent, and true to his or her individual self. It’s also because
    they’ve sensed that the comedians have put laughter in the service of highflown sentiments
    and gotten it under control.

    Lenny Bruce had a field day with Eisenhower, but no one would ever have identified him
    as a mainstream liberal. Nixon put comedy on steroids, but none of the comics who took
    him as their target, from George Carlin to Robert Klein, actually got indignant about his
    policies the way a smug Bill Maher gets indignant about Bush’s policies. Indignation is to
    comedy what turning the lights on is to a party. Indignation implies earnest thoughts about
    a better world; but those comics of yore were wholly, unrelievedly negative–that’s what
    made them so refreshing. In a country where everyone believes today can be repaired like
    a car so that tomorrow will run more smoothly, they harbored no recommendations for
    the future in the havoc they wreaked on the present. And that got you thinking about how
    rife with unprescribed possibility was the present. Like the id, comedy exists only in the
    here-and-now. But by aligning themselves with an ideology, with a politics, Franken,
    Maher, and Miller weigh their comic negativity down with a positive premise. They
    actually believe in the power of the ballot box to shape the country’s future. That’s not

    So it’s not just bizarre but disappointing to see Jon Stewart blazing the same trail. To be
    honest, I was never a huge fan of Stewart’s humor, which he custom-crafts for a mostly
    college-age audience. “The Daily Show”‘s intention of showing clips from the news in
    order to mock the conventional coverage of the news and get to the bottom of what’s
    really going on in the world always seemed to me too dependent on the thing it
    derided–the comic equivalent of covering an old song. Stewart’s deflate-the-talking-heads
    shtick consists too much of sarcastic jibes at the Pompous or Deceitful Public Figure, at
    the Underlying Reality of Self-Interest; it’s more like throwing fruit than making jokes.
    Sometimes it’s just plain stupid, as when he made a running commentary on the, like,
    totally hilarious Taiwanese elections, with their throngs of people pushing to get to the
    polls (“and that’s just the line for the bathroom”). This led into a whole Asian thing, at one
    point with Stewart providing captions for illustrations from Sun-Tzu: “rah-rah ruts, kick
    ’em in the nuts!” And then it was on to Indonesia’s impending first-time democratic
    elections, for which the Indonesian government televised instructions so that its citizens
    could practice voting. Here Stewart got confused, quipping that the Indonesians “simulate
    democracy” whereas we “simulate terrorist attacks.” Even Stewart’s brainwashed audience
    couldn’t be prompted to laugh at that one, for the simple reason that no one could figure
    out what he was saying.

    Stewart can be funny when he’s not playing his new role as comique engage, though it’s
    strange that he can’t mimic or do accents–he’s the only American comic I’ve ever heard
    who can’t do a British accent. My Korean grocer can do a British accent. Most peculiar is
    that he keeps using the identical outrageous-silly voice Johnny Carson patented decades
    ago. Maybe someone should give him a nudge. But the really discouraging thing is that
    nowadays, Stewart seems to consider it more important to be a good citizen than a funny
    fellow. According to the newspapers, a substantial number of younger viewers actually get
    their news from “The Daily Show.” So for some time now, Stewart doesn’t just want to
    skewer the conventional news and the mendacious politicians. He wants to clarify the
    news, and to educate his audience.

    The result is that Stewart weighs down his jokes with a kind of Government 101
    knowingness. He’s not just funny about politics, you see, he’s savvy about the way the
    system works, and he’s going to help us through the maze. In Washington, “you have to
    cut through the partisan gridlock just to get to the bureaucratic logjam.” Stop, you’re
    killing me. But when it came to Richard Clarke and his controversial book, Stewart gave
    up even the pretense of being funny.

