Remember that devastatingly interesting and thoughtful Daily Show interview with conservative pundit Cliff May that you pretended you watched all the way through a few months back? Well, that interview almost didn't happen, presumably because May was intimidated by Jon Stewart's sharp wit and superlative physical stature.
You'll never guess who was ultimately responsible for making him go through with it. (Or maybe you will. I don't know you. I don't know anything about you!)…
May had a change of heart after soliciting advice from his friend Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard. "Kristol told me: 'You'll be pleasantly surprised. He doesn't take cheap shots. Jon is smart. You'll do just fine.'" Kristol proved to be right. Stewart's interview of May — a crackling, lengthy debate about where to draw the line between freedom and security — produced one of the most clarifying discussions about torture on television. "Literally, this is the best conversation I've had on this subject anywhere," May told Stewart.
"There is genuine intellectual curiosity," May told New York. "He's a staunch liberal, but he's a thoughtful liberal, and I respect that." May isn't the only conservative gushing about Stewart. While the movement professes a disdain for the "liberal media elite," it has made an exception for the true-blue 46-year-old comedian.
"He always gives you a chance to answer, which some people don't do," says John Bolton, President Bush's ambassador to the United Nations and a Fox News contributor, who went on the show last month. "He's got his perspective, but he's been fair." Says Bolton: "In general, a lot of the media, especially on the left, has lost interest in debate and analysis. It has been much more ad hominem. Stewart fundamentally wants to talk about the issues. That's what I want to do."
Stewart fundamentally wants to talk about the issues, huh?
That's why he's the fake news guy.
Tags: John Bolton, Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, William Kristol