Jonah Goldberg: My phone call with Jon Stewart

posted at 2:05 pm on January 17, 2008 by Allahpundit

A little dessert to follow this morning’s meal courtesy of Andrew’s producer Nick. It’s all worthwhile if you can spare 14 minutes but the dish on Stewart, whom Goldberg aptly describes as a “dashboard saint” of young liberals (i.e. the nutroots), begins in earnest around two-thirds of the way through. These personal anecdotes about him are always morbidly fascinating as he’s uniformly described as cordial and fair-minded — until the interview, when he has to play conservative dragonslayer for the hooting audience. It’s an ironic counterpoint to his famous critique of mindlessly partisan, theatrically argumentative shows like Crossfire: When a conservative’s on, the TDS interview is often like Crossfire with one-liners. Jonah thinks Stewart’s in danger of pissing away the conservative half of his audience if he keeps it up, but let’s face it. That ship sailed long ago.

As I say, most of the gossipy stuff is towards the end but there’s an interesting — and familiar — minute or two on Stewart at the beginning as well. Clown nose on, clown nose off…

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Geckomon

First Post!

RobertInAustin on January 17, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Next time you do that, Robert, you’re banned. Got it?

Allahpundit on January 17, 2008 at 2:17 PM

Bad mood, AP?

faraway on January 17, 2008 at 2:18 PM

faraway on January 17, 2008 at 2:18 PM

Not speaking for Allah, it gets old.

amerpundit on January 17, 2008 at 2:19 PM

Now I’m all skeeerd.

Sefton on January 17, 2008 at 2:20 PM

Jon Stewart is a coward who hides behind his front of “it’s just fake news, a comedy show.”

I would respect him a bit more if he were to come out and say that he is partisan; he takes a lot more seriously the things he says than what he wants to portray (when it’s convenient for him.)

Grafted on January 17, 2008 at 2:20 PM

When I see Stewart make his “funny face,” mugging for the camera – when I see Colbert and his antics – I have this knee-jerk thought of bitch-slapping them both.

I just want to bitch-slap them both.

OhEssYouCowboys on January 17, 2008 at 2:20 PM

Stewart, whom Goldberg aptly describes as a “dashboard saint” of young liberals (i.e. the nutroots)

Sad but true, this is where they get their information. Notice how all they do is wait for Stewie to say something funny so they can just laaaugh laaaugh laugh, oh, isn’t he so right?! No, don’t listen to what the guest has to say, don’t think for yourself, let Stewie say something ‘funny’ and clap for him. Idiots.

he has to play conservative dragonslayer for the hooting audience.

Nuff said there.

Stewart’s in danger of pissing away the conservative half of his audience

What? He has NO conservative half! His viewership is almost ALL liberal, that’s why they don’t get it when Jonah said “Classic Liberal”.

Tony737 on January 17, 2008 at 2:22 PM

“He went into it wanting to be fair”

A major weakness of conservatives is falling for liberals charm. Every conservative who has gone on stewarts show has had the dame experience, there is no proof or pattern that he wanted to be fair. Laura Ingraham calls evry low life lying leftist she talks about “Such a nice person”. Hannity talks up and excuses any liberal that blows smoke up his butt.

These people hate conservatives, hate what made America great and are liars and propagandists. Hitler loved animals and Mussolini was a blast to party with, they were not “nice” people.

peacenprosperity on January 17, 2008 at 2:22 PM

You got it Allah, was just having fun. You have to admit was funny the first couple of times.

Fred!

RobertInAustin on January 17, 2008 at 2:25 PM

amerpundit on January 17, 2008 at 2:19 PM

+1

That was interesting. Now I’m curious to see if the Lynne Cheney interview.

I can certainly understand the irritation from the left about uncovering the roots of progressivism. Liberal has come to be considered a negative word, so if the rebranding is challenged that defeats their whole point of embracing a new label. What’s that phrase though – wherever you go, there you are.

Spirit of 1776 on January 17, 2008 at 2:28 PM

I was going to say the same thing, Tony737. Who knew that he had a conservative half to his audience?

TX Mom on January 17, 2008 at 2:28 PM

It puts the interview into perspective. Jon did look out of his element last night and I know I watched an edited version, but there was very little reaction from the audience as they spoke.

Pam on January 17, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Jonah thinks Stewart’s in danger of pissing away the conservative half of his audience if he keeps it up, but let’s face it. That ship sailed long ago.

I didn’t know there had ever been such a half.

Hawkins1701 on January 17, 2008 at 2:32 PM

Now I’m curious to see if the Lynne Cheney interview.

