Jon Stewart, Cliff May Interview: Jon Stewart is No Comedy Shmuck : Give Me My Remote

Jon Stewart is No Comedy Shmuck

May 2, 2009 by  

Jon Stewart will go to his grave insisting that THE DAILY SHOW is just for laughs and not a real, legitimate news program. Personally, I don’t buy it. Under the guise of comedy, Jon Stewart has become one of the most important and influential purveyors of news in today’s 24/7 gotta-have-it-now news landscape. If all of our so called “journalists” would hit as hard as Stewart I think the conversation would be elevated above the paid pundits and brought to a level that the average American would be able to understand the nuisances of and weigh in accordingly. It’s not about dumbing down the conversation for America as much as it is breaking through all the nonsense in order to address the serious question at hand.

Jon Stewart recently sat down with Cliff May (The Foundation for Defense of Democracies) to discuss the issue of torture in this country.  The entire debate didn’t make it to the show but the three-part interview can be found on (and later in this post).

The conversation between these two intelligent men was informative and yes, sometimes a bit annoying.  There were times when Stewart would have been better served by actually listening to his guest rather than insisting on talking over him. And Stewart took his position a bit too strong at times* but my point being, it was a fascinating conversation because it was honest and open.  Under the cloak of Comedy Central Jon Stewart is allowed to take the conversation further than traditional journalists on other cable news shows.  Because of that and despite their view points, Cliff May thanked Jon for the”the best conversation I’ve had on this subject anywhere, and I’ve had it on CNN; I’ve had it one Fox, but this is the best one.” To which Stewart quipped: “…those places suck.” Ha!

Please note, the point of this post is not to discuss the US policy on torture or Stewart’s view vs. that of Mr. May.  I just thought it was interesting to point out that debate and discussions of this magnitude are taking place on Comedy Central. This is not the place to discuss my opinion of torture or yours, so let’s just keep that in mind in the comments.

Cliff May, Unedited Interview (Part I)

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
Cliff May Unedited Interview Pt. 1
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic Crisis First 100 Days

The remainder of the interview can be found after the jump…

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
Cliff May Unedited Interview Pt. 2
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic Crisis First 100 Days

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
Cliff May Unedited Interview Pt. 3
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic Crisis First 100 Days

*Note: According to, “Stewart apologized on Thursday’s show for saying that Truman’s actions against Hiroshima qualified him for war criminal status. He basically characterized it as one of those things you catch yourself saying and wish you could take it back by the end of the last syllable.”

Thanks to for posting this. I missed the episode and would haven’t see it if not for


5 Responses to “Jon Stewart is No Comedy Shmuck”

  1. Emily on May 2nd, 2009 12:02 pm

    That is why I love The Daily Show. It really cuts through the bull – and when the interviews are good, they are great. Which is 95% of the time.

    And while it may not be a news show persay, it is still my main source of news. I know enough to follow the show (you have to know the news in order to understand it!), but, it actually makes it accessible. And maybe it is by poking fun at people. But I don’t really mind.

  2. Bianca Reagan on May 2nd, 2009 8:11 pm

    I don’t like that Jon apologized. 😐

  3. dianne on May 3rd, 2009 5:58 am

    Jon apologizing is just proof that he is a bigger man than most. It takes guts to do something like that, and if more Americans were like him we’d probably be a lot better off.

    Unlike people such as Bill O’Reilly who will not only lie, he will continue to lie even after he has been confronted with the truth, and on top of that he will tell you to “Shut up” if you keep pushing.

    We Americans have a long way to go. We think we are big and mighty, but we’re really falling off our horse.

  4. BrokenBrain on May 3rd, 2009 5:05 pm

    Go back and watch his interview with Jim Cramer. He should win some kind of award for that. It was brilliant and he is the fake news guy. Much better than anyone on “real” cable news shows.

    I like how JS interviews compared to Colbert. Colbert too often comes across as if the interview is a joke rather than being funny during the interview.

  5. strunkette on May 4th, 2009 11:53 am

    While I love that he gets to the heart of things through the cutting of BS, I did feel like John wouldn’t let the other guys make his points at times. I think he could be just as effective by letting him say his point and then refute it. Great interview overall. I don’t watch news channels and programs because I do feel they are full of BS. Conservative or Liberal you have agree on that point.