    For days preceding Clarke’s appearance on his show, Stewart transformed himself from a
    “political satirist” to a Clarke spokesman. Clarke’s book was “mindblowing”; it was
    “insane”; his book and his testimony at the 9/11 hearings “provided a window into how
    our government functions.” Now, as a Serious Citizen, I think Clarke’s charges against the
    Bush administration are wholly credible, I think the administration’s response to him is
    wholly scurrilous, and I hope a thousand Clarkes bloom and drive the insolent
    near-sociopaths who currently run the country out to sea and over to Iraq, where they
    should open a department store and stay forever. As an animal ridens, however, I think
    Clarke is a genuine political satirist’s bullseye. Here was a slick, malleable, professional
    political advisor/operator, who had the choice of resigning in protest against an invasion of
    Iraq months before it took place, when such a protest might have had consequences, but
    chose instead to wait until his slighted ego burst at the seams–this Clarke, a true
    embodiment of human foible and folly, deserved to be manhandled by the spirit of laughter
    every bit as much as his accusations deserved to be defended by the spirit of truth. But like
    everybody else in public life, from politicians and pundits to performers and poets, Stewart
    wants to seem edifying and instructive. He wants to seem good. Exerting a positive,
    educative influence has become the self-conscious premise of his show.

    So after showing a clip of 9/11 Commission member (and Republican) James Thompson
    questioning Clarke and exposing Thompson as the no-good, ideologically driven,
    politically motivated hack he must surely be (audience hoots and laughs), and exalting
    Clarke as the Saint of the Beltway he most surely is (audience cheers and laughs), Stewart
    got the prize of Clarke’s actual physical appearance on his show. And what followed was
    so unfunny that it seemed like a glimpse of what late-night comedy might look like after a
    revolution has killed all the comics.

    Rather than chide, tease, or otherwise discombobulate this smooth veteran courtier,
    Stewart worried with Clarke over the state of the nation, which prompted Clarke to make
    a nod to the show’s target audience and express concern about how today’s politics might
    breed cynicism, a bad thing “because we need young people to go into government … and
    try to change things on the inside.” Stewart then thanked Clarke for providing, in his book
    and in his testimony at the hearings, “an eye-opening examination of the true workings of
    government.” Such earnestness on the part of a “political satirist” who had just bravely
    lampooned the Taiwanese and Indonesian political establishments, on the part of a
    comedian who had beckoned to comic immortality by calling Robert Novak a “douchebag
    for liberty” only days before (the audience roared) was anti-comical enough.

    But right after Clarke’s visit, Stewart had Karen Hughes on the show. Hughes, whom
    Stewart treated with sly irony, dutifully made a nod to the audience in a way that made her
    sound just like Clarke: “I hope to inspire young people about the political process.” And
    Stewart then thanked Hughes as though he was actually still thanking Clarke, saying that
    “it’s very interesting to see the inner workings” of government. So beyond Stewart’s
    positive and increasingly unfunny political agenda is his commercial and absolutely
    unfunny pandering to the show’s demographic. Apparently, comedy has become too
    important to be left to the comedians, who are rushing to refashion themselves as
    politicians in the fullest sense of the word.”

    Lee Siegel is TNR’s television critic

  8. Actually, that Siegel column is rather dull. It’s easy to take shots at Stewart’s juvenile moments, because he has many. The show also has off nights. But Siegel seems to make a big deal about the fact that Stewart doesn’t do accents, as though that has some significance for either his comedy or his commentary. Siegel also seems puzzled at the idea that a show can try to do several things at once — juvenile humor, satire, commentary, funny interviews, serious interviews. He might like it if everything were packaged separately with warning labels. I prefer a show that takes chances and mixes genres.

    Anyway, the mix of comedy and politics is hardly new, let alone some plague just now unleashed upon us. Mort Sahl? Lenny Bruce? Jonathan Swift, for crying out loud? Yes, Siegel is exceedingly dull.

  9. Stewart can be funny when he’s not playing his new role as comique engage, though it’s
    strange that he can’t mimic or do accents”β€œhe’s the only American comic I’ve ever heard
    who can’t do a British accent. My Korean grocer can do a British accent.

    To whoever wrote that (which I don’t think was the commenter): believe me, there are no American comics who can do a British accent. Your Korean grocer can’t either. What you think is a British accent is what you’ve heard on network TV shows like Friends and Frasier and Will & Grace, and even the Britons appearing there put on fake accents that leave (us) Britons looking at each other going “What’s with the fake Cock-er-nee accent?”

