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Jon Stewart and Rachel Maddow's 'thrilling face-off'
"The Daily Show" and MSNBC hosts debated their respective places in the media — entrancing some pundits and vexing others
Jon Stewart was ill but came on to the Rachel Maddow Show for a 40-minute interview.
Jon Stewart was ill but came on to the Rachel Maddow Show for a 40-minute interview.
Screen shot/ msnbc.msn.com
T

he video: In what's being called a "thrilling face-off" and an "intellectually challenging" debate, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow devoted the entire hour of her program to an interview with "The Daily Show"'s Jon Stewart, who at one point blurted out, "I like you." (View a clip below.) Much of the interview focused on Stewart's ongoing criticism of cable news and what he sees as his — and his recent D.C. rally's — place in the media. "We're in the same game," Maddow told Stewart. "I don't think so," he replied. "You're on the playing field and I'm in the stands yelling things, criticizing."
The reaction: This was an "exemplary" and "cilvilized debate," the sort of discourse that "too often only works among friends," says Joe Coscarelli in the Los Angeles Times. It was bit too friendly, says James Poniewozik at Time. "I was disappointed that so much of Maddow's questioning... boiled down to: 'But the other guys are worse, right? Say that they're worse than we are.'" Yes, what the interview really revealed is that Maddow doesn't understand her place in the media landscape, says Noel Sheppard at News Busters. Stewart knows he's a satirist not a journalist, while Maddow and Keith Olbermann "in trying to inject humor into their reporting" have "both become farcical caricatures of newscasters that can't possibly be taken seriously." Watch highlights of the interview:

 

 

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