Daily Show host Jon Stewart's much-discussed appearance on Chris Wallace's Fox News Sunday is continuing to make waves, as fans and critics argue over whether Stewart is primarily a nonpartisan comic — an equal-opportunity bemoaner of political folly — or some sort of liberal-friendly journalist. The debate started when Wallace cited Stewart's constant mocking of Fox News and the Right as evidence that the Comedy Central host is a conservative-bashing "political player." Stewart denied it, saying, "I'm a comedian first." Which is he, really?
Stewart is more than a comedian, but he's not partisan: The Comedy Central star's claim that he's just a humorist is "lame" — and that's coming from a fan, says Will Bunch at Philly.com. He's "trying to absolve responsibility from the gravitas of what he does — and make no mistake, the gravitas is there." Stewart should embrace his role as an activist, because he's not pushing any particular agenda. He's fighting for "the cause of reason."
"No, Jon Stewart, you're not just 'a comedian."
He clearly wants his political views heard: There's no denying that Stewart is a "political force," says Fox News anchor Bret Baier, as quoted by Mediaite. He touches a lot of young people and he wants to be heard on politics." Stewart hosted a massive rally in D.C. just days before the midterm election, but every time someone tries to hold him accountable, "he punts to 'I'm a comedian.'"
"Bret Baier on 'political force' Jon Stewart: When confronted punts 'I'm a comedian'"
Stewart is a satirist — by definition, he's political: Stewart is carrying on the tradition of Mark Twain, Will Rogers, Mort Sahl, George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, and other legendary American humorists, says Andy Ostroy at The Huffington Post. He's a satirist, so naturally, "his material consists of politics, politicians, and American culture," which is why this debate is tedious. "It's pretty sad when, as Rogers said, 'People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.'"
"Jon Stewart is definitely a comedian. Chris Wallace admits Fox's bias"