He was trying to pre-empt criticism and negative reviews by making a distinction for the audience members between what they experienced on the mall and what some members of the press might say they experienced in their reviews, reports and pundit commentary
It is a kind of inoculation technique against bad reviews that Stewart has mastered: He tells his audience that he and they are sharing something profound, but that the stupid and debased press might say otherwise — because the press is too ignorant to get it. So, he warns them, don’t believe what the press says. It also scares some of the press into saying how terrific and funny what he did was for fear of looking like they are too stupid to get his genius.
It is the same technique that conservative politicians like Sarah Palin use when they talk about the “lamestream media.” He does it from the left, she from the right. But it is essentially the same trick — with the press as the enemy.
And then, Stewart opened his speech with a barrage of Barack Obama rhetoric.