This week, he sat down with Chris Wallace of Fox News and promptly made an ass of himself. The left cheered, as they are apt to do when they spot the Smirking Smarm-smith, but the truth is that without his trusty audience to cheer his every move, Stewart looked like what he was: a bully, a manipulator, and an intellectually dishonest partisan hack.
His hackery began when he refused to call The New York Times a "liberal organization." While standing by his labeling of Fox News as "a relentlessly agenda-drive, 24-hour news opinion propaganda delivery system," he refused to say the same of ABC, CBS, NBC and The Washington Post. Instead, he said their bias "is toward sensationalism and laziness. I wouldn't say it's toward a liberal agenda." This is plainly idiocy. All news organizations of any stripe are biased toward sensationalism because it sells and laziness because it is cheap. But that doesn't preclude them from playing for a political team, as the mainstream media clearly does.
Wallace then called Stewart on his own political bias. Stewart is a liberal. That's no shock. When I interviewed Doug Herzog, president of MTV Networks, for my book, "Primetime Propaganda," he said that Stewart was obviously a leftist. "I think there is no discussion where Jon's heart lies," Herzog told me. "I think he wears it on his sleeve to a certain degree." In fact, Stewart's lackeys refuse to have conservative pundits on his show, as they told my friend, comedian Steven Crowder.
But Stewart insisted that his political viewpoint was irrelevant because he was a comedian. "I'm a comedian first," he told Wallace. "My comedy is informed by an ideological background. There's no question about that. The thing ... that in some respect conservative activists will never understand is that Hollywood, yes, they're liberal. But that's not their primary motivating force. I'm not an activist. I'm a comedian."
But, of course, Stewart can be and is both. He uses his comedy to propagandize. That's not against the law and not immoral, but it is a betrayal of his self-proclaimed primary motivating force: to be funny. True comedy attacks the targets at hand. It does not pick and choose based on political affiliation. Stewart does, and that's why the quality of his comedy has declined dramatically since Bush's re-election.
Stewart is a mass of contradictions. He admits that he wants his voice heard, and says, "That's why I got into comedy." But in the same sentence, he denies that he is an ideologically partisan activist. He believes he should speak for good media practice, but refuses to practice it because he can always put on his Johnny Carson hat.