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Watch The Daily Show nail Fox News for anti-Obama scandalmongering
Obama was right to call out Bill O'Reilly, says Jon Stewart. And Sir Patrick Stewart makes a great Jade Rabbit.

Jon Stewart devoted most of Tuesday night's Daily Show to Fox News' contentious relationship with President Obama. The trigger for this exploration was Bill O'Reilly's pre–Super Bowl interview with the president, in which the Fox News star drew almost exclusively from the "full Fox scandal grab bag" — Benghazi, the IRS, ObamaCare's botched rollout.

Stewart said he wasn't that surprised by O'Reilly's questions — when you're the Super Bowl pre-game show, "you gotta play the hits." But he was flabbergasted at Obama's response: Calling out Fox News for keeping faux scandals and minor news stories alive through relentless repetition. After doing a weird sprinkler dance, Stewart said the president made "quite an accusation," adding sotto voce that "in Obama's defense, it is true."

"How did Fox News respond to this outrageous (yet completely accurate) charge?" Stewart asked. The answer is apparently accusing Obama of attacking Fox to deflect from the scandals — a brilliant move, Stewart joked, since he chose to talk to Fox about said scandals right before the most-watched event in TV history.

But Fox News accusing Obama of trying to change the subject from whatever "scandal" Fox News is covering at the time is nothing new, Stewart said. And he played a long string of clips to prove it. It's like Obama can't talk about anything but the few things Fox wants to talk about, Stewart said, setting up this zinger: "You know, the president doesn't work for Fox. He can deviate from your script."

Then things got confusing. The main thing Fox has accused Obama of trying to deflect attention from is the economy — except that one time Andrea Tantaros accused the president of talking about the economy to "distract from his scandals." This made Stewart's head explode, prompting him to consult a mathematics textbook and declare us dangerously close to being caught in the (plausible-sounding but made-up) "Hawking-Oppenheimer Distraction Loop," a "black hole of infinite distraction" we can't escape from.

Why would Fox do that? Stewart wondered. Maybe it's "attempting to distract us from noticing that rather than being a news organization, they are a spite-driven anger machine rooted in a fear that any change in the status quo will inevitably erode our nation's traditional power structure, leading to interment camps for 'real Americans,' powered by solar energy and tacos — wait! Hard-shell, gay tacos." Nah, it's probably the black hole thing, he shrugged. (Watch above)

In the middle segment, Stewart returned to taunting China for putting an unmanned vehicle on the moon — 43 years after the U.S. Not only does the lunar rover — the Jade Rabbit — share its name with a sex toy, Stewart noted with evident glee, but it has already broken down. "I'm no moon expert," he said, "but I'm pretty sure being able to 'deal with the lunar environment' is what you'd consider a core competency for a lunar rover. Did the Jade Rabbit just bullshit its way through that job interview?"

But what the Jade Rabbit lacks in mechanical chops it more than makes up for in poetry, Stewart said. The Chinese responded to the rover's setbacks with an outpouring of support on social media — and the Jade Rabbit tweeted back a surprisingly heartbreaking response. Stewart was so moved he brought on Sir Patrick Stewart to, well, put on a Jade Rabbit suit and wax poetic. Watch:

Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian, and plays in an Austin rock band.

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