Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Carlson vs. Stewart Smackdown

From the AP:

How’s this for a feud that straddles the line between politics and entertainment: CNN’s bow-tied conservative Tucker Carlson vs. “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart.

Carlson on Monday fanned embers still hot from their “Crossfire” confrontation, saying Stewart looked ridiculous during his CNN appearance and was a sellout for publicly backing Democrat John Kerry for president.

Stewart, appearing on the debate show Friday, angered Carlson by saying “Crossfire” is “partisan hackery” that does little to advance the cause of democracy.

And that was the mild stuff.

“You have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably,” Stewart said.

Responded Carlson: “You need to get a job at a journalism school, I think.”

“You need to go to one,” Stewart shot back.

Carlson complained that for a comedian, Stewart wasn’t being very funny.

“Come on,” he said. “Be funny.”

“No,” Stewart said. “I’m not going to be your monkey.”

Carlson chided Stewart for lobbing softball questions when Kerry appeared on “The Daily Show” last month.

Later, Carlson told Stewart he was “more fun” on his Comedy Central show, and Stewart called him a jerk – although he used a more vulgar term.

“I thought that he looked ridiculous,” Carlson said in an interview Monday, “and I think the tape makes that clear.”

Carlson said Stewart continued lecturing the “Crossfire” crew after the show went off the air. “I wasn’t offended as much as I was unimpressed,” he said.

Stewart wasn’t talking about the confrontation on Monday, a spokesman said. Comedy Central executive Tony Fox said there may be some regret over the vulgarity, but that Stewart has been a longtime critic of cable news networks and their political argument shows.

In the interests of journalistic integrity, the “more vulgar” term Stewart used was “dick” (see transcript here). Hey, if there’s anything I can do to get the truth out there – that Tucker Carlson really is a dick – I’ll do it.