Full Interview: Rachel Maddow & Jon Stewart

Whether or not you agree with Rachel Maddow, she is a good interviewer. And in this setting with Jon Stewart, they have a very interesting discussion on the news media, George W. Bush, and what part Stewart feels his show plays in the whole spectrum of things. I’m still thinking about some of the stuff he said, but I didn’t find it unreasonable at all. I don’t agree with everything per se, but I do think many of his bigger points were fair. I’m still processing them, and it may be worth a re-watch later.

What did impress me was that this wasn’t a ‘bash fox’ interview at all. Fox goes mentioned several times throughout the interview, but he really focuses on the MSM and MSNBC, perhaps because he’s on their turf. He talks about it all in totality, but he did hold Maddow’s feet to the fire a fair amount, enough that she was quite defensive of her show at times. And even when she criticized Fox, he didn’t always agree. For example, she tried to paint Fox as partisan, but he wouldn’t accept that. He says there is a difference between being ideological and partisan, and he doesn’t believe Fox is partisan. Wow.

All in all, I think it’s definitely worth watching. Enjoy!

UPDATE: There’s so much in this interview that I totally forgot to mention one thing. Jon Stewart does criticize Maddow (and the MSM) for using the term ‘teabagger’. He say’s it’s a conversation stopper and that it’s offensive. Awesome! See, I told you he was pretty fair. Ok, now enjoy!

As a side note, I’d like to say that this is the style that I wish Hannity and others would do with people worthy of this setting. I mean, how cool would it be for Hannity to sit down with Stephen A. Smith for an hour and discuss politics in the black community. Man I’d love that. But alas, I’m not sure if he could give up his ‘Great’ American Panel for a show.

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  • Rich

    The problem with Stewart is he can’t keep his story straight. I watch the Daily Show about once every two months. It just happens that the last one I watched he said and I quote, referring to fox: “fair and balanced meaing in HYPER-PARTISAN bs.” And here he says it isn’t partisan? Odd.

    • Did you even watch the interview? What he does on his show is not the same thing as what he is doing in this interview at all, and he admits that. He is doing honest analysis here, which isn’t necessarily what he does on his comedy show. I think you should watch it before throwing stones.

      • Rich

        Ah, so you buy his “don’t take me seriously on my show because hey, I’m just a comedian” routine? So then why should I take him seriously in this interview?

      • 4rcane

        the problem with Stewart is he pretend to be above it all, but he’s really part of the problem. He’s a liberal that engage in the sort of nonsense that he criticse

        • Paulchri

          He is an establishment media pawn doing what he is told. He makes millions making fun of conservatives, then legitimizes them when the establishment is threatened. Why does anyone believe that there is true bias? It is a left/right game they play to keep us polorized.

      • las

        RS… I kinda agree with Rich. You can’t take this lovefest seriously. Stewart is Mr. Equivocation while Maddow is Ms. Dismissive. The liberal and the leftie brushing mosquitoes off each other while during their day jobs paint everything about the right as infested with parasites and disease. Just look at Maddow’s obsessing over gay marriage in her interview with Joe Miller of AK and her obvious tampering with video through selective editing and her other lies. And they talk about “truth”!

        It is a grand maxim that Stewart does his “I’m just a comedian” shtick while slathering the right and FOX with derision on a consistent basis. He suffers from the equivocation that comes from cognitive dissonance when his liberal ass gets mugged by truth and reality that comes from the right. Yet for the life of him refuses to make the full leap to sanity… the very thing he pretends to restore in that rally of his. Just what is his message from the rally? He still can’t explain it… because of his pathological equivocation.

        I like Maddow for some strange reason(and disagree with her ninety five percent of the time) and I kinda feel sorry for Stewart, which makes him endearing. But frankly, I was expectant of a good interview given the recommendation of RightScoop, but seriously… this leftie and a liberal mutual admiration thing… a big yawn!

      • Paulchri

        I think that Stewart is being reigned in. He may be seeking to legitimize hmself for a different role. Or he may have been told to come out in this way to legitimize the establishment. The media fights their battles. Their battle is against Ron Paul supporters and constitutionalists. Stewart just lagitimized Bush’s doctrines, because Obama is continuing them. They need Stewart to play a different role now.

