Comedy Central late-night host Jon Stewart and Fox News Channel Sunday Beltway show host Chris Wallace: now officially in a death match to see who will get in the last word.
It all started a couple Sundays back when Stewart went on Wallace’s show as a guest. Why? Your guess is as good as mine, but “to gin up ratings for each guy’s show with incendiary conversation” is usually a good guess in these cases.
They’ve been going at it ever since, for which television viewers, and the media, are thankful. A kerfuffle like this can provide us with weeks of entertainment!
We’ll give you a second to digest that.
Stewart reminded viewers that when he was on Wallace’s show, he declared FNC viewers the most consistently misinformed in every poll. A political fact checking Web site took issue with that and “said I really shouldn’t have said ‘every poll’ – it was just most.”
So, on his Comedy Central program, Stewart accepted the correction, but followed it with a “21 Lie Salute” of facts he said the same fact checking site claimed Fox News Channel had gotten wrong.
So when, this past Sunday, Wallace told his viewers he would be “setting the record straight about our interview with Jon Stewart, Stewart said he “assumed that Chris Wallace now begins the work of apologizing for Fox’s many false and misleading statements – they’ll probably do a few per show and carry us into the 2014 mid-terms with a clear conscience.”
Wallace did not do that on Sunday’s show. But then, you didn’t really think Stewart expected Wallace to do that, do you? It’s called “comedy.”
And with that set up, Stewart jumped with both feet into the rabbit hole:
He showed his viewers a clip of Wallace saying last Sunday that, after “setting the record straight,” that “as we showed today, we don’t go easy on Republicans.”
He showed them a clip of Wallace saying, when asked by Stewart during their get-together, that yes, he thought Stewart is an activist and an ideological partisan – because he takes shots at Democrats, but “mostly to maintain credibility and you’re not as comfortable with it.”
“See the game?” Stewart asked his chortling studio audience, and viewers watching on their screen of choice.
“I make fun of conservatives or Republicans because I’m a liberal partisan idealogue. I make fun of liberals or Democrats because I want, as part of my brilliant yet cynical strategy, to maintain enough credibility, to continue making fun of conservatives and Republicans.
“And that narrative of Conservative Victimization, is the true genius of what Fox News has accomplished,” Stewart continued while his guffawing and harrumphing studio audience went deafeningly silent.
“Any editorial judgment in news, or schools, or movies, that doesn’t favor the conservative view, is elitism and is evidence of liberal bias. Whereas any editorial judgment that FAVORS the conservative view, is evidence of merely fairness and done to protect them from liberal bias.
“And, if you criticize Fox for this game, guess what that’s evidence of? How right they are about how persecuted they are. It is air tighter than an otters [heinie]…They can’t lose. But you know what this whole ‘victim thing’ makes Fox? Well, perhaps this term a friend of mine used once to describe the current presidential administration is most apt:”
Cut to clip from September of 2009 of Wallace telling FNC’s Bill O’Reilly: “They are the biggest bunch of cry babies I have dealt with in my 30 years in Washington.”
Your move, Mr. Wallace.