Video: Jon Stewart notably unimpressed with Obama’s executive ability

posted at 10:01 am on May 15, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Has the narrative begun to turn on Barack Obama? Jon Stewart reacted last night to the string of scandals buffeting the White House over the past week, and the incredibly weak response they have generated. Both Barack Obama and Jay Carney have insisted that they only know about these executive-branch outrages because, er, they watch cable news a lot, or something. Needless to say, this doesn’t give Stewart the warm fuzzies about the hands in which the nation rests … or perhaps the honesty in the White House (via Mediaite):

This was the best line:

“I wouldn’t be surprised if President Obama learned Osama bin Laden had been killed when he saw himself announce it on television.”

Dana Milbank also proclaims himself impatient with “President Passerby”:

President Passerby needs urgently to become a participant in his presidency.

Late Monday came the breathtaking news of a full-frontal assault on the First Amendment by his administration: word that the Justice Department had gone on a fishing expedition through months of phone records of Associated Press reporters.

And yet President Obama reacted much as he did to the equally astonishing revelation on Friday that the IRS had targeted conservative groups based on their ideology: He responded as though he were just some bloke on a bar stool, getting his information from the evening news.

In the phone-snooping case, Obama didn’t even stir from his stool. Instead, he had his press secretary, former Time magazine journalist Jay Carney, go before an incensed press corps Tuesday afternoon and explain why the president will not be involving himself in his Justice Department’s trampling of press freedoms.

“Other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the Associated Press,” Carney announced.

The president “found out about the news reports yesterday on the road,” he added.

And now that Obama has learned about this extraordinary abuse of power, he’s not doing a thing about it. “We are not involved at the White House in any decisions made in connection with ongoing criminal investigations,” Carney argued.

Meanwhile, David Axelrod wants people to know that we shouldn’t expect a President to know and control what happens in his administration, because, y’know, it’s so big:

Yes, we know, David.  It’s one of the many reasons conservatives want smaller government.  But the deliberate targeting of conservative groups by the IRS isn’t the same thing as the donut choices in the cafeteria, either.


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How many -gate scandals are there now?…

http://www.ok-corrals.com/pictures/Livestock-Pens-Gates.jpg

Benghazi-gate, IRS-gate (aka, Tea Party and Patriot-gate), AP-gate (aka, What? Against the press?-gate), Sebelius shakedown-gate, and the not forgotten Fast and Furious-gate…

The press sure has been late to investi-gate.

Fallon on May 15, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Axelrod, eh? Hey, wasn’t he the guy who, when Øbama was being questioned on how warm he kept it in the West Wing during winter, said “He’s from Hawaii. He likes it warm.” even though the president hasn’t been “from Hawaii” for a long time?

Yeah, like I’m going to believe that hack.

Odysseus on May 15, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Yeah…I guess…anything would be an improvement over Stewart’s appalling sycophancy the past four years. And I have a feeling that it was more the attrativeness of the opening “bit” than any real disgust with WH behavior.

Benghazi recedes noticeably into the background here; maybe it was too hard for them to find a clip that fit the “comic narrative.”

As for the last line…it’s a not so subtle way of reminding us of his “accomplishment”: “Hey, look, things are going on now…but look at what he did; he killed Osama.”

EastofEden on May 15, 2013 at 11:24 AM

We all know Obama is either the world’s biggest liar, or he’s the most uninformed president the USA has ever had.

Well, I think we all know it’s the former.

The Rogue Tomato on May 15, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Has the narrative begun to turn on Barack Obama? Jon Stewart reacted last night to the string of scandals buffeting the White House over the past week,

No.

Stewart is basically a cult/clique leader. Stewart is an over grown adolescent smart ass whose schtick is to be the coolest of the cool kids, to portray himself as the smartest of the smartest, and to make fun of everyone he thinks said or did dumb things.

His usual targets are Republicans and conservatives. But if he can place himself above the Smartest President Ever, making fun of even Teh One, and get away with it, that’s really cool and he must be really, really smart.

farsighted on May 15, 2013 at 11:31 AM

David Axelrod: “When you’re POTUS theres so much you don’t know below you because the government is so vast.”

