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Jon Stewart goes after 's--thead' Tucker Carlson over Putin remarks: 'A dishonest propagandist'

Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart is going after Tucker Carlson for some of his recent comments on Russian President Vladmir Putin, suggesting keeping him on the air is destroying "the fabric of this country." 

Stewart spoke with The New York Times' latest Sway podcast episode, and host Kara Swisher asked for the comedian's take on Carlson and specifically a segment where the Fox News host said Americans should question why they hate Putin. 

"When you deal with such a dishonest propagandist — and that is what he is — there's nothing you can take out of context because none of it is real," Stewart said. "He's admitted when he's cornered, he lies. It's all a game and a performance. I mean, honestly, I have no idea what the f--- that guy believes, truly. How does anybody go on television and say, why shouldn't I be rooting for Russia?" 

Stewart also asked "why is Rupert Murdoch trying to destroy the fabric of this country," questioning "how somebody can in good conscience put a s--thead like that on television every night to say those types of things." He added that "there's where the responsibility lies in my mind," saying that Carlson's viewers "are redeemable" and the "cult leader is the one responsible, not necessarily the flock." 

Before Carlson became Fox News' biggest star, Stewart famously confronted him in 2004 on the CNN debate show Crossfire, saying the program was "hurting America"; it was canceled a few months later. Stewart looked back on this confrontation with the Times, saying it has been "misinterpreted" because "people saw it as a plea for civility" when it was actually a "plea for honesty." He also said a confrontation with Carlson would be "a lot harder" today. 

"He's very tough to deal with because he understands his own dishonesty," Stewart said. "So I don't think that moment could occur again."