Stewart-Carlson II: Anatomy of a Showdown
Jon Stewart vs. Tucker Carlson: The rematch.
Beginning Aug. 8 at 11 p.m., MSNBC's "The Situation With Tucker Carlson" will go mano a mano with Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," hosted by Stewart, who last fall called Carlson a rude term for a portion of the male anatomy.
Their on-air spat began when Stewart took advantage of an appearance on CNN's now-disbanded "Crossfire" to scold Carlson and co-host Paul Begala.
"You're doing theater, when you should be doing debate. . . . What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery," Stewart lectured.
When Carlson told Stewart, "I do think you're more fun on your show," Stewart responded: "You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a [bleep] on your show as you are on any show."
MSNBC will put former Fox News Channel anchor Rita Cosby's new show in the 9 p.m. time slot previously held by Carlson. "Rita Cosby: Live and Direct" is described in an MSNBC news release as "a hard-hitting, no-nonsense news program that brings viewers stories they won't see anywhere else."
In its short run on MSNBC, "The Situation" has averaged just 200,000 viewers, which is down more than 40 percent from what Deborah Norville's show averaged last year, and far short of the 1.4 million that Jon Stewart has averaged per show so far this year. "The Situation" will be the only live cable news program at 11 p.m., competing with repeats of Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" and CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight," as well as Stewart's show.
-- John Maynard