Yes, we know, David. It’s one of the many reasons conservatives want smaller government.

It’s like there’s no connection between mouth and brain. I mean, honestly… what goes through your mind when you’re a Big Government Democrat to excuse your own bungling based on the “vast” size of government? lol

Murf76 on May 15, 2013 at 11:32 AM

The State Run Media willfully looked the other way on little things so long that they became big things…

d1carter on May 15, 2013 at 11:38 AM

“Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.” – Ayn Rand

My question is how could Obama, or any president, have prevented these scandals?

nonpartisan on May 15, 2013 at 10:43 AM

My question is how can you continually give Obama a pass, as if he is the first special needs president? The buck used to stop with the president. To treat him differently than say, “W”, shows your soft bigotry of low expectations with Obama. You might want to check your premises.

Fallon on May 15, 2013 at 11:39 AM

We all know Obama is either the world’s biggest liar, or he’s the most uninformed president the USA has ever had.

Well, I think we all know it’s the former.

Really, neither is mutually exclusive of the other. It is quite possible to be both a big liar and uniformed at the same time.

hawkeye54 on May 15, 2013 at 11:43 AM

David Axelrod: “When you’re POTUS theres so much you don’t know below you because the government is so vast.”

Things too big to control get out of control.

And when that big thing has a lot of power, what you get is out of control power.

The fact is, socialists don’t have a problem with this, as long as they are in charge. Small price to pay, you need to break a few eggs, etc.

When people were disappearing and starving by the millions in Stalin’s Soviet Union there were plenty of lefties and socialists in the US who thought it was an “inevitable consequence” of modernizing Russia and creating a better, fairer, and more just socio-economic organization in the country. Pity it had to happen but it would be for the best in the end.

People who think Orwell was writing about Italian or Nazi fascism in his books are mistaken. He was writing about totalitarian socialism, about where Stalin’s Soviet Union was going with a wary eye on socialism in Great Britain.

farsighted on May 15, 2013 at 11:43 AM

No.

Stewart is basically a cult/clique leader. Stewart is an over grown adolescent smart ass whose schtick is to be the coolest of the cool kids, to portray himself as the smartest of the smartest, and to make fun of everyone he thinks said or did dumb things.

His usual targets are Republicans and conservatives. But if he can place himself above the Smartest President Ever, making fun of even Teh One, and get away with it, that’s really cool and he must be really, really smart.

farsighted on May 15, 2013 at 11:31 AM

The Daily Show is a leftist bastardization of Rush Limbaugh’s TV show from the mid 90s. Always has been. Some elements of the show can be funny, but it is what it is.

Myron Falwell on May 15, 2013 at 11:44 AM

I would be willing to bet, that if not for the raiding of AP phone records, little would the same in the way of media coverage. In retrospect, it is the only thing that “clears” Obama. But only if you bought that he was smart in the first place. He’s just a spoiled rotten brat that has been covered for his entire life.
Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 11:21 AM

The “Hey, we got your back – how could you gore our ox?” factor is in play, to be sure.

whatcat on May 15, 2013 at 11:44 AM

David Axelrod: “When you’re POTUS theres so much you don’t know below you because the government is so vast.”

Can you imagine how the press would have gone off if this had been said by a similar figure during the Bush presidency?

yubley on May 15, 2013 at 11:46 AM

President Catch-A-Fly

Schadenfreude on May 15, 2013 at 11:46 AM

President Catch-A-Fly
Schadenfreude on May 15, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Obama didn’t know about that until he read it in the papers.

whatcat on May 15, 2013 at 11:53 AM

To excuse the administration the Dems today are saying that
1. The government is to big to be controlled
2. IRS agents don’t know what they’re doing

Every time a Dem recites one of those memes they should be asked “Then will you help me overturn Obamacare?”