    For some reason the US thinks that Dick van Dyke (an American) got the “British accent” down pat when he did a Cockney chimney sweep in Mary Poppins. Except nobody speaks like that – except Americans thinking they’re getting the British accent down pat.

    A real British accent? Listen to the Today program streamed on (or record it, I guess it’s on kind of early). Those are British accents. (Well, apart from the Germans and French and Iraqis and Israelis and Palestinians who get interviewed..) Learn the difference. It’s audible. But you have to listen for it.

    BTW, kudos to Jon Stewart. I’ve never seen his show, nor Crossfire, but just reading the transcript shows that he has a clearer idea of what constitutes political debate than the two hosts, who simply throw out opposing points of view (thesis/antithesis) without ever trying to reach synthesis.

  10. That Seigel guy is such a bore. He can suck the funny right out of something is a hurry. And what he is left with, which he thinks is profound, is just tedious drivel. Jesus, I can’t believe that I just wasted 2 minutes of my life TRYING to read it.

    Jon Stewart, on the other hand, is a genius. He is so elusive that he has made it through the Great Filter of the mainstream media — the media that is made up of soft-petal cornballs like CNN’s Bitzer, Zohn and that twit, youth-relating wanna-be, Cooper. There are a few out there that are at least AWARE of a different road, like maybe Lou Dobbs or MSNBC’s Keith Obermann, but they don’t stray too far from the safe Corporate Line, which is basically a watered down version of Fox.

    Stewart, on the other hand, sees the absurdity of all that, and uses his genre to point it out. And up until now, the press hasn’t even labeled him a “left-wing quack,” like that CNN morning armpit, Jack Cafferty did to Mike Moore the other morning. It’s incredible that Stewart hasn’t earned the hatred of the mainstream cable outlets YET.

    However, now that Stewart has handed Carlson his puny bowtie balls on live TV, the Spinners on the Right are going to start carving him up on their radio shows and at FOX News. Mark my words, by week’s end, my mom will hate Jon Stewart — and that’s a sure sign that he is on the NeoCon map. Up until recently, she had probably never heard of him. But if Hannity (the new king of Fox since the fall of the Great Blowhard O’Reilly) or Limbaugh take particular offense to Stewart’s hard throttling of Carlson and the Right in general, and hand down their directive for their “ditto heads” to direct their hate – Mom will hate him. Then it will be official. Stewart will have arrived.

  11. Just as I imagined…

    I woke up this morning, and I was surfing around the usual cable networks. Again, I flipped to CNN and it was that old crotch, Jack Cafferty: “Wal-Mart has banned Jon Stewart’s new best seller, ‘America:The Book,’ because they say it is offensive that the book potrays the Supreme Court naked.”

    I figued it was just a matter of time before my man Jon Stewart was in the crosshairs of the Corporate or Religious Conservatives. Now, let’s see if Sinclair Broadcasting, another corporation that wants to influence votes so they can make more money, will air the documentary by Crossfire Viewers For Truth: “Jon Stewart is an UnAmerican Jew Bastard who Hates Himself and Everyone Else who loves God and America.”

    When will this conservative influence stop? C’mon people, let’s vote the “Parents” out of office. Spread the word…influence your friends who are on the fence. Stop shopping at Wal-Mart, for God’s sake. Let’s make this country safe for people like Jon Stewart.

  12. Hi boogaloo, if you don’t mind I would love to quote you in my journal.. it’s at and my user name is amyzan.. πŸ™‚ THANKS! Great point.. I’m a very liberal Christian but see the b.s. in conservatives. I love the Daily Show and am addicted to Jon Stewart. πŸ™‚

  13. Hey amyzan. feel free to quote my stuff. I am flattered, and I am glad you you got a kick out of it. Thanks. Here’s my latest column:

    Pavlov Believers
    by Boogaloo

    George W. Bush depends on Christians. He has long been developing them as a base of voters. His campaign has even asked church leaders to blend their teachings of Jesus with messages of upcoming elections and conservative politics. Because of this, many of these churchgoers think G.W. is the savior “β€œ with a lower case S, or course.

