Jon Stewart Responds to Chris Wallace By Calling Fox News Crybabies

In the past nine days, the comedian most revered by liberals as the nation's top political satirist has devolved into a gross, unintelligible caricature of himself.

So hell-bent on attacking Fox News has the "Daily Show" host become that on Monday he continued to put words in Chris Wallace's mouth while appearing completely oblivious to serious investigations going on in Congress (video follows with transcript and commentary):

JON STEWART, HOST: The Marriage Equality Act, the Marriage Equality Act wasn’t the only piece of good news this weekend. Take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE: Up next, setting the record straight about our interview last week with Jon Stewart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: Yes! Finally.

( Applause )

So, let me tell you what's going on. So, two Sundays ago, I do an interview on Chris Wallace’s show, and along with some really salient, dynamic points that I made, I mentioned Fox News viewers were the most consistently misinformed viewers in every poll. PolitiFact took issue with that, and said I really shouldn't have said every poll. Just most. So, I accepted it, I then I brought up a 21 lie salute of PolitiFact Fox fact-checking. So I assume that Chris Wallace now begins the work of apologizing for Fox's many false and misleading statements. They’ll probably do a few per show and carry us into the 2014 midterms with a clear conscience.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: Do you believe that Fox News is exactly the ideological equivalent of NBC News.

WALLACE: I think we're the counterweight.

STEWART: You believe that?

WALLACE: I think that they have a liberal agenda, and I think we tell the other side of the story.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Jon seemed to think that was a big deal that I said we tell the other side of the story. Well, I wish I had said the full story. Here's what I meant.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: Wait. That was a big deal that you said that. That's your setting the record straight? “I accidentally told the truth and wish I could take it back?” That’s not…

( Cheers and applause )

You’re not, that's crazy. How are you not the counterweight?

See what I mean by putting words into Wallace's mouth? Wallace didn't say, "I accidentally told the truth and wish I could take it back."

As NewsBusters reported Sunday, the Fox host wanted to clarify what he had said the week before, and frankly, he did quite an excellent job. But Stewart was out to disprove that with nicely edited snippets followed by his factually-challenged misinterpretations:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Let me give you a classic example of what fair and balanced means to me. After hurricane Katrina, the mainstream media piled on FEMA for its failure to respond to the crisis. And the federal government did a lousy job. But it was Fox News that started reporting on the failure of the first responders, the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana to help people. Yes, we reported FEMA's problems but we also told the other side of the story.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: That's your example? You had a week to prepare an example and you came up with in 2005 everyone was s--ting on the Republicans and we made sure they understood that local Louisiana Democrats f—ked up, too.

Is that what Wallace said? Did you see the word “Democrats” in his example?

Quite the contrary, Wallace didn’t say “Democrat(s)” once during this entire segment Sunday.

Stewart was again doing what he’s famous for - putting words in people’s mouths:

STEWART: I mean, just out of curiosity, in your week of digging for that, did you find it on Thursday or Friday or was it like “Broadcast News” where Joan Cusack. sprinted in during the show countdown, “I found one?"

Alright, alright, here's what I'll do, here’s what I’ll do. I'll find something. Here's what I'll do. I'll find something maybe more from the recent past that I think tells the fuller story. It's not crazy. Mother says I'm crazy to have these books, but I don't think it's crazy. I think it's actually quite smart to have these books. I think – ah, ah, here's one. Here's one. Bret Baier’s show. That's on the news side. They were reporting on the crazy ATF operation that allowed Mexican drug cartels to purchase automatic weapons in America and smuggle them back into Mexico.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM LAJEUNEUSSE: The president told Mexican TV “Fast and Furious” was a mistake. Some say it was innocent. Others believe it was allowed to happen to justify tougher gun laws in the U.S.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: Wow. Did you see that? Did you see? He just threw it right in there. President Obama is either incompetent, making an innocent mistake, or the architect of an evil conspiracy to wreak violent carnage in Mexico as a way to take away America’s guns. You know, both sides of the story. Who said that America was involved in the type of conspiracy that, if true, could openly lead to the impeachment of a President? Who said it? Others.

