But Rest of Media Aren’t
After months of being asked, Jon Stewart finally appeared on “Fox News Sunday” this weekend.
The primary discussion point was bias in the media which the “Daily Show” host continually told Chris Wallace is far more prevalent on FNC than at all the other news organizations:
CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: You love to take shots at FOX News.
JON STEWART, HOST: Yes, I do.
WALLACE: Over the years, you have called us — and we’re going to put this on the screen because this is heavy stuff.
WALLACE: “A biased organization, relentlessly promoting an ideological agenda under the rubric of being a news organization.”
WALLACE: And — I actually think that’s slightly the wrong use for the word rubric.
“A relentless agenda-driven, 24-hour news opinion propaganda delivery system.”
WALLACE: Where do you come up with this stuff?
STEWART: It’s actually quite easy when you feel it. You got to feel it in your soul, you know?
WALLACE: Well, here’s the deal. Are you willing to say the same thing about the mainstream media, about ABC, CBS, NBC, “Washington Post,” “New York Times”?
WALLACE: Would you say the same thing about them that they are — in your words — a propaganda delivery system relentlessly pushing a liberal agenda?
STEWART: No, I wouldn’t say that.
…WALLACE: Even you make fun of the fact that “The New York Times” and the “Washington Post” when this document dump of 24,000 e-mails of Sarah Palin was released, and they got so excited about it, they asked their readers, help us. Go through these 24,000 documents.
WALLACE: How do you explain the fact that they would do that? They would ask the readers to help them go through the Palin e-mails — inconsequential as they turned out to be —
WALLACE: — but they never said help us go through the 2,000 pages of the Obama health care bill?
STEWART: Because I think their bias is towards sensationalism and laziness. I wouldn’t say it’s towards a liberal agenda. It’s light fluff. So, it’s absolutely within the wheelhouse. I mean, if your suggestion is that they are relentlessly partisan and why haven’t they gone and backed away from Weiner? Now, they jumped into the Weiner pool — so, with such delight and such relish, because the bias —
WALLACE: Some things are indefensible.
STEWART: — the bias of the mainstream media — oh, I’m not saying it’s defensible, but the bias of the mainstream media is toward sensationalism, conflict and laziness.
…STEWART: Here is the difference between you and I — I’m a comedian first. My comedy is informed by an ideological background. There’s no question about that.
WALLACE: All right. I want to thank you for saying that because —
WALLACE: Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurawik — put it up on the screen — says that is your dodge. “Stewart has never held accountable in his media criticism, is he? When he is wrong, he goes in a tap dance of saying he’s only a comedian and shouldn’t be taken seriously.”
STEWART: OK. Let’s talk about that — when did I say to you I’m only a comedian? I said I’m a comedian first. That’s not only. Being a comedian is harder than what you do. What I do is much harder. I put material through a process, a comedic process.
WALLACE: But you are a political commentator. The comedy has a political —
STEWART: Some of it.
STEWART: Am I an activist in your mind, an ideological partisan activist?
STEWART: OK. Then I disagree with you.
…WALLACE: I’m suggesting that there is bias, and that you only tell part of the story.
STEWART: Oh, there’s no question that I don’t tell the full story. I mean, I don’t disagree with that. But I don’t not tell the full story based on a purely ideological partisan agenda. That’s my point. My point isn’t —
WALLACE: I think your agenda is more out there, and you’re pushing more of an agenda than you pretend to.