Me too. If anyone finds it, please share it with the rest of the class.

silenced majority on January 17, 2008 at 2:35 PM

silenced majority on January 17, 2008 at 2:35 PM

They are here: (Part One, Part Two)

Spirit of 1776 on January 17, 2008 at 2:39 PM

This pub makes me want to read the book now. I’ll have to check out Barnes and Noble near the college dorms to see if the progresslaves have already tried to hide the book by moving it on the shelves.

You found Ann Coulter books in African-American poetry last time I was looking for one.

gabriel sutherland on January 17, 2008 at 2:42 PM

Bad mood, AP?

faraway on January 17, 2008 at 2:18 PM

Not my site, but I’d have no problem with auto-banning things like that.

ErikTheRed on January 17, 2008 at 2:42 PM

Liberalism is the philosophy of adolescents.

They’re just children, mentally.

benrand on January 17, 2008 at 2:43 PM

John Stewart is at the same level of intellectual honesty with Michael Moore. They wanted to be respected for their “insightful” contributions but as soon as you call them on their bullshit they run, duck, and hide behind the “Oh, I’m just a comedian” line. It’s dishonest and cowardly. They’re both nothing but pathetic little bitches (albeit well-paid pathetic little bitches).

ErikTheRed on January 17, 2008 at 2:45 PM

How are dual major, post grad readers of Talking Points Memo the most difficult people to deal with when explaining the 19th century definition of a liberal?

Even Josh Marshall is difficult to deal with and his thesis was about colonial economies.

I don’t know why they insist on being so difficult about the term.

gabriel sutherland on January 17, 2008 at 2:46 PM

gabriel sutherland on January 17, 2008 at 2:42 PM

Gabriel,
Definitely go get it.
I have been reading it this week and I am very impressed with Jonah’s scholarship and application to the present-day.

It is a cautionary tale for our country and the direction it is going (re: Huckabee, Clinton).

BobH on January 17, 2008 at 2:49 PM

Geckomon

First Post!

RobertInAustin on January 17, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Next time you do that, Robert, you’re banned. Got it?

Allahpundit on January 17, 2008 at 2:17 PM

Bad mood, AP?

faraway on January 17, 2008 at 2:18 PM

Not speaking for Allah, it gets old.

amerpundit on January 17, 2008 at 2:19 PM

Is that annoying, yeah.

But simply asking someone to cut it out in a nice way is just too hard. Much simpler (not to mention mature) to just threaten someone right off the bat. /sarc

On topic: Stewart is simply playing to his core constituency, which makes business sense. I’m not saying he’s not a full-on liberal, just saying that he knows who butters his bread.

He probably is a very genial guy off camera.

Nineball on January 17, 2008 at 2:50 PM

Allahpundit on January 17, 2008 at 2:17 PM

Praise be to Allah!

baldilocks on January 17, 2008 at 3:02 PM

I haven’t watched in a hundred years, so what I’m reading isn’t surprising me, having caught snippets channel surfing.

(But, to be honest, I will always have a special place for him in my heart for what he said on his first show post 9/11. It still makes me cry.)

tree hugging sister on January 17, 2008 at 3:04 PM

You got it Allah, was just having fun. You have to admit was funny the first couple of times.

RobertInAustin on January 17, 2008 at 2:25 PM

No, it wasn’t funny at all. Veteran commenters tried to warn you. Unfortunately for you, the damage has been done as far as your reputation here goes. Most of us pegged you as an idiot the first time you did the “first post” crap and proceeded to ignore you after that.

aero on January 17, 2008 at 3:05 PM

I think the following about Jon Stewart:

He’s a very intelligent and well-read person.
He is indeed funny – far more than Colbert, by the way.
He and his show have an openly leftist bent. It’s easy to see: just watch how he often talks of “your guys”, “our guys”, etc.
Indeed, he is often coy with the clown nose thing Allah points out.

Baphomet on January 17, 2008 at 3:06 PM

Liberalism is the philosophy of adolescents.

They’re just children, mentally.

benrand on January 17, 2008 at 2:43 PM

Amen!

Generally speaking, liberals (aka: progressives) seem to base all philosophies off of the way they feel and emotional mood swings and hardly any being rational, logical or major thought. Jon Stewart’s emoting and tantrums he through in the Goldberg interview is exhibit A of this. Colmes whole line of questioning over the book cover and nothing of the content in it, when it completely explains on page 2 of the book about the cover is exihibit B.

