Entries in Jon Stewart (11)


Paul Krugman Scolds Jon Stewart for Platinum Coin Coverage

Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg(NEW YORK) -- In a “This Week” web exclusive, New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman sounded off on Comedy Central host Jon Stewart’s dismissive take on minting a platinum trillion dollar coin as a debt ceiling quick fix.

“It is a funny thing. But you want to be funny from a point of view of understanding what the issues are. There’s a reason we’ve gotten to this place,” Krugman said of Stewart’s “Daily Show” coverage of the platinum coin issue, which Krugman criticized as “intellectual laziness” in a recent blog post. “Obviously neither he nor his staff did even five minutes of looking at the financial blogs. Lots of people think it’s a bad idea. Lots of people think it’s a good idea. But it’s not just, ‘Oh, those idiots.’

“Part of the point about Stewart…is that he’s funny, but that the show is actually better informed than most of our public discussion. The idea is that the show is like an especially good episode of the roundtable on ‘This Week’, but in the form of jokes. But when he just turns it into dumb, “I don’t know nothing, but those people look dumb to me,” he’s ruining his brand.”

Krugman, who appeared on the “This Week” roundtable Sunday, discussed Stewart’s platinum coin coverage while answering viewer questions from Facebook for an “All Politics is Social” web segment.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obama Defends Libya Response on "The Daily Show"

ABC/Donna Svennevik(NEW YORK) -- President Obama Thursday defended his handling of the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, rejecting the notion that his administration was “confused” in the wake of the assault.
“We weren't confused about the fact that four Americans had been killed, I wasn't confused about the fact that we needed to ramp up diplomatic security around the world right after it happened, I wasn't confused about the fact that we had to investigate exactly what happened so it gets fixed and I wasn't confused about the fact that we were going to hunt down whoever did it and bring them to justice,” Obama told Jon Stewart in a taped appearance on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.
Republican nominee Mitt Romney has criticized the president for not being straightforward with the American people about the attack and for failing to provide adequate security. “Every piece of information that we get, as we got it we laid it out to the American people. The picture eventually gets fully filled in,” Obama said.
Stewart pressed the president repeatedly on his administration’s changing accounts of what led to the attack, suggesting the response was not “optimal.”
“If four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal,” Obama said. “We’re going to fix it. All of it. And what happens, during the course of a presidency, is that the government is a big operation and any given time something screws up. And you make sure that you find out what’s broken and you fix it.”
“Whatever else I have done throughout the course of my presidency the one thing that I’ve been absolutely clear about is that America’s security comes, and the American people need to know exactly how I make decisions when it comes to war, peace, security, and protecting Americans. And they will continue to get that over the next four years of my presidency,” he said.
The full interview with the president aired Thursday night on The Daily Show.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jon Stewart vs. Bill O'Reilly: Cable TV Heavyweights Spar in 'Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium'

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- It was billed as O'Reilly vs. Stewart 2012: The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium, a debate between powerhouse media personalities hosts Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart.

It was very much a rumble. There was some yelling, but mostly an honest exchange of ideas, and great laughter for the hosts, the packed crowd at the George Washington University campus in Washington, D.C., and the people who paid $4.95 to see it live streamed on the internet. A portion of the proceeds will go to charity.

O'Reilly and Stewart, at times mocking the presidential election and the presidential debate from this past week, seriously debated major issues that face the United States.

They took on issues like income redistribution, funding of public television, social security, who is to blame for our economy, security inside Libya, and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But they provided themselves and the audience with zingers and a humor not normally seen on a debate stage.

Perhaps most humorous throughout the evening was Stewart's poking fun at the height differential between himself and O'Reilly.

At 5'7" tall, Stewart is nine inches shorter than the 6'4" O'Reilly and to make up for the disparity in height Stewart was armed with a motorized lifting stage. The stage lift behind his podium allowed Stewart to be on eye level with O'Reilly and at times even taller than his sparring partner.

Stewart at one point remarked, "I can see why Obama did badly in the debate, the altitude is rough up here," -- reference to Al Gore's reasoning behind President Obama performance in the presidential debate in Denver, where the altitude is 5,280 feet above sea level.

Both Stewart and O'Reilly expressed their views in a free flowing debate format with topical questions asked by moderator E.D. Hill, who struggled to control the two personalities. At one point O'Reilly quipped at Hill, "Are you still here?"

After one hour of debate at two podiums, Stewart and O'Reilly fielded pre-selected audience questions. Questions ranged from, "If the U.S., were burning, what famous person would you save?" to "Who is your political hero?"