29Victor on May 15, 2013 at 12:04 PM

My question is how could Obama, or any president, have prevented these scandals?
 
the IRS thing could’ve happened under any president. the IRS head lerner SHOULD’VE told the president what happened earlier but she didn’t, don’t see how this is Obama’s fault. He obviously has some incompetents working underneath him.
 
nonpartisan on May 15, 2013 at 10:43 AM

 
This is how. Watch for the one word I’m going to add. I’ll capitalize and bold it to make it easier to find:
 

My question is how could Obama, or any president, have prevented these scandals?
 
the IRS thing could’ve happened under any president. the IRS head lerner SHOULD’VE told the president what happened earlier but she didn’t, don’t see how this is Obama’s fault. He obviously has some incompetents STILL working underneath him.
 
nonpartisan on May 15, 2013 at 10:43 AM

 
Not firing = not preventing. Condoning, even, since employees know there are few, if any, repercussions if caught so long as you are on the appropriate political team.
 
That’s assuming it wasn’t a systemic effort, which it appeared to be. That makes not firing anyone even worse.
 
(Love your work.)

rogerb on May 15, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Anyone else have a vivid memory of President I’ve never managed anything in my life dealing with the oil spill in the gulf. While the press praised, we all watched the Keystone Cops try to mop it up with President Competent picking up stuff on the beach in his suit pants and Italian wing-tips.

Portia46 on May 15, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Oh yes. I have not forgotten the “Did you plug the hole yet, daddy” fiasco.

As with every crisis this White House has faced, he twiddled this thumbs while the situation spiraled out of control.

UltimateBob on May 15, 2013 at 10:59 AM

You mean the leak that would have been plugged 10 days earlier had the REB’s boy-wonder Stephen Chu not interfered?

slickwillie2001 on May 15, 2013 at 12:12 PM

My question is how could Obama, or any president, have prevented these scandals?

the IRS thing could’ve happened under any president. the IRS head lerner SHOULD’VE told the president what happened earlier but she didn’t, don’t see how this is Obama’s fault. He obviously has some incompetents working underneath him.

nonpartisan on May 15, 2013 at 10:43 AM

A valuable life lesson: if you hire incompetents, expect them to hire incompetents too.

slickwillie2001 on May 15, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Axelrod, eh? Hey, wasn’t he the guy who, when Øbama was being questioned on how warm he kept it in the West Wing during winter, said “He’s from Hawaii. He likes it warm.” even though the president hasn’t been “from Hawaii” for a long time?

Yeah, like I’m going to believe that hack.

Odysseus on May 15, 2013 at 11:23 AM

He likes it like that because it reminds him of the warm and steamy atmosphere in Chicago’s “Man’s Country”.

slickwillie2001 on May 15, 2013 at 12:15 PM

I find the attention to what Steward or Colbert has to say about as interesting as Obama blaming Rush. We need to start paying attention to people who have actual impact on our lives.

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 12:17 PM

How many -gate scandals are there now?…

http://www.ok-corrals.com/pictures/Livestock-Pens-Gates.jpg

Benghazi-gate, IRS-gate (aka, Tea Party and Patriot-gate), AP-gate (aka, What? Against the press?-gate), Sebelius shakedown-gate, and the not forgotten Fast and Furious-gate…

The press sure has been late to investi-gate.

Fallon on May 15, 2013 at 11:22 AM

I say we just call the whole clusterf*** “Flood-gate” and cover all our bases.

Bruce MacMahon on May 15, 2013 at 12:25 PM

At last!!!! Since all low zero information voters get their “news” from Jon, maybe the electorate will wake up soon.

fred5678 on May 15, 2013 at 12:28 PM

How many -gate scandals are there now?…

Fallon on May 15, 2013 at 11:22 AM

I say we just call the whole clusterf*** “Flood-gate” and cover all our bases.

Bruce MacMahon on May 15, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Don’t forget EPA-gate(S).

Lisa Jackson’s secret emails
and waiving fees for lefty groups.

fred5678 on May 15, 2013 at 12:33 PM

At last!!!! Since all low zero information voters get their “news” from Jon, maybe the electorate will wake up soon

I doubt it. When Jon and his cohorts start a daily routine of exposing the reason for and demanding the need for Barry to resign yesterday, maybe ……

but I still doubt it.

hawkeye54 on May 15, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Imagine the hay John Stewart’s going to make of today’s scandal: the IRS accessing millions of health records of everyday citizens for who knows what reason. When is it time to impeach this tyrant?

jdpaz on May 15, 2013 at 12:41 PM

from here: http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/irs-face-lawsuit-over-theft-60-million-patient-health-records

got it at Ace’s place. Class action lawsuit against the IRS for $250 billion with a “B”.

jdpaz on May 15, 2013 at 12:42 PM

How many -gate scandals are there now?…

Fallon on May 15, 2013 at 11:22 AM

I say we just call the whole clusterf*** “Flood-gate” and cover all our bases.

