Jon Stewart owed the American public an apology. And Tuesday night they got one — and something extra.
After Rep. Anthony Weiner confessed to accidentally tweeting a lewd picture of himself at a press conference Monday, Stewart’s viewing public waited breathlessly to hear what he would say about his old friend on “The Daily Show.” Some were disappointed with what he came up with.
The Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik wrote that Stewart “looked kind of confused and pathetic at times, particularly in his wrongheaded criticism of the media” when covering the Weiner scandal. The Atlantic Wire points to tweets from David Sims, of the Onion’s AV Club, who didn’t think Stewart “went easy” on Weiner considering the time limitation, and from Politico’s Josh Gerstein and The Superficial, who said Stewart should have waited to tape until Weiner’s press conference was over.
Tuesday’s “Daily Show” had Stewart addressing critics of his Weiner coverage, holding a press conference of his own to apologize for hurting those who wanted him to handle the scandal differently. He detailed how many Weiner jokes he made (59) and how many times he said a synonym for Weiner that rhymes with rock (10). Looking deeply apologetic and a tad weepy, Stewart explained that his staff had under two hours after Weiner’s press conference aired to tape the show and that he made the decision to stick to the original script.
And then he cut himself — accidentally. As Stewart attempted to buy time by making a margarita, he tried to turn off the blender with a glass, which broke and cut his hand. But to show the depths of his remorse, he kept apologizing as his hand bled. Soon after the injury, John Oliver stepped in to promise viewers that Weiner would no longer get a pass from “The Daily Show” and Stewart resigned.
Will this press conference soothe those hungry to see Stewart publicly eviscerate his friend on television, like he’s done to other politicians? Probably not. For the most part, Stewart took the focus off Weiner and onto himself. He did, however, repeat that he thought Weiner should resign if the allegations turned out to be true. While not alone in this opinion, this call to resign seems seems particularly damning coming from a friend.