During the Monday evening edition of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart accused the reporters at the Fox News Channel of having “hypocritical outrage and sanctimony” regarding the war in Iraq a decade ago compared to the situation in which four Americans were killed in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.
It didn't take long for Greta van Susteren -- host of the weeknight On the Record program on Fox News – to tweet that even if his assertion regarding the Iraq conflict was correct, “2 wrongs don't make a right.” Meanwhile, Megyn Kelly said during an interview with Eric Kelsey of the Reuters news agency that Stewart had called her after the host of The Kelly File said on the air that he was being mean to her, and when he went “looking for absolution,” she didn't give him any.
Van Susteren's post had a very long title: “Note to Jon Stewart (who I think is smart and clever … but like the rest of us, not always right … but a comedian has, of course, way more latitude -- we in the media should get it right).”
“Last night, Jon Stewart opened his show with a segment about Fox News Channel’s aggressive coverage of Benghazi,” she noted. “Stewart’s criticism of Fox News Channel is that Fox News Channel is more aggressive about President Obama and Benghazi than it ever was about President Bush and Iraq.”
“Besides the obvious -- that almost all the Democrats in Congress voted for the war in Iraq and other media reporting -- is my simple note to Stewart: 2 wrongs don’t make a right,” she concluded.
Meanwhile, after Eruc Kelsey stated that Kelly and her network “have often been a favorite punching bag” for the comedian, she responded that “Stewart doesn't bother me as much as he used to. He used to do these segments on me all the time, and then one day on the air, I said he was mean, and then he called me up, and we had an hour-long talk.
“Stewart explained that he didn't mean to be mean and that he does satire and that he claimed I was 'one of the three journalists he respects.'” Kelly explained. “I said: 'Well, it sounds like you're looking for absolution, and I'm not giving it.' We had a good laugh. He was very good-natured. But I understand what he does.”
The spark that initiated these fiery exchanges began with Stewart stating: “Last week, it all went to hell.”
He then ran a number of clips showing Fox News reporters referring to the email written by Ben Rhodes – the Obama administration's deputy national security adviser for strategic communication -- as “a smoking gun.”
“Well, I will say this,” the liberal anchor noted. “From that email, it sounds like the White House had politics and elections on their mind when they sent Susan Rice to the Sunday shows. It's deplorable.”
Stewart then aired another series of clips that showed Fox News personnel Monica Crowley, Steve Doocy, Bill O'Reilly and Greg Gutfeld coming down hard on the sparse coverage of the Benghazi aftermath by the “mainstream media.”
The comedian then asserted: “You think people's failure to match your level of outrage is based on ignorance, that after nearly 100 network news stories, hundreds of cable news stories about Benghazi, 13 Congressional hearings, 50 further Congressional briefings and 25,000 pages of official findings concerning what happened in Benghazi, that if we all only knew about it, we would care.”
“You know, the only things we've heard more about in the past year and a half are the Kardashians,” he continued, “and there is no dispute that this situation was spawned by the release of a video.”
“Here's your problem,” Stewart said while pictures of people from George W. Bush's administration appeared behind him. “You’re asking people to get outraged about an intelligence failure that tragically led to some Americans losing their lives. One intelligence failure.”
He continued comparing the invasion of Iraq to the Benghazi massacre by stating: “And then, I mean, imagine the outrage if there had been a second intelligence failure right after that one that tragically led to even more Americans losing their lives.
“Well, I commend you for finally getting in touch with your inner outrage because if I remember correctly in the previous decade, it was an emotion you did not seem comfortable addressing or expressing,” he said.
We can only wonder how much “inner outrage” Stewart would have felt if the Democratic occupant of the White House had never agreed to be interviewed on his Comedy Central program or agreed with the liberal comedian's “radical beliefs.” Perhaps some things just aren't funny.