Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles The News Media

Jon Stewart gives some post-breakup advice to the news media, dumped by Trump

The Trump administration's war on the news media hit a new low on Friday when Press Secretary Sean Spicer excluded The New York Times, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, and BuzzFeed from a press gaggle, Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show, though "BuzzFeed was excluded because Spicer didn't like the answer he got for 'Which Gilmore Girl are you?' Such a Lorelai." That followed President Trump's heated critique of the press at CPAC. "And the root of all this conflict is that Donald Trump calls any story he doesn't like 'fake news.'" That irritates the news media, but do you know who else finds it galling? Jon Stewart. He popped out from underneath Colbert's desk to say so.

"Jon, you miss it, don't you?" Colbert asked, after Stewart said he had dug a tunnel from his farm to Colbert's desk. "Yes, I miss it!" he said. "Stephen, I spend the whole day yelling about Trump to the animals." But Stewart was always as much a media critic as a political satirist. "Trump lies more in one press conference than CNN does in a year, and this is coming from a guy who, as you know, hates CNN," he reminded everyone. He insisted that Trump lies on purpose, explaining to a skeptical Colbert that we can know this "because he constantly says the phrase 'Believe me.' Nobody says 'Believe me' unless they are lying." He played a clip of Trump saying "Believe me" a very large number of times.

Then Stewart turned to the camera with some tough love for the press: "Hey media, so I heard Donald Trump broke up with you. Stings a little, doesn't it? Finally thought you'd met your match, a blabbermouth who's as thin-skinned and narcissistic as you are. Well, now it's over — good riddance, I say! Kick him to the curb! It is time to get your groove back, media, because let's face facts, you kind of let yourself go for these past few years." He continued in this vein for a while — criticism that, quite frankly, could also apply to late-night political comedy — then landed his final blow. "This breakup with Donald Trump has given you, the media, an amazing opportunity for self-reflection and improvement," Stewart said. Instead of griping about being excluded from his press conferences, "take up a hobby — I recommend journalism." Watch below. Peter Weber