Their answers: O'Reilly would save Oprah in a fire, because she is "worth about a billion dollars" and his political hero is Abraham Lincoln. For Stewart, he would save his "family" in a fire, and his political hero is Robert Kennedy because he had a "depth of belief and passion."

For those paying $4.95 to see the debate live on a web stream, many were disappointed. On social media, people complained that the live stream was not working, making it impossible for some viewers to watch the debate.

In a press conference after the debate, O'Reilly apologized to those who could not watch the debate live but said that people could now get the debate on demand.

O'Reilly explained that "hundreds of thousands of people tried to get on, so the server crashed." He also added, sarcastically, that if "anybody wants the $4.95 back, we'll send it to you."

Despite the live stream issues, the evening ended without one winner, but with two.

Each man holding up championship type belts to signify their victory in pulling off a night of fun, laughter, and substance.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Super PACs and Their Confusing Role in Presidential Campaigns

Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images(CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- Newt Gingrich blames them for his downfall. They've spent twice as much money on ads in South Carolina than the candidates have themselves. And they're not going anywhere.

Super PACs – given the superlative for their ability to raise unlimited amounts of money and spend as much as they want – have become an element of the 2012 presidential race because of a Supreme Court ruling two years ago that allowed their creation. Now they're getting even more scrutiny because of faux right-wing super pundit Stephen Colbert, who is teasing some sort of presidential bid by relinquishing control of his own (real) super PAC.

Colbert doesn’t have to try that hard to make fun of the role of money in politics. The rules that govern super PACs are hilarious.

Take the regulation that forbids candidates from "coordinating" with super PACs that support them, never mind that many of these super PACs are run by former aides and allies of the candidates themselves. Who's to decide what constitutes coordination?

Mitt Romney explained in December: "I'm not allowed to communicate with a super PAC in any way, shape or form. My goodness, if we coordinate in any way whatsoever, we go to the big house."

That's not to say that Romney disavows the super PAC backing him, Restore Our Future. Thanks to the negative ads paid for by the group, Gingrich fell from first place in the polls before Iowa to fourth place in the vote.

For his part, Gingrich says that as long as he makes his message public, he knows his friends at the Winning Our Future PAC will hear it.

In a statement Friday, Gingrich said: "I am calling for the Winning Our Future Super-PAC supporting me to either edit its 'King of Bain' advertisement and movie to remove its inaccuracies, or to pull it off the air and off the internet entirely."

So, message received? John Grimaldi, a spokesman for Winning Our Future, said Gingrich didn't run afoul of the rule banning coordination because he was "making a specific comment" publicly, although he said the PAC is "standing by our premise" in the movie Gingrich cited, which is about Romney's tenure at Bain Capital.

Confused yet?

It's no surprise that Colbert is mocking these rules. In his Thursday-night show, Colbert cheekily signed over his PAC to his 11 p.m. counterpart, Jon Stewart, as they spoke with Trevor Potter – Colbert's lawyer who is a former Federal Election Commission chairman – about how they can and can't communicate.

Stewart asked Potter if he can hire Colbert's super PAC staff to run ads against opponents. Yes, Potter said, "as long as they have no knowledge of Stephen's plans."

"From now on, I will just have to talk about my plans on my television show and just take the risk that you might watch it," Colbert said.

Maybe it would be funnier if it weren't entirely true.

Robert Maguire, a PAC researcher at the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C., said it’s unlikely that Colbert’s stunt will change the way super PACs try to influence the 2012 election, but that it’s a brilliant effort to educate the public about one of the shadier elements of campaign finance.

“He’s doing it in a way that’s entertaining, and I think that people will catch on and start to understand that there’s free speech, and then there’s this,” Maguire said.

The PACs have already spent $7 million in South Carolina, more than twice what the candidates have spent. Donors to campaigns are limited to how much they can give per cycle, while super PACs can take and spend as much as they want.

And the rich contributors who helped boost major super PACs, such as Restore Our Future (for Mitt Romney) or Make Us Great Again (Rick Perry), will be anonymous until the end of January, thanks to another weird trick that super PACs use to sway voters without revealing too much about themselves.

In an odd-numbered year (or a non-election year), the groups don't have to report their fundraising totals and donors every month. Instead, they can do so once every three months. That might seem like an arbitrary difference, but it means that the public won't know who contributed to which super PACs until the end of January, after voters pick a candidate in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida.