And both Stewart and Colmes come off looking like mental midgets who don’t do their homework when they pretend to have read it, know what it’s fully about and ask stupid questions that are fully answered on the second page of the book.

Jonah Goldberg is my new hero. Not every guest can make a hostile host look totally inept without really trying or breaking a sweat over it. Everytime Stewart or Colmes threw a punch with their questions, Goldberg just made them look like they were hitting themselves with his answers. Love it.

Planet Boulder on January 17, 2008 at 3:11 PM

Spirit of 1776 on January 17, 2008 at 2:39 PM

Thank you.

silenced majority on January 17, 2008 at 3:14 PM

Really? When liberals are faced with facts, they get ugly?

(Sits with mouth open completely shocked and mortified)

Weebork on January 17, 2008 at 3:23 PM

I haven’t been able to watch Letterman, Stewart, Mahr, or any of these comedian libs with the bully pulpit after 9-11 occurred. Their lack of knowledge that we REALLY do have an enemy out there wanting to kill us has been deafening. All I can hear is laughter by an audience filled with laughing liberal morons that these liberal comedians use to hide behind to get their liberal talking points in. And all this in a time of war. Totally nauseating. Please bring us more comedy acts like past comedians Jonathon Winters, Bob Newhart and Johnny Carson, who didn’t have a liberal agenda.

Travis1 on January 17, 2008 at 3:26 PM

The difference between Jonah Goldberg and Ann Coulter is that Jonah is fundamentally dishonest. Whenever he is confronted with the actual implications of his book, he denies it. Though his book — from the title to the contents — is suggesting that modern liberals (or progressives) are kin to early progressives, i.e. fascists, he denies it. “Oh no, Jon, you’re not a fascist. I’m just saying that …”

Coulter, on the other hand will answer, “Yes, you are a fascist, a traitor, a …”

Goldberg suffers too much from just wanting to be loved. There are better voices than his. Coulter’s for one. But alas, she makes the boys at NRO uncomfortable.

Drum on January 17, 2008 at 3:29 PM

1776 – I think what you said about the term progressive is correct. It is a rebranding of liberal since at least half the American electorate now has distain for liberals. In fact, I think the vast majority of people have no idea that there is an historic prescedent to that term. I didn’t. I figured it was just made up to get away from being labeled liberal which, BTW, seems to have wroked very nicely.

Babs on January 17, 2008 at 3:46 PM

Man, I could read that original “clown nose on, clown nose off” post a 100 times. It just so encapsulates TDS.

Speaking of the progressives hissy fit over the title “Liberal Fascism” and Hitler Happy Face imagery…

Johan should have plastered the General BetrayUs troop ad slime or this instead.

Topsecretk9 on January 17, 2008 at 3:46 PM

Despite the public break with Coulter a few years ago, Jonah is basically stealing from her play book here.

Anyway, I’m still interested in the book. I like the guy even if I think he’s sort of become the thing he claims to dislike.

John on January 17, 2008 at 3:50 PM

That’s why I wouldn’t buy Progressive Insurance. At first I thought it was just an unfortunate name, but later I found out that it was intentional and is run by a complete left wing activist, Peter Lewis, who gives to ACLU and other nutjob groups.

pistolero on January 17, 2008 at 3:57 PM

Jonah thinks Stewart’s in danger of pissing away the conservative half of his audience if he keeps it up, but let’s face it. That ship sailed long ago.

No doubt. I have continued to refuse to watch the Daily Show because of how annoyed I am about how many college kids and other young liberals treat his show as a real news show. Sure, they might not admit it, but it’s clearly where they get their news. And I would wager that it’s not just “Kos kids” watching, it is the less politically involved types. People who don’t spend much of their time thinking about politics, but the “funny” drags them in, and they are left feeling like they actually know something about anything (which they don’t).

RightWinged on January 17, 2008 at 3:59 PM

Allahpundit on January 17, 2008 at 2:17 PM

Thank you AP

infidel2 on January 17, 2008 at 4:02 PM

Despite the public break with Coulter a few years ago, Jonah is basically stealing from her play book here.

He absolutely is, and then doesn’t have the nuts to stand up for what he says. This is total typical Republican pansy behavior. Just love us, that’s all we ask.

Drum on January 17, 2008 at 4:02 PM

I’m not a John Stewart fan at all, but the fact that he called Jonah back to talk about it impressed me.

rivlax on January 17, 2008 at 4:04 PM

When I watched the John Stewart/Jonah Goldberg piece, I thought the end edit was hilarious. Stewart set it up with the initial mea culpa, and then when the interview turned combative, he ran off his zingers at the end. To me, he was basically saying that he had his head handed to him, and was making a joke about that by admitting that the only way he could win the argument was to not let Goldberg speak.