    Bush has, in fact, learned to become one of the sort of Christians who agree with him. He gave up his tantrums, boozing and cocaine use, they say, and embraced this G.W.-friendly neo-Jesus. Not my Jesus, mind you, but some version of a Jesus “β€œ you know, the Jesus that understands the plight of the wealthy and privileged. The Jesus who thinks that the poor might just be a little lazy, and may need to whine less and put their bootstraps to good use ; and stop regulating Jesus’ industries so much, because how can His companies compete in the world market if they are forced to pay fair wages and keep the sky clean? Asia’s industries don’t have to allow workers to organize or worry about a little smoke and chemicals. Why should Jesus?

    Instead of endorsing and acting on the actual values of Jesus “β€œ humanity, compassion, fairness, justice and the like “β€œ Bush & Co. have created a sort of science laboratory for Jesus, telling believers that G.W. can save them from horrible threats “β€œ threats that they should fear every night and day. G.W. cultivates fear in His, whoops, I mean his believers like bacteria in a petri dish. Then, he rings the Pavlov Bell…

    G.W.: “Ding! Be afraid, because Liberals want to take God away from you! They hate God. They want to spit on your preacher and fart in your pew.”

    And the stunned churchgoers salivate a river.

    G.W.: “Ding! The Liberals want your children to be gay! They want to teach children that traditional values are bad and that it’s good to be an atheist!”

    Horror-struck, churchgoers flood the room.

    Sadly, these churchgoers believe this propaganda and do not realize they are being duped. They are only innocently trying to do what is right “β€œ believe in Jesus, and go to church. They do not understand that by merely going to these politically-polarized churches, they are now pawns in an ugly neo-Conservative power grab. Unsavory political tactics, used by the likes of Tom DeLey and Dennis Hastert “β€œ the narrowest minds since the death of the Dixiecrats “β€œ have sadly been brought into the House of God.

    Bush & Co. rely on these church leaders and patrons to become perpetually scared and emotional. Yet, these good husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters do not realize that Bush & Co. are actually the ones who are scaring them. They don’t understand complicities of Leo Straussian social philosophy, which the Bushies heartily subscribe to, and which labels those very churchgoers and patriots as the “vulgar masses” who should be kept in the dark for their own good. Individual dissent is called unpatriotic, and unquestioning nationalism is the ideal.

    Of course, there are the minions of neo-Con talking heads, such as Hannity, Scarborough, O’Reilly, Coulter and Limbaugh, who gladly chime in and do the scaring for G.W. and his bosses, Rove and Cheney. But no matter who is the delivery boy of this Pavlovian tactic, they all have the same goal in mind: say wildly outrageous things about “those filthy, un-American, enemy Liberals” to make sure the Christian voting base stays scared to death “β€œ hypersensitive and emotionally engaging voters who feel like their very existence is at stake, unless they vote as conservatively as possible.

    G.W. and his surrogate mouthpieces parrot the party line: “Liberalism is out to get you! Those latte-drinking peace freaks want to change this country so that YOU, good God-loving people, can’t celebrate your belief in Jesus! They want to convert you to being environmentally-cautions fanatics by stripping you of your big, fat trucks and forcing you to drive some girly-man rice-burner! They want to give your money to lazy Welfare moms! How can you trust those dirty, rotten, treasonous Liberals? How can you let them do this to your God and your country? They are the enemy, and you must be vigilant about your hatred for them! FIGHT FOR JESUS “β€œ FIGHT FOR BUSH!”

    So goes the blurring of the line between fanatical fundamentalist Neo-Conservatism and good, honest, God-fearing Americans. Limbaugh and Hannity have been whispering in your ears too long.

    “Shhhhh…the regular media is liberal propaganda…” whispers O’Reilly. “Shhhhh…those who think differently than you are your enemy”Β¦” allows Hannity. “Shhhhh”Β¦Joe McCarthy was a hero, we need more leaders like that”Β¦” whines Coulter.
    In fact, there are plenty of Liberal Christians! How can that be, you say? Well, the Cons have been effective in fooling you into thinking that is an impossibility. As one of many Christian Democrats, I say only this:

    Turn off the slanted Con Media. Do yourself a favor and think for yourself for a couple of weeks. Read the Bible’s true message of love, not hate; compassion, not intolerance; justice, not entitlement. Remember that we are all good Americans “β€œ even those who disagree with you, or speak differently, or look different. We are all God’s children, not just Republicans.

