Jon Stewart started out Tuesday night's Daily Show by conceding that, while adding "-gate" onto every American political scandal is generally dumb, it actually kind of fits with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) growing traffic-jam problem. That said, Stewart didn't think much of the newest "Bridgegate" revelations: Complaints by a Democratic mayor that Christie canceled meetings after he failed to endorse the governor "may count as payback on Downton Abbey," he said, but not in New Jersey.
The dominant political narrative about Christie coming from this scandal is that he's a bully, Stewart said. But on Fox News, that's actually a point in his favor. Senior news analyst Brit Hume got the ball rolling, decrying the "bully" accusation as one more bit of evidence of the "feminized atmosphere" in U.S. politics. The feminized atmosphere of New Jersey? Stewart asked, in mock surprise. "The state whose chief exports are Axe body spray and lit farts?"
No, Hume's point was that "men today have learned the hard way that if you act like a sort of old-fashioned guy's guy," you'll pay the political price. Ah, Stewart said, "so bullies, thugs, and sexists are the real victims here." He then played a clip of Bill O'Reilly endorsing Hume's "analysis of the tough-guy factor in politics." O'Reilly added that he's a target of bullying accusations, too. O'Reilly and Hume shared a moment.
Stewart wasn't moved. Listen to them, he said. Hume and O'Reilly are so nostalgic for the macho glory days "they're like the Wilford Brimleys of sexism." (Slate's David Plotz makes a different case for embracing Christie's rough brand of politics. Damon Linker has some thoughts on what it means to be a man, here at The Week.)
Stewart followed this up with a good question: If Fox News is so enamored of tough-guy Christie, why aren't they also in love with "the toughest politician out there, other than Chris Christie," Hillary Clinton? "You don't have to have a dick to be a dick," he added, for good measure. But Hillary supporters aren't much better on the subject than Hume, Stewart lamented.
The wild-card segment on Tuesday was truly wild. In it, Samantha Bee performed a sort of one-woman show re-imagining Fox News' panel show The Five as a romantic psychodrama involving a handful of its rotating cast of hosts. It ends with Bee writhing on the floor, heart (literally) in hand. Watch:
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