We shouldn’t get angry about this. We should appreciate the humor and what it means. I hope that Stewart really came to understand Jonah’s point, which is a good one. If you mindlessly adopt the Progressive = Good, you can really wind up being lead astray.

gridlock2 on January 17, 2008 at 4:09 PM

Anyone that firsts or approves of firsts needs to be banned. Should also have his IP & email added to some unpleasant email lists, volunteered to star on “To Catch A Predator”, and signed up as a founding member of Internet Haganah’s prime target sites.

It isn’t like this is the first message board on the internet, nor that Allah is somehow a rare breed in being unimpressed with “first!” posts. I’d seriously prefer giving the old French punishment for regicides to first!ers, but then I have always been a bit of a hardliner in terms of punishments.

libertarianuberalles on January 17, 2008 at 4:09 PM

conservative half? That’s hilarious!

HaraldHardrada on January 17, 2008 at 4:10 PM

I’m not a John Stewart fan at all, but the fact that he called Jonah back to talk about it impressed me.

rivlax on January 17, 2008 at 4:04 PM

Jonah didn’t say why he called him back. Hopefully it was to get a firm answer from him about what the book is about.

Jon Stewart: “Jonah, are you actually saying that we — my pals and me — are the progeny of early 20th century progressivism and fascism?”

Jonah (if he had any balls): “Yes, that’s what I am saying.”

Jon Stewart: “That’s what I thought you were saying.”

Drum on January 17, 2008 at 4:12 PM

AP,
For being a pretty perceptive and funny dude, that was straight-up dick. This is my first and last post, so feel free to ban me. Still a fan of the site, though.

scotta on January 17, 2008 at 4:15 PM

Drum – you look like you’re just being a sockpuppet (perhaps Kevin Drum setting up straw men?)

If you happen not to be a troll/sock puppet and mean what you say: Jonah is actually trying to win debates. Calling people traitors/nazis, etc isn’t a good way to win an argument, but it can make you feel better and make your audience cheer. Jonah is going into interviews and trying to make converts.

Some liberals have good intentions, but haven’t thought through the implications of their policies. Most have no idea of the pedigree of their politics, while conservatives tend to at least have 250 years worth of philosophical history. This stems partly from facing a hostile audience so much of the time, and from conservativism being empirically true but against tribal instincts, so that we learn and use our history. The Left goes unchallenged – giving everyone free whatever is nice and seems like a good thing – and really doesn’t want to talk about their intellectual history. Who would want to acknowledge that they rely on so many French philosophers (from Rousseau to Derrida) and Karl Marx.

But I’m giving your trollish ass far too much credit. Coulter is a performance artist out to enrich herself and not to advance any cause. Being an aggressive polemicist has a role, but her aim is solely to get attention, so she will say whatever is the most outre thing possible, whether or not it his consistent with her present, past, or future positions. She is smart, beautiful, and could be an excellent pundit and thinker, but she just went for a low road to riches by saying things she doesn’t believe to get denounced by liberals in media so that conservatives will buy her book.

libertarianuberalles on January 17, 2008 at 4:23 PM

I was bored, behold

clown nose on…clown nose off

Topsecretk9 on January 17, 2008 at 4:37 PM

I admit, all this kerfluffle has made me curious about Goldberg’s book. I may pick it up one day.

ZK on January 17, 2008 at 4:40 PM

Stewart lost me after the first 3 months of his taking over the Daily Show. He’s a left wing hack and a coward.

MCPO Airdale on January 17, 2008 at 5:06 PM

No, it wasn’t funny at all. Veteran commenters tried to warn you. Unfortunately for you, the damage has been done as far as your reputation here goes. Most of us pegged you as an idiot the first time you did the “first post” crap and proceeded to ignore you after that.

aero on January 17, 2008 at 3:05 PM

Oh please.

I was having a bit of fun with a stuffed shirt who thought this was study hall. I have been watching the First Post stuff for months, and now all off a sudden childish and such.

I was told this morning that I rocked, some got a kick out of it. I will be the first to admit I let it go to far, I even had second thoughts after I posted the last one. Oh well, life can do that too you at times.

As for my reputation, oh well, another cross I will have to bear knowing that I caused fellow hot air readers to waster their bandwidth. Allah laid down the law, I apologized, get over it.

scotta on January 17, 2008 at 4:15 PM

Dude, I had it coming.

