Jon Stewart, presenter of The Daily Show, secretly makes trips to the White House to receive “intense lobbying” from President Obama, it has been claimed by website Politic.
Producers on The Daily Show routinely email and telephone officials at the White House to get input from the administration on the running order of the show.
Austan Goolsbee, a former top economic adviser to the president, frequently emailed with his college classmate Scott Bodow, a “Daily Show” executive producer, to offer spin. Obama flunky David Axelrod often reached out directly to Stewart.
Obama himself would summon Stewart to Washington for meetings.
It turns out Jon Stewart isn’t our Edward R. Murrow or our Mark Twain. He’s more like our . . . Jay Carney. Don’t count on future generations knowing Stewart’s name any more than they will know Carney’s.
Remember when, under a Republican president, it was the duty of all comedians to be the loyal opposition, to speak truth to power? Stewart does the opposite.
He’s more like a referee who sneaks into the Patriots’ locker room to ask Tom Brady how much he wants his footballs deflated.
“The Daily Show” isn’t enduring political satire. It’s more like sports talk radio for liberals. Liberals watch it not to be informed but to get caught up in team spirit, a big part of which is simply mindlessly razzing the other team.
Just as a Patriots fan might occasionally carp at this or that player or coaching decision because they might put the game or season at risk, Stewart occasionally jabs the Obama administration.
But these jabs tend to be mild and rarely directed at the man in charge. Even the most egregious policy bungle or misuse of power tends to serve as an excuse for a segue to an attack on Fox News or the hypocrisy of conservatives.
Last year, under fire for the horrifying conditions at Veterans Administration hospitals that led to the deaths of perhaps hundreds of vets, Obama tried to reroute the nation’s attention with what he thought would be a warm, patriotic tableau: the release of POW Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan.
It immediately became obvious that Bergdahl, for whom Obama had traded five Taliban prisoners, was a likely deserter, and Bergdahl is currently awaiting trial on that charge. Stewart’s response was to blast away at Fox News for suggesting Bergdahl was a deserter.
If that blame-shifting non-answer had come directly from the White House, it would have seemed as pathetic as Richard Nixon telling us not to listen to those pinkos Woodward and Bernstein. But Stewart’s pose as an honest observer helped cement the impression with liberals that there was nothing wrong with the Bergdahl decision.
Mild sarcasm is about the worst Stewart can hurl at Obama, but he called conservative columnist Robert Novak a “vampire demon” and George W. Bush an “a–hole,” and mocked the heart transplant that saved Dick Cheney’s life as “more of a heart plant when you don’t have an original.”
When it comes to conservatives, Stewart’s mood is a never-ending “rage-gasm,” his term for Fox News’s coverage of Benghazi.
Stewart’s take on Benghazi is that it’s outrageous to be outraged by the fact that Obama apparently did nothing to help while four Americans were killed in an all-night battle with terrorists. All Stewart’s viewers know about Benghazi is that conservatives are inexplicably upset about it.
One of Stewart’s first viral moments was his 2004 appearance on CNN’s “Crossfire,” when he accused the hosts of “hurting America. You’re partisan — what do you call it — hacks.”
He might have used his talents to evade this charge himself, but instead, he allowed himself to be seduced by power. He sold out. He dined with those he should have been dining upon.
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