It's not often that right-leaning guests on "The Daily Show" get the better of host Jon Stewart. But the Comedy Central star admitted that John Yoo, author of the Bush administration torture memos, "slipped right though my fingers" on Monday. After his skewering of CNBC's Jim Cramer last year and his famous appearance on "Crossfire" in 2004, has Stewart gone soft? (Watch video clip of Stewart's timid Yoo interview below)
Jon Stewart is just a comedian: Stewart was "completely outmatched " by the "charming, tactful" Yoo, says Adam Serwer at the American Prospect. Not only did he fail "to make Yoo look as if he had done anything wrong," he also "made him look entirely reasonable." This is what happens when you rely on a "comedian to do a reporter's job."
"When Jon Stewart fails"
This should be the last takedown: Stewart's humbling was "predictable," says Ezra Klein at the Washington Post. Most of his famous takedowns "came before people understood that this late-night comedian did takedowns." Now, guests come "armed to rebut" his "scolding." Stewart should stop inviting "people whom he thinks are liars and frauds" onto his show — he's "doing more harm than good" by giving them a "platform."
"Stewart vs. Yoo"
Stewart shouldn't be too hard on himself: It wasn't the "intelligent" host's fault that the legality of torture is "more difficult than usually presented" when one is "confronted directly with its details," says David Frum in the National Post. John Yoo came off well because he didn't try to hide what he is: "a conscientious public servant, trying to do the best job he knew how to do to protect his country in a time of declared war."
"An interview with Bush's torturer-in-chief"
This isn't about Stewart: Jon Stewart's "sense of moral outrage" is admirable, says Will Bunch in the Huffington Post. In a "perfect world," there would be "criminal investigations and charges" of those behind the "Bush torture regime" — but America isn't willing to hold anyone accountable. The idea that the "worst stains on our nation's legacy" should be cleansed by a "late-night comedy show" is the "biggest joke of all."
“When Your Nation's Only Accountability Is A Late-Night Comedian”
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Daily Show: Exclusive - John Yoo Extended Interview Pt. 1|
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- Is 'feminism' just another word for 'liberalism'?
- If Scotland leaves the union, is Northern Ireland next?
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- What political elites don't understand about Scotland's push for independence
- America is doomed! (And other thoughts on our gloomy historical moment.)
Subscribe to the Week