RobertInAustin on January 17, 2008 at 5:11 PM

Clown nose on, clown nose off…

Heh. Indeed.

I haven’t bothered watching TDS since the episode after the 2004 election. Well, about 5 minutes, his first day back as a WGA scab, but that’s it.

You have to admit was funny the first couple of times.

RobertInAustin on January 17, 2008 at 2:25 PM

Sure, the first couple of times it was done in human history. In the many years since then, no.

Jim Treacher on January 17, 2008 at 5:15 PM

AP,
For being a pretty perceptive and funny dude, that was straight-up dick. This is my first and last post, so feel free to ban me. Still a fan of the site, though.

scotta on January 17, 2008 at 4:15 PM

I wholeheartedly disagree.

Thank you AP for taking the stance, it couldn’t come soon enough.

mattshu on January 17, 2008 at 5:47 PM

Who would want to acknowledge that they rely on so many French philosophers (from Rousseau to Derrida) and Karl Marx.

Indeed, I and others have been trying for years to get the new Jacobins to admit as much. Alas, that is for another thread.

I’ll read Jonah’s book. I can’t take him seriously, though. Indeed, when has he ever indicated that anyone should?

Drum on January 17, 2008 at 6:06 PM

I love the way Jon was just squirming and yes, “pounding the table” just like a little crybaby.

I disagree with Jonah about Jon wanting to be fair.
Jon had no intention of that. It was a total set-up!

Jonah is being way too kind to this lousy liberal, disguised as a hip comedian.

Conservaboomer on January 17, 2008 at 6:42 PM

Okay, this is my last post. I think it was the “Got it?” that bugged me. I can’t think of anyone ever adding that to a statement in a way I didn’t think was dick, or at the very least unnecessary. Not saying AP is a dick, but you know what I mean. I’m just happy both my comments on here are so substantive. And I used the word “dick”.

scotta on January 17, 2008 at 7:18 PM

Wilkow points to Leno as an example of how political comedy should be done? Jay is a huge talent who puts out a bland product every night. His political jokes are the stuff of Bob Hope’s day. Stewart or Miller are a lot sharper with their political humor.

dedalus on January 17, 2008 at 8:56 PM

RobertInAustin on January 17, 2008 at 5:11 PM

For the record, I thank you for displaying my name before and above yours in all those “first post”. It’s as if I dominated them. (heh)

My only regret is that in your glee to make your comment, you left out FRED!

No matter what mischief you are up to, never lose focus of the prime directive.

geckomon on January 17, 2008 at 9:39 PM

Most of all thank you AP.

geckomon on January 17, 2008 at 9:40 PM

Jonah Golberg, like Krauthammer and VDH, is a national treasure.

Geckomon

RobertInAustin on January 17, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Have I missed something? Yes, I Googled it (Gekomon, no c, some Japanese cartoon thing), but I still don’t get it.

Tzetzes on January 17, 2008 at 10:01 PM

Tzetzes on January 17, 2008 at 10:01 PM

I said this yesterday. Wasn’t a big deal until RobertInAustin decided to continue with it all day today.

geckomon on January 17, 2008 at 10:42 PM

I said this yesterday. Wasn’t a big deal until RobertInAustin decided to continue with it all day today.

geckomon on January 17, 2008 at 10:42 PM

Oh. What’s his problem with your having a problem?

Tzetzes on January 17, 2008 at 10:57 PM

For the record, I thank you for displaying my name before and above yours in all those “first post”. It’s as if I dominated them. (heh)

My only regret is that in your glee to make your comment, you left out FRED!

No matter what mischief you are up to, never lose focus of the prime directive.

geckomon on January 17, 2008 at 9:39 PM

Its all good.

Fred!

RobertInAustin on January 17, 2008 at 11:17 PM

Eyes heavy…Drifting…Snore…

Tzetzes on January 18, 2008 at 12:04 AM

And I used the word “d**k”.
scotta on January 17, 2008 at 7:18 PM

I have never been rude to another HA poster, but you may find this rude: Grow up already. This is the kind of comment a giggling junior high student would make.

This is a site for adults, yes, and we’ve all heard these words before, but most of us have the intellectual capacity and grasp our our Mother Tongue to use language that befits ladies and gentlemen. And, you might note, when someone is extremely upset, they use symbols so they are not coarsening the dialogue in any significant way. This seems to be lost on some of the new members so again, at the risk of being rude, until you have something substantive to say, and the ability to say it effectively, please hush and let the grown-ups talk.

DrMagnolias on January 18, 2008 at 5:01 AM