Jon Stewart appears on Fox, calls Chris Wallace "insane"

You have to hand it to Jon Stewart: he's not afraid to debate his viewpoint, even on a network like Fox that might not be super amiable towards him. (Though he and Bill O'Reilly do share a certain rapport.) The Daily Show host appeared on the news channel for a third time this weekend to chat with Chris Wallace about media bias, the responsibilities of a reporter vs those of a comedian, and the ideological... oh, never mind. This is the debate Stewart and Fox hosts always have, so I don't really need to spell it out to you. But the exchange does get delightfully heated at certain points:

Honestly, is this a debate worth having anymore? Hearing the people from Fox News claim the station doesn't have a conservative bias just makes them look silly at best, terminally stupid at worst. (Just own it, guys.) And hearing Stewart use his "I'm just a comedian" thing is silly as well — because, as we learned from the recent Tracy Morgan kerfuffle, people will listen to you even if you're telling jokes. And I think he knows, even if he might not like it, that much of his viewing audience looks to him in part as a voice of reason and a source of information. So both sides should give up those feints.

That being said, I think Stewart is still on more solid ground; as a comedian he is under no obligation to present all sides of a story. That would make for some pretty shitty comedy, I imagine. A reporter, on the other hand, should be doing just that. But Stewart's higher point is probably the best: forget liberal or conservative, it's sensationalistic news that's really the problem.

Commentarium (24 Comments)

Jun 20 11 - 11:28am
Publius

Wallace made Stewart look - I hate this word but it fits - disingenuous, as he did when he went on Stewart's show. Stewart is willing to dismiss any liberal bias claim against other media outlets as being due to laziness and sensationalist. Fox, on the other hand, is evil and biased. Too convenient and very transparent.

Jun 20 11 - 12:19pm
DraperFan

You're forgetting that the key argument that Stewart made: what makes Fox News so different from other biased media organizations is that Fox News is much more of an activist body than any other group.

Jun 20 11 - 12:21pm
Publius

I am a rabid Fox News zombie.

Jun 20 11 - 12:32pm
Publius

@DraperFan - More of the same, imo. What is it that makes it more activist than, for example, the clip of Diana Sawyer (I think) that he played? What I see as activism on the left, he dismisses as laziness and sensationalism but not activism. What's the difference in terms of impact on a viewing population?

Jun 20 11 - 2:00pm
profrobert

You're holidng out Diane Sawyer as an example of the "liberal media"??? This is the young Republican who helped Richard Nixon write his memoirs after he resigned a half-step ahead of being impeached by the House. I think you've inadvertently illustrated a wonderful point about Fox News and the current Republican party -- they are so far removed from traditional, main-stream conservatism that Richard Nixon would be considered a left-winger. This is not conservatism; this is extreme, reactionary, pro-corporatist, pro-statist, right-wing behavior. Fox News, Bachmann, Palin, et al. are not the inheritors of Ronald Reagan or Barry Goldwater. They are the inheritors of John Birch.

Jun 20 11 - 2:24pm
profbobby

I think profrobert has a mighty broad brush.

Jun 20 11 - 2:37pm
completely

profrobert, I agree whole-heartedly with your larger point, but I do think Barry Goldwater would be in good company within the Tea Party movement.

Jun 20 11 - 11:51am
meh

That's because Stewart gets to say what he wants and avoid any reasonable validation because he's "a comedian first".

That's his out whenever he's called to backup his statements with fact, he's not reporting news, he's making fun of people.

Jun 20 11 - 12:22pm
meh

I believe that journalists and comedians are held to the same standard.

Jun 20 11 - 2:02pm
meh

No I believe that Stewart wants to have his cake and eat it too.
Let's bring on serious guests, ask them serious questions, but not consider what you do news worthy.

He can't stand behind, it's only comedy.

Just tiring to hear the "I'm just a comedian" mantra over and over again.

Jun 20 11 - 5:11pm
meh

you can eat some of the cake and save some for laterz.

Jun 20 11 - 7:08pm
eva

I get all my news from Louis C.K.

Jun 20 11 - 11:28pm
dane cook

I get all my news from myself. Makes fact checking easier!

Jun 22 11 - 2:07pm
@dane cook

I just spat out my brownie, laughing. And it was a damn good brownie, fuck you!

Jun 20 11 - 12:01pm
Vinegar Bend

An awful lot went on in this interview other than the "you're insane" comment, It's sad that every media outlet is highlighting that

Jun 21 11 - 2:03am
Ryan

Ironic that they even butchered an interview that was harping on their Biases and willingness to sensationalize at the express cost of context. Whether or not you believe in any sort of liberal swing in the media, it's pretty obvious that the news is chopped and formed for some sort of unrealistic consumption.

Jun 20 11 - 2:02pm
profrobert

I wonder if Mike Wallace is embarrassed that his son is such a hack journalist and shill for the Republican party.

Jun 20 11 - 4:53pm
CourtWatcher

Given Wallace pere's ideological bent, I suspect he's disappointed that fils didn't follow in his footsteps.

I hope you don't take your biased view into the classroom.

Jun 20 11 - 5:04pm
CourtWatcher

Now if you'l excuce me, must get bak to homeskhooling mysefths agains the libral gubbamint.

Jun 20 11 - 2:41pm
completely

I'm so tired of Jon Stewart being a voice of moderate liberalism. He's funny, but he's not particularly clever. I don't like that he speaks for my side of this debate. He /is/ just a comedian, and a lot of times when he gets involved in politics he doesn't know what he's talking about. (Sometimes he's quite good -- his handling of the economic crisis has been unusually deft, I'd say, and he did a fine job with bin Laden's death.)

Jun 20 11 - 3:45pm
RexMerritt

Just Chris Wallace, Jon? After all this is Fox News. You could've started at the A's and kept going.

Jun 20 11 - 4:55pm
CourtWatcher

It's interesting that no one has yet compared Stewart's caricature of FNC with "Turn Left," that was recently (and very poorly) reviewed on nerve.

Jun 20 11 - 11:31pm
DerpWatcher

I think it's interesting that Nerve has conservatrolls. I thought only true conservatives only lurk around on gay porn websites? Hmm. Maybe you're bi.

Jul 22 11 - 5:51am
Kaylea

I weantd to spend a minute to thank you for this.