"The people voting in these states won't know by the time they're voting who's giving the money," Maguire said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jon Stewart Advises Ron Paul on How to Get More Media Attention

Brad Barket/Getty Images for Comedy Central(NEW YORK) -- The Daily Show host Jon Stewart offered some advice Monday night to Rep. Ron Paul on how he can gain traction with the media: become a flip-flopper.

Stewart also suggests gaining several hundred pounds and renting a really swanky tour bus.

The comedian was obviously poking fun at all the gushing media attention paid to Mitt Romney, Chris Christie and Sarah Palin while virtually ignoring Paul’s perennial third place in national poll.  Despite that, Paul remains upbeat.

“I believe we are on an explosion of interest,” said Paul.

The U.S. Congressman from Texas was marking his first appearance this campaign season on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

At a breakfast last Wednesday morning sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor, Paul said he was appreciative of the publicity that Stewart has been giving to his campaign.

“[Stewart] really made our case,” Paul said.

Stewart’s vocal support started after the Ames Straw poll, when most media organizations virtually ignored Paul’s strong second place finish.

“How did libertarian Ron Paul become the 13th floor in a hotel?” Stewart said at the time.

Paul later thanked Stewart for the onslaught of media coverage that followed.

“Isn’t it great that somebody like that comes to defend us?” he said.

Stewart again mentioned adoration for Paul’s consistency in the current issue of Rolling Stone magazine.  In the article, Stewart notes that it’s impossible to produce a video of Paul contradicting himself on issues.

“[Paul's] been consistent over the years,” Stewart said.  “You may disagree with him, but at least you can respect that the guy has a belief system he’s engaged in and will defend.”

Monday’s appearance marked the third time Paul has appeared on The Daily Show.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ron Paul Opens New Hampshire Headquarters; Credits Jon Stewart

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(CONCORD, N.H.) -- Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, opened the doors of his New Hampshire campaign office Wednesday night at an event that attracted hundreds of his supporters.

Paul took the opportunity to poke fun at his home state Gov. Rick Perry for his over-the-top criticism of the Federal Reserve -- Paul's bread and butter issue.

"Now they have this other governor, I can't remember his name," Paul said.  "He realizes that talking about the Fed is good, too.  But I'll tell you what, he makes me sound like a moderate.  I have never once said Bernanke has committed treason.  But I have suggested very strongly that the Federal Reserve system and all the members have been counterfeiters for a long time.

Paul was referring to a comment Perry made this past weekend suggesting Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke could be committing treason if he printed more money before the 2012 elections.  Criticizing the Federal Reserve has been a long time issue for Paul, the author of End the Fed.

Paul also took shots at the media, who was widely criticized for ignoring his strong second-place showing in the Ames Straw Poll.

“We did have a rough and tumble on the media over the weekend, but I think this has made up for it,“ he said, referring to the more than 400 people that showed up at the event according to ABC News affiliate WMUR-TV in Manchester.

"The media coverage on Sunday morning was less than perfect for us," he said.

Paul added it was Jon Stewart who came to his defense.

"Then there's this guy on the Comedy Central or something, Jon Stewart, I think I've been on his program once or twice and I think he's thinking about getting me on again.  Isn’t it great that somebody like that comes to defend us,” Paul said.

Paul announced on ABC’s Good Morning America his candidacy for president in New Hampshire and then held his first campaign event in Exeter back in May.  But since then, the congressman has sparingly visited the state.  The last campaign trip to New Hampshire was back in mid July.

The state is an essential part of Paul's media strategy, as he has invested heavily in television and radio advertising.  Just this past week, the campaign rolled out its second TV ad titled “The One,” which is playing in both New Hampshire and Iowa.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Herman Cain Ups Ante on Jon Stewart-Fox News Battle

Steve Pope/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The battle continues to rage in the Jon Stewart vs. Fox News and Herman Cain matchup.

First, Stewart ridiculed tea party presidential candidate Herman Cain's proposal to limit all federal bills to three pages, mimicking his Southern accent and declaring, "I don't like to read."  Fox News hosts called Stewart's impression "racist."

On Tuesday night, Stewart hit back at Fox News' claim, defending himself with a zippy montage of him making fun of everyone.

And now, on Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto Thursday night, Cain addressed "the Stewart situation," saying, "I think he took a shot at me not because I'm black, but because I'm a conservative."

Citing what Cain calls a "double standard," he told Cavuto, "If a conservative comedian had done that relative to Barack Obama, they would have been calling for somebody's job or have their heads cut off."

It's a battle between Stewart and Fox News that may be self-serving for both sides (not to mention giving Cain a shot of publicity), but at least on The Daily Show front, it's produced some pretty entertaining TV.

