Colbert and Cohen left their opponents room to defend themselves against caricatured imbeciles. Stewart edited footage to be as embarrassing as possible and, when called out on it, donned a clown nose to dodge accountability. His self-deprecating cartoon space-man voice and claims of being “just a comedian” were cudgel and shield. His entire shtick is the equivalent of Bruce Jenner insulting someone’s manhood and screaming, “You can’t hit me—I’m a woman.”
Colbert respected the intelligence of his opponents. Sure, liberals would have an easier time handling softballs, but the rules of the game were clear. Not so in Stewart’s world. There was only one rule: demolish your enemies.
In one of Stewart’s most famous interviews, he laid into then-presidential contender Sen. John McCain for courting the support of students at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University after calling Falwell an “agent of intolerance” during his 2000 run.
“Are you going into crazy base world?” Stewart asked, condescension dripping. He never recognized that if you sit at the table of politics and you can’t spot the person in “crazy base world,” you’re it. Stewart is the Donald Trump of the Left, only more foolish; at least we all know deep down that Trump doesn’t believe anything he says he believes.