A panel full of liberals on Wednesday's Good Morning America attacked the "angry, white" Tea Partiers and lauded the historical importance of Jon Stewart. Daily Beast editor Tina Brown gushed over the liberal comedian as " the only trusted branch of government." [MP3 audio here. Click on blog for video.]
Previewing the comic's rally on Washington this Saturday, the former Vanity Fair editor hyperbolically enthused, "You know, I mean, in the end, Stewart and Colbert, really are like the Huntley and Brinkley of today in the sense that people really, really trust them."
GMA host George Stephanopoulos also featured D.L. Hughley. The actor dismissed Glenn Beck and the Tea Party movement: "There were a bunch of angry, white people, saying they wanted their freedom back. If that doesn't call for some kind of answer. Like it's the white Harriet Tubman somewhere." The Morning Mix panel, a regular feature on GMA, featured no conservative voices.
Hughley mocked actor Charlie Sheen for his latest legal troubles. He used this as an opportunity to take another gratuitous shot at conservatives: "[Sheen] was drunk and naked at the lobby of the plaza. That would make him a perfect candidate for the Tea Party."
Interestingly, Stephanopoulos wondered if the upcoming rally might be "crossing a line" for the comedians. But, he never explicitly explained what he meant. Perhaps even the former Clinton operative turned journalist is worried about the political fallout of an extremely partisan rally by Colber and Stewart.
A transcript of the October 27 segment, which aired at 8:18am EDT, follows:
On Charlie Sheen:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Nothing seems to touch this guy, no matter what he does.
TINA BROWN: Well, let's face it. We live in the post-embarrassment age, right? I mean, there is nothing, it seems, anymore, that gets you fired or cast out of the media club. You know? I mean, it's like anything goes.
D.L. HUGHLEY: He was drunk and naked at the lobby of the plaza. That would make him a perfect candidate for the Tea Party. [Stephanopoulos laughs.] He could beat Paladino and run for governor.
STEPHANOPOULOS: D.L., you're a comedian. I want to get your opinion on this. Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert doing this march this weekend. There's been some suggestion that this might be crossing a line for them. It might be going too far and actually hurt their brand as comedians.
HUGHLEY: I think that it's very tongue and cheek. I don't think it's the Glenn Beck kind of march. I think they are doing what they've always do, which is very tongue and cheek. I think ultimately, they push the envelope comedically. And it will be interesting to see what happens. I don't think that-
STEPHANOPOULOS: Will they play it for laughs or play it with a straight-
HUGHLEY: I think we won't know. And I think that's the point. The point is to do something and people- Colbert, you never really know what he's doing. And I think this march is an extension of that.
BROWN: You know, the truth of the matter is that Jon Stewart, at this point, is the only trusted branch of government. You know, I mean, in the end, Stewart and Colbert, really are like the Huntley and Brinkley of today in the sense that people really, really trust them.
STEPHANOPOULOS: They're able to pull it off, when they stay in character. He- When he can use the fact he's a comedian as a shield. When it feels more like political activism, he's in danger.
HUGHLEY: Look at how many political analysts, I mean, he got Crossfire taken off the air.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, that's true.
HUGHLEY: Rick Sanchez just got fired. You have a bunch of people. The Glenn Beck rally. There were a bunch of angry, white people, saying they wanted their freedom back. If that doesn't call for some kind of answer. Like it's the white Harriet Tubman somewhere. I never got that.