When he appeared on Crossfire in 2004, he bragged about The Daily Show’s “civilized discourse.” Yet the record shows something else. Per Stewart, Robert Novak is a “heartless vampire demon, a terrible person, and an enemy of democracy.” Ari Fleischer is an ugly serial killer. The name calling, combined with Stewart’s bleeped f-bombs, is the laziest form of shock comedy out there. However, Stewart fans love this stuff, as evidenced by the deluge of vicious hate mail sent to conservative blogger LaShawn Barber after her 2007 appearance.
Stewart’s defenders will say I’m taking this far too seriously. After all, this is a comedy show. However, to say “it’s just a comedy show” is disingenuous when the Cramer interview has been given prominent play in every major media outlet in America. When Editor and Publisher magazine is asking how much of a role Stewart played in the election of the president of the United States, is it reasonable to argue that Stewart is cable’s Jay Leno?
In truth, Stewart uses comedy to shield himself from criticism.