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10/17/2004 Archived Entry: ""

Brad and I were utterly charmed by Jon Stewart's October 15th live appearance on CrossFire during which he not only gave the most honest commentary I've heard on TV in a long time but also wiped the floor with Tucker Carlson.

He would have equally eviscerated Paul Begala but Begala had the good sense to stay silent during most of the Stewart segment and, so, escaped being outwitted, justly insulted, and made to appear foolish. I didn't know Tucker could frown that deeply. At one point he was reduced to exclaiming to Stewart, "What's it like to have dinner with you? It must be excruciating. Do you like lecture people like this or do you come over to their house and sit and lecture them; they're not doing the right thing, that they're missing their opportunities, evading their responsibilities?" (Transcript here.) My favorite snippet of exchange:

CARLSON: You had John Kerry on your show and you sniff his throne and you're accusing us of partisan hackery?
STEWART: Absolutely.
CARLSON: You've got to be kidding me. He comes on and you...
STEWART: You're on CNN. The show that leads into me [on Comedy Central] is puppets making crank phone calls.

The Wonkette offers several links to online video of the exchange. She also writes, "Hey, if the fake news people [Jon Stewart] are going to go play earnest press critic, the least we can do is make a phone call. It turned out to be a lot of work, and we're never doing it again. But, reached by phone, Tucker Carlson had this to say about his encounter with the tiny terror: While admitting that 'I can be a dick,' [one of the insults hurled at him by Stewart] Tucker also was shocked at the sheer unfunniness of it all: 'It was like being lectured at by Kathleen Hall Jamison! Like being given a lecture on ethics by an assistant professor of journalism at Blue State Junior College'!"

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