Just last Friday night, Bill O’Reilly of Fox News introduced interviewee Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” as a “big-time liberal commentator.” Fair enough.
Do not, however, call Stewart a “partisan commentator,” at least not after last night’s edition of Stewart’s Comedy Central program. That’s because he blew a new gasket in the reputation of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. In two separate segments.
In a bit about Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist whose recently surfaced remarks about the passage of Obamacare have created a fresh crisis for the Obama administration, he cited Pelosi’s apparent selective amnesia. “I don’t know who he is,” Pelosi responded when asked recently about Gruber’s comments — even though Pelosi had cited Gruber as an authority on health-care economics. “Can you ever not disappoint us?” asked Stewart.
That jab was a caress compared with the treatment accorded to Pelosi in a separate segment, this time on her decision to deny a request from Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) to vote by proxy in House leadership elections because she is pregnant. The minority leader defended the decision by saying, “You’re going to establish a situation where you’re going to determine who has a note from the doctor that’s valid … It’s really a place we shouldn’t go down.”
Here, Stewart’s “big-time liberal” leanings put him at odds with the House’s leading Democrat, and he feasted. His takedown of Pelosi’s denial of a pregnant woman’s vote in House Democratic elections proceeds in merciless fashion. Availing himself of Pelosi’s trail of accomplishments over the years, he documented how she has established herself on key issues that bear on the Duckworth situation. For instance: The National Partnership for Women and Families, noted Stewart, celebrated Pelosi’s advocacy for “working women.” Also highlighted by Stewart: Pelosi said at an event for the Voting Rights Act, “The right to vote must be the cornerstone of our democracy.”
Stewart: “You’re a recognized champion of working women and voting rights.”
From there, the rip was easy: “You rejected, you’re suppressing the vote of a minority pregnant woman who is a wounded war veteran. She is everything you supposedly stand for stuffed into one individual. She is a Democratic demographic tur-Duckworth,” said the host.
To explain why Pelosi would stiff Duckworth on this front, Stewart showed footage of pundits — including Washington Post reporter Ed O’Keefe — explaining the political backdrop: Duckworth and Pelosi are at odds over who should get the top Democratic seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Which prompted Stewart to say, “And that’s how the precedent was set, that a woman leader can be every bit as politically craven as her male counterparts.”