  14. Jon had a point but he had to resort to name calling (dick) to express himself. Typical liberal. Please Jon, run for President. Show us how easy it is to make a change in the world. Join the ranks of Jesse Ventura, Ralph Nader, Ross Perot. It ‘s a tough game they play on the hill. Unless your Teddy Kennedy. Then all you have to do is find your next girl and bottle. I wished I had been a Kennedy.

    Very quite after the election. Has deppression set in?

  15. wouldn’t have found this page if not for research for a paper about JS using TDS as a vehicle for liberalism. There seems to be an interesting mix of opinions and positions here, and a lot of harbored agression as well. If we put all the liberals and all the conservatives together in a room to talk about the media, what do you think would dominate the discussions? Do you think that the conservatives would be trashing the daily show???? Cmon everyone, there are so many other shows for conservatives to hate out there, I don;t think they have a problem with TDS. Its very rare to find audience discourse against The Daily Show. There’s plenty of folks out there that don’t like Jon Stewart because of his leanings and his position, but is it really so far fetched that his show really is non partisan? We live in a country run by republicans who aren’t doing a very good job. If JS is coming off a little jaded by whats going on in the world today he has every right. I am right there with him on that boat. But to imply that his comedy show panders to liberal undergrads is bullshit. His “coverage” of the Clinton years is living proof that he can throw rocks in both directions. It took a confrontation a la “Crossfire” to wake people up. Only after the flak he recieved for that appearence did he use his show as a pulpit for his beliefs and that was probably because the big 5 decided to blacklist him. Jon Stewart is a liberal, and a comedian, and an employee of a major media conglomerate in an age where rocking the boat is frowned upon. Don’t beat him up for telling us that the emperor is naked when we can all plainly see it. In fact, praise him for having the balls to speak his mind when he knows the consequences could be devastating. JS is a true media hero.
    Chris B

    1. Jon Stewart, like so many people, wants to have things both ways. He wishes to be seen as an entertainer and he wishes to be taken seriously. It doesn’t work. By definition. I have seen this so many times in life so many different ways. If you have someone on defending torture, it’s not entertainment. If you think it is, you’re suffering a serious ‘dislocate’ from the real world. The I’m-just-an-entertainer thing is a great refuge when the going gets rough or you get in over your intellectual depth. By encouraging a ‘high school debate’ approach for such things as torture, this show is trivializing the whole issue. When Jon gets peevish about Internet postings and reacts on-screen, it seems (to me) indicative someone’s head is hitting the intellectual ceiling. I don’t know. I think this whole hanging-with-politicians-and-globalist-business-types is just a juvenile way of feeling grown-up – a hangover from the days you used to visit your Dad at the office. Jon promises intellectual depth and, as far as I’m concerned, he doesn’t deliver. This I’m-just-an-entertainer crap doesn’t wash with me. I’m not getting what I want from my television. I’m turning this particular show off….Greg Cameron, Surrey, B.C., Canada

  16. I really don’t think that JS uses TDS to further his “far-left leaning views”, it just might seem that was since Republicans dominate American politics. John even went so far as to say that he doesn’t specifically target Republicans; he targets absurdity (Republicans being synonomous with absurdity). I don’t really think that JS has a problem with right-wingers going on Witch Hunts everytime someone stands up to established codes of journalistic integrity (or TOTAL lack thereof). It gives him free publicty, so in effect Republicans are their own worst enemy. Smart move guys.

    I really wish more people would step up and expose the vast amount of BS that we digest on a daily basis, and try to fix it rather than turn a blind-eye. I tip my hat to you John Stewart; you are my hero.

  17. I used to watch The Daily Show religiously. I thought it was clever, most definitely hilarious. But the show isn’t what it used to be. It’s no longer a witty parody of the nightly news. It’s become the platform of choice for the left-wing to impose its views on the younger demographic. Frankly, I find it disgusting.