Defending himself, Stewart looked to an unlikely source for ammo: himself.

"Well, if my ridicule of silly things using bizarre caricatured voices has given Fox what appears to be several days of very strong programming, your cup's about to runneth over," he declared, throwing in a dramatic finger wag for good measure.  "Grab a knife and fork, Fox.  I have turned my crack research team on myself."

The Daily Show then rolled a montage of Stewart doing a smorgasbord of over-the-top accents, from Italian-American to Jewish to Mexican and beyond.  The point: Stewart does not only make fun of black conservatives.  He makes fun of everyone.

Cain's appearance Thursday night on Cavuto's Your World was the latest in what's been a nearly two-week-long feud between Stewart and Fox News, which kicked off when Stewart guested on Fox News Sunday on June 20 and got into a heated discussion with host Chris Wallace.

Before it was over, Stewart accused Wallace of being a mouthpiece for a right-wing propaganda peddler and Wallace accused Stewart of pushing a left-wing agenda while pretending to be an agenda-less comedian.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jon Stewart, Bill O'Reilly Spar over 'Common' Controversy

Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Jon Stewart, the host of The Daily Show, and Fox host Bill O'Reilly, don’t see eye to eye on much, including the recent invitation by the White House to the rapper Common to appear at a poetry event.

Stewart and O'Reilly clashed over this issue Monday night on Fox, with O'Reilly charging that the White House's invitation to the rapper was improper because of a song he wrote 11 years ago about a fugitive convicted of murdering a state trooper in 1973.

"I am saying that when a president invites someone, in this case the First Lady, the resume has to be put in front of them and they have to select someone who is almost unimpeachable," O'Reilly charged.

“He's not celebrating the killing but someone unjustly charged,” Stewart argued about the controversial song.

"Bob Dylan wrote a song about a convicted killer named Hurricane Carter. He's been to the White House. Why are you drawing the line at Common? There is a selective outrage machine here at Fox." Stewart said.

Stewart argued that by O'Reilly’s standard, any musician who has written a song about people convicted of murder -- including Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Bono, and Bruce Springsteen -- couldn’t be guests at the White House.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jon Stewart Revives Rick Santorum's 'Google Problem'

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, who turned 53 on Tuesday, is trending high in the Google-sphere, but not for the reasons he’d like.

Daily Show host Jon Stewart revived Santorum’s so-called “Google problem” Monday night on his show, encouraging viewers to search ‘Rick Santorum’ and see what they find.

The top results are a less than flattering mix of links to web sites that associate his name with a sex act.

“Santorum might as well change his last name to lemon party,” joked Stewart.

The search results have been the fixation of gay rights advocates since 2003, when blogger Dan Savage mobilized online supporters to create a new definition for Santorum after he publicly compared gay sex to pedophilia and bestiality.

Using a network of cross links and by driving up “clicks,” the activists have succeeded in keeping their definition at the top of search returns.

“There's no better way to memorialize the Santorum scandal than by attaching his name to a sex act that would make his big, white teeth fall out of his big, empty head,” Savage said at the time.

Santorum, who has said he believes homosexuality will “undermine the fabric of our society,” has acknowledged the controversy but sought to downplay its significance.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jon Stewart Rants About GOP Filibuster of 9/11 First Responder Bill

Photo Courtesy - Brad Barket/Getty Images for Comedy Central(WASHINGTON) -- Comedian Jon Stewart put the stalled 9/11 health bill center stage on his final show of the year, lambasting Senate Republicans for holding up passage of a bill that would provide billions of dollars in health care for sick 9/11 first responders.

"This is an outrageous abdication of our responsibility to those who were most heroic on 9/11," Stewart said. "The party that turned 9/11 into a catchphrase are now moving suspiciously into a convenient pre-9/11 mentality when it comes to this bill."

The bill, if passed, would provide $7.4 billion in health care benefits and compensation to first responders who became ill after being exposed to pollutants in the wreckage of New York's World Trade Center. The bill would create a fund for sick first responders, providing them with health insurance when their current insurance or worker's compensation payments were gone.

Earlier this year, the House passed the bill; but Senate Republicans continue to filibuster it. The last time it came up for a Senate vote -- on December 9 -- it fell two votes short of the 60 needed to advance, with senators voting strictly along party lines.

In a measure of solidarity and another jab at the White House, Senate Republicans took a pledge in September to not consider any other legislation before resolving taxes and funding.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised to bring the bill to a vote before the end of the lame-duck session and before Republicans take over control of the House and make significant gains in the Senate.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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