I guess Stewart was completely unaware that there are currently Senate hearings about this very issue. As the Daily Beast - a liberal outlet now partnered with Newsweek - reported this very Monday:

The head of the embattled federal agency that combats gun trafficking has agreed to talk with Senate investigators, a potentially important breakthrough as Congress tries to determine whether higher-ups in the Obama administration knew about a controversial sting that let assault weapons flow across the border into Mexico’s drug wars.

This is actually a very serious matter, one that the supposedly brilliant Stewart appears to be quite uninformed about.

No wonder his viewers are considered less informed than Sean Hannity's and Bill O'Reilly's. But I digress:

STEWART: But of course Chris Wallace’s main claim to credibility was simply this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: As we showed today we don't go easy on Republicans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: Proof. That at least for one hour of Fox's 168 hours of programming a week, really, it's three hours because it's repeated twice. Mother says it's crazy to watch it like that but I don't think it's crazy. I think watching it at two and six when it's repeated is actually the right way to do it. I wonder. I wonder. I wonder if the fact that I make fun of Democrats would then be proof that I'm not biased.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: Am I an activist in your mind, an ideological, partisan activist?

WALLACE: Yeah.

STEWART: Okay, then I disagree with you. I absolutely disagree with you that that's the case.

WALLACE: I think you’re pushing, and I don’t think take shots at, at, although I think it's to maintain credibility and you're not as comfortable with it. You take shots at Obama and at the liberals. You like to make fun of conservatives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: See the game? I make fun of conservatives or Republicans because I'm a liberal partisan ideologue. I make fun of liberals or Democrats because I want as part of my brilliant yet cynical strategy to maintain enough credibility to continue making fun of conservatives and Republicans. And that narrative of conservative victimization is the true genius of what Fox News has accomplished. Any editorial judgment in news or schools or movies that doesn't favor the conservative view is elitism and is evidence of liberal bias. Whereas any editorial judgment that favors the conservative view is evidence of merely of fairness and done to protect them from liberal bias. And if you criticize Fox for this game, guess what that is evidence of? How right they are about how persecuted. It is air tighter than an otter's anus. Don't ask me how I know that. They can't lose.

Once again, Stewart's interpretation was specious, for Fox offers liberal views far more often than the rest of the mainstream media offers conservative ones. There are more liberal contributors to Fox than conservative contributors to ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, and PBS combined.

As for Stewart, I quite imagine that in the past seven years, he has made at least two jokes about Republicans for every one about a Democrat. Maybe even more. He's likely also made two jokes about Fox News for every one he's made about all the other news outlets combined.

So when he makes the odd joke about a liberal or a liberal organization, it could indeed be to give him some air of impartiality - but that's all it is.

By contrast, as Fox offers far more liberal opinions than all the other television news outlets provide conservative ones, their strategy is by no means a ruse.

Sadly, Stewart's hatred of Fox has become so consuming that such logic is beyond him:

STEWART: But you know what this whole victim thing makes Fox? Well, perhaps this term a friend of mine used once to describe our current presidential administration is most apt.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: They are the biggest bunch of crybabies I have dealt with in my 30 years in Washington.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

How childish. Stewart in the past nine days has shown himself as a man incapable of accepting criticism or performing even the most rudimentary introspection.

When proven by PolitiFact to have been wrong, he chose to point fingers at Fox rather than accept the error he had made, apologize for it, and move on.

As the Baltimore Sun's David Zurawik said on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday, this was like "The New York Times on their correction page saying, well, we made a mistake and we're sorry for it, but The Wall Street Journal made 21 mistakes."

Now, with this pathetic response to what Wallace said Sunday, Stewart has stooped even further to a point this author who once appreciated his intellectual prowess never thought he could get.

By contrast, Wallace, who made a gaffe of his own Sunday by asking Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) if she's a flake, quickly issued an apology accepting all the blame for his error without pointing fingers at anyone, especially not the individual he defamed.

If Stewart weren't acting like such a child, I would suggest he adopt some of Wallace's humility and class.

Sadly, the comedian I once revered and enjoyed seems way past that now.

They say politics makes strange bedfellows.

In Stewart's case, although he told Wallace he's not an activist, his behavior in the past nine days suggests otherwise, and that the sleeping quarters he's slumbering in of late has the distinct odor of swine.

So much for restoring sanity.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.