For almost two years I've been telling people that Jon Stewart isn't funny anymore. Everyone I've preached to has vehemently disagreed with me. But after watching his performance on Crossfire last Friday, I think people are finally going to start coming around. (Read the full transcript here.)
Stewart's problem isn't that he's spun off into lefty-land. It's that all of his Emmy awards have gone to his head--he thinks he's a serious guy now. When Stewart self-deprecatingly calls The Daily Show Fake News, you can tell that what he really means is "Fake" News.
In a way, this isn't entirely Stewart's fault. For some reason, the rest of the media world pushed him into it by doing scads of fawning profiles and including him on panels with Jennings, Brokaw, Rather, and the rest of the silverbacks.
I count Tucker Carlson as a pal, but what bothers me about Stewart's Crossfire tirade isn't that he called Tucker a dick--it's that in doing so, Stewart was about as funny as E.J. Dionne after two cosmopolitans. Or Bill Bennett after a bad night at the Taj.
Memo to Comedy Central executives: Craig Kilborn's available. Why don't you get Stewart a job at The Poynter Institute and bring Kilborn back to The Daily Show? I bet it'll help the ratings.
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