Tuesday, August 24, 2004
# Posted 11:12 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
11:10 PM -- Kerry says Americans want a more intelligent conversation about national affairs. Huge applause.
11:11 PM -- Stewart sarcastically asks whether Kerry was in Cambodia on Christmas Eve. Stewart leans over desk, looking ridiculous. Kerry goofily imitates Stewart. Big laughs. Kerry doesn't answer the question. Stewart doesn't care.
11:13 PM -- Stewart asks: "Are you the No. 1 most liberal Senator, even more liberal than Karl Marx?" Stewart asks: "Have you flip-flopped?" Kerry says he's flop-flipped. No laughs.
11:14 PM -- Stewart asks how Kerry can stand up to all the groundless abuse he gets in the media. Wow. Tough one.
11:15 PM -- Stewart: "So you're saying it's more important to make the right decision than to just be decisive, like George Bush?" Kerry agrees that George Bush is stubborn.
11:16 PM -- Stewart: "Do you think you can ever have an honest debate with George Bush?"
11:19 PM -- We're back! Stewart: Will we have to take over the whole Middle East because we don't have enough oil?
11:21 PM -- Stewart: What if cars ran on Twinkies instead of oil?
11:21 PM -- Stewart: What kind of loyalty oath do you have to sign to attend on John Kerry rally? Kerry: None. But the other guys make you sign one. (Is that what Stewart was hinting at?)
11:22 PM -- Kerry: It's amazing how many people want to introduce themselves to you in the mens room. Huh?
Not a bad job, all in all. Kerry came across as pretty comfortable and pretty fluid. Then again, Stewart perfectly set up Kerry for each of his soundbites.
When Kerry had a chance to improvise, he totally flubbed it, except for once. Of course, George Bush probably would've flubbed them all even worse.
Tomorrow night's guest: Ed Gillespie of the RNC.
By the way, at the beginning of the show, during the eight minutes when Blogger refused to accept my posts, Stewart turned to the camera and said that sometimes, people ask if what he does is a news show.
Stewart's answer to that question is that if people can't tell the difference between The Daily Show and a real news show, it's a sad comment on the state of news in America today. Either that, or a sad commentary on the state of Stewart's ability to make the audience laugh.
Presumably, this is one of Stewart's periodic efforts to exempt himself from criticism that The Daily Show is one-sided. It must work pretty well, since any time I criticize The Daily Show or The Onion or some other liberal satire, someone writes in to tell me that it's time to stop being so uptight and humorless.
My response to that criticism is the same as before: If Stewart just admitted that he's a partisan Democrat or that he is actively trying to counter the influence of Fox News and talk radio, then I wouldn't mind. But for as long as Stewart gets all indignant about media bias, I think he should make some sort of effort to be balanced himself.
Like it or not, his show is not just entertainment; it influences hundreds of thousands of of people's opinions. More importantly, that's exactly what Stewart wants.
So I guess tomorrow night is Stewart's chance to show that there is no double-standard. I'm sure Ed Gillespie will appreciate the softballs.
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