The crowd on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show is a loud, very left-wing chorus, as if they were borrowed from Bill Maher’s HBO set. On Wednesday’s Daily Show, Jon Stewart (now endorsed as a spokes-comedian for Jewish Voice for Peace) discussed Israeli-Palestinian relations as "two abused children" in a dysfunctional relationship. His guest was Newsweek International editor and CNN host Fareed Zakaria, who demonstrated the easiest thing to do for applause and whoops and cheer is blame President Bush for everything:
STEWART: Israel and the Palestinian situation, is that – does Obama change the game here? Can the game be changed? Or are we just watching two abused children consummate this dysfunctional relationship until both are mortally wounded? I mean what are we -- what are we dealing with?
ZAKARIA: The odd thing is at some level there's greater agreement among all parties that a two-state solution is the way to go and it's the right one. You have, you know, a majority of Israelis in poll after poll show they accept a two-state solution. Wasn't true 20 years ago. A majority of Palestinians, most of the time when you poll them, suggest a two-state solution is the way to go. A majority of the arab regimes have accepted a two-state solution as long as there's a withdrawal to ’67 borders with some land swaps. So at the theoretical level, you have greater agreement than ever before, but on a practical level on the ground, it seems further away than ever before, and I do have to blame Bush for this, to a certain extent. [Applause and cheers.]
STEWART (joking): Outrageous. Can I say this? I won't have it on my program! I said Good Day! [Laughter]
ZAKARIA (unleashing the sarcasm): After that eloquent press conference in which he clarified everything, I feel bad to say this, but – [Laughter] you know, of course the parties are in many ways screwed up and find it very difficult to make peace, but we've known that. And the only thing that could make a difference is a very engaged, active, energetic American leadership that says, ‘Look, this is what the final outline should look like. This is our version of what it would take. Are you guys going to sign up’?
Unsurprisingly, back in 2004, Zakaria was completely in Stewart's corner as he attacked the CNN debate show Crossfire for "hurting America" with its bickering:
Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, host of the wicked political satire "The Daily Show," had gone on CNN's "Crossfire" as a guest and complained about the show. "It's hurting America," Stewart said, explaining that "Crossfire" and programs like it were not discussion shows but theater. His hosts seemed stunned—"Come on. Be funny," Tucker Carlson said plaintively. Perhaps it's unfair to single out "Crossfire" for scorn, but on his broader point, Stewart is exactly right.
These men don't like debate shows. They like one-sided Bush-bashing shows with no rebuttals, just lots of loud liberal laughter, applause, and cheers.