Stammering Jon Stewart
The New York Post editorial page has a rather unflattering portrayal of the comedian-talk show host:
Suddenly, Jon Stewart has developed a stammer. Or maybe that’s just the effect John Kerry has on him. The Democratic Party nominee for president reduced Stewart to jelly on “The Daily Show” Tuesday night, rendering the smart-alecky “it” boy of the summer campaign season unable to form complete sentences. And it wasn’t as if Kerry did anything special to jar the tongue-tied comic. All he did was sit down, and Stewart was like a deer caught in the high beams. “Is it a difficult thing not to take personally when Ã¢€” when they come out and Ã¢€” clearly your war record, it’s Ã¢€” it’s in the public files Ã¢€” so . . .,” Stewart blurted out in one of his many unsuccessful attempts to be understood.
“Right. I Ã¢€” I can imagine. When Ã¢€” when Ã¢€” uh, uh Ã¢€” these guys Ã¢€” were you surprised at all that Ã¢€” they went [unintelligible] Ã¢€” that they Ã¢€” that they Ã¢€” that they?” Stewart then struggled to ask.
“No,” answered Kerry, who could be forgiven if he didn’t understand the question.
The highly touted “interview” was ballyhooed as Kerry’s first on TV since the Bush campaign launched its TV-commercial assault on Kerry’s Vietnam War record. It’s possible stuttering Jon was trying to ask Kerry about that situation, but it soon became clear that this would not be an occasion for meaningful conversation.
Ironically, as he was appearing on a late-night comedy show staged four nights a week as a parody of TV news programs, Kerry bemoaned the fact that “intelligent conversation” is largely missing from the campaign. “I think most Americans would like to have a much more intelligent conversation about where the country’s going,” the candidate told the comedian. Yes, we would, senator, but that’s not going to happen if you accept interview invitations only from late-night comedians.