Jon Stewart Trashes Novak as Heartless 'Vampire Demon,' Enemy of Democracy
On Monday's edition of "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central -- the same edition rolling out the red carpet for Bill Clinton promoting his latest Global Initiative talk-a-thon -- Jon Stewart opened his show by trashing conservative columnist Robert Novak over his C-SPAN critique of Stewart as a self-righteous comedian with airs of grandeur. Admitting he's "mean" and "sophomoric," Stewart described Novak as a heartless "vampire demon," a "terrible person," and even an "enemy of American democracy."
MRC's Brad Wilmouth noted that as he told the audience of his standup-comedy performance in the D.C. area over the weekend, Stewart explained:
"I'm down in D.C. this weekend ... and I just wanted to immerse myself in the atmosphere of the area, I wanted to get the lay of the land, so I took tuned into, they have a station down there called C-SPAN, which sort of covers local happenings in the Washington-Baltimore area, and I'm watching this show Washington Journal, and I'm just, I mean, I was stunned. You, take a look."
Robert Novak: "Somebody mentioned the Jon Stewart program. I've never seen that in my life, and I will go to my grave never having seen it."
Stewart got out a pad and pen and said in an oozy voice, joyous at the prospect of Novak reaching the grave: "Really? You'll go to your grave never having seen it? When's that scheduled for?" Then the show skipped back to another C-SPAN clip:
Brian Lamb: "Why?"
Novak: "I don't see any reason for it. It's a self-righteous comedian taking on airs of grandeur, and I don't really need that."
Stewart protested, as if Novak was somehow unaware of Stewart's pompous 'Crossfire' performance of 2004: "'Self-righteous comedian taking on airs of grandeur'?! You just said you've never seen it. You don't even, listen, I'm not going to deny I'm a pompous ass, but 'airs of grandeur,' that couldn't have been what he said. I should check, let me check this transcript."
As he put on a monocle and then put a pipe in his mouth, Stewart joked: "Airs of grandeur. This is ridiculous, let me just, hold on, oh, it's not. Hold on. Let me just, oh, God, that's insane! I just, whoa, yes! We couldn't figure out how to appropriately mock 'airs of grandeur.' Earlier we actually tried rehearsing with a guy in a white powdered wig who walked out with a scroll, but it felt too real." He continued:
"Yes, Robert Novak does not watch 'The Daily Show' or myself, not surprising. You know, I keep reading all these articles about how 'The Daily Show' is big amongst 115-year-old vampire demons, but why does Robert Novak -- hate? And why me? I mean, it's like I publicly revealed some piece of information he didn't want people to know and ruined his career and then kept asserting it was everyone else's fault but mine."
This, of course, would be funnier if you're a liberal and dogmatically assume that somehow Novak single-handedly ruined the CIA career of Valerie Plame, and if you felt that photo shoots in Vanity Fair and book deals were signs of ruin as well. Then Stewart mockingly offered a truce:
Well, I don't like this bad blood between us, Robert. If you're watching, and I know you're not, I think it's time we buried the hatchet! We need to get together and talk. We'll meet on neutral ground. You're on Fox, I'm on Comedy Central. How about the Food Network? Rachael Ray seems like a peacemaker.
We can work this out because I know that you're a good person deep down in your --[pauses for comedic effect, makes a series of circular gestures with his chest] , the thing that they replaced your heart with that pumps the, I know you have redeeming qualities! I see your redeeming qualties. For example, when you're on television, you let others shine while you generously absorb all light and oxygen. When you leave an area, it stops raining. And I know that in the past I have referred to you as a douche bag. But that's not an air of grandeur, that's just mean and sophomoric, and I only said those things to you because I sincerely believe you're a terrible person."
As the crowd cheered and squealed, Stewart moved on by crossing his fingers and joking "I hope that helps." He then added: "Sadly, Robert Novak isn't the only enemy of American democracy. We have even more dangerous foes." What followed was a jokey segment about the idiocy of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military.