Bruce MacMahon on May 15, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Don’t forget EPA-gate(S).

Lisa Jackson’s secret emails
and waiving fees for lefty groups.

Just call the whole collection “Obamagate”. I’m sure more scandals can be dredged up to add to the current mess.

hawkeye54 on May 15, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Yes, we know, David. It’s one of the many reasons conservatives want smaller government.

It’s also why some people suggested the President of the United States should have actually done something in life. I suppose rousing folks with a bullhorn in front of a bank that won’t loan people money simply because they can’t pay it back doesn’t prep one for running the planet Earth. Who would’a thunk it.

IndieDogg on May 15, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Isn’t Stewart afraid of getting audited by the IRS?

SailorMark on May 15, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Funny how this bit sets up today’s meme that Obama is too passive and disinterested to have had a direct role in these scandals.

Maybe “funny” isn’t the right word.

Caiwyn on May 15, 2013 at 1:08 PM

He’s not incompetent Jon. He was just doing what you America hating leftists demanded he do only he got caught. You own him–dirt and all. How’s that water feel creeping up around your ankles? Maybe it’s time to desert the sinking ship, grab a copy of the constitution or something to bail with first.

Don L on May 15, 2013 at 1:16 PM

David Axelrod: “When you’re POTUS theres so much you don’t know below you because the government is so vast.”

Exodus 18:13 The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” 15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God; 16 when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws.” 17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone. 19 Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, 20 and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. 21 Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.”

Marcola on May 15, 2013 at 1:57 PM

We all know Obama is either the world’s biggest liar, or he’s the most uninformed corrupt president the USA has ever had.

Well, I think we all know it’s the former both.

The Rogue Tomato on May 15, 2013 at 11:26 AM

FIFY

maryo on May 15, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Axelturd’s dismissive comment goes back to what Obama’s water carriers have said since the beginning of this disastrous presidency. The challenges today are simply toocomplex for any president.

Horse crap.

RobertE on May 15, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Yeah. Sorta strains credulity when you claim that you found out about every bad thing in your gov’t from the media. Not to mention that IF that were true, which nobody with a half a brain would believe anyhow, that would probably be worse than knowing about it beforehand.

The level of incompetence on display here is EPIC.

deadrody on May 15, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Maybe that’s why everyone thought Bush wasn’t curious because he didn’t read the Newspapers, or watch the News on TV.

They thought he’d be totally clueless and not know anything about anything if he didn’t get it from the news like their guys.

jaydee_007 on May 15, 2013 at 5:09 PM

David Axelrod: “When you’re POTUS theres so much you don’t know below you because the government is so vast.”

Isn’t that essentially what they said about the Carter Administration until Reagan showed them that competence trumps arrogance every time when it comes to running the ship of state?

jaydee_007 on May 15, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Jon Stewart flunked Operation Headstart when he was young. He’s just now catching up.

NoPain on May 15, 2013 at 5:46 PM

We all know Obama is either the world’s biggest liar, the most uninformed corrupt president the USA has ever had.

Well, I think we all know it’s the former bothall the above.

The Rogue Tomato on May 15, 2013 at 11:26 AM

FIFY

maryo on May 15, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Third time’s the charm.

S. D. on May 15, 2013 at 8:13 PM

Right now, Obama has more “-gates” than the Kentucky Derby. I like how the press were willing to gloss over this until they find out one of their own was targeted by the overzealous administration.

What was that poem?

“When they came for the conservatives…”

ScoopPC11 on May 16, 2013 at 5:43 AM

Obama knows zip zero zilch about malfeasance in his administration apart from what he learns by watching TV

Isn’t that exactly what BJC claimed at one time?

I seem to recall Rush mocking him on that. I can’t find anything on the ‘Net about it.

davidk on May 20, 2013 at 6:19 PM

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