    • You have to know if the clown nose is on or the clown nose is off…in this interview, I think the clown nose is off…but I could be wrong.
      I do think this…these people take themselves much too seriously.

      • Rich

        Exactly. He tries to play the comedian whenever it best suits him. I’m not going to begin to try and figure out when I should and shouldn’t take the man seirously. Because of that, I’ll just take him at his word all the time, in which case he is constantly contradicting himself.

    • I think Stewart is recognizing this more & more over time.

  • Shorthorn

    I love how old Rachel couldn’t best Stewart’s arguments face to face, so she adds her little comments after the fact. What a complete coward and a sign of someone who has to win at all costs. Contrast this interview with O’Riley’s interview with George Bush. No snarky comments at the end, no additional stuff added after the fact. O’Riley did the interview straight up and honestly. Maddow can’t handle that I guess.

  • Anonymous

    I totally agree with Jon here, I wish more people would look at him as a satirist and quit getting their news from him. Get your news from Fox, get your satire from him.

    • 4rcane

      the only difference between what he does and what msnbnc/fox news is the label. If everyone on foxnews/msnbnc come out and say they’re satirist, now stewart can not criticise them anymore, because they’re doing exactly what he does. Whenever foxnews/msnbnc make a factual mistake, they’ll just say, it was a joke, a joke. How convenient for stewart to put on the clown mask whenever he want

      • RyanWI

        The difference between msnbc/foxnews and what he does is that he does it on a channel called “Comedy Central.” If MSNBC and FNC agree to stop referring to themselves as news organizations and start referring to themselves as comedy organizations, you’ll have a point. They can’t hide behind satire because they aren’t satirists.

  • Bhilbs

    This interview lead me to lose all respect for Maddow… ok there wasn’t much to lose, but I thought it was disturbing that the entire interview was her way to seek his approval in some form or fashion. Every q, she yearned for him to say, “Ya, you’re right, and Fox is wrong.” She was a son seeking her father’s approval, hoping to hear that is not the antithesis of Fox. I like Stewart, he’s one of the few open minded liberals, or persons in general, who actually looks at the world and comes to his own conclusions and not follows the radical line. But why is Maddow and Olberman seeking his approval? I thought they are “tough, harden reporters” who only speak the “truth”?

    • Rich

      It seems like a ton of people on the right feel this same way too. They celebrate when Stewart roasts some sort of lefty organization on his show as if they had just been accepted into the popular clique at school.

      • 4rcane

        stewart is a daily show, the few times that he mock the left, which get spread on the right wing blogs is few a far between

  • J.A. Topfke

    I respectfully disagree that Maddow is a good interviewer. She was very respectful in this interview because she was like a high school girl looking up to her left-wing idol, but she takes a decidedly different tact when interviewing, say, Rand Paul.

    Also, while I sometimes think Stewart is funny, I also think he is totally full of himself. An example is the “I’m a climatologist” stuff he was trying to pass off in part one, like “I’m just so above the fray.” And whenever called on his partisanship he recoils into the “I’m just a comedian” ball. It’s OK for Stewart to be insulting and divisive, but not for the rest of us mere mortals.

  • Anonymous

    Jon Stewart is such a coward. Watch this video of his famous appearance on Crossfire during the 2004 election. It’s 14 minutes long, but it goes fast so suck it up and watch the whole thing:


    Stewarts’ contempt for Tucker Carlson is so palpable and petty that he can’t even help himself from mocking Carlson’s bow tie and using it to insult Carlson’s intelligence.

    Fast forward to now and watch the poor guy bend over backwards to make sure he kisses Rachel Maddow’s butt. Rachel Maddow, who has been caught in more than one blatant, deliberate lie. And Jon Stewart walks on egg shells in fear that she will take what he says personally. I don’t know how to word this to get around the censor, but I’ll give it shot. My guess is he probably has a small problem with a certain measurement of a particular member. Just a guess. He already has a height problem because he’s 5′ 7″ according to the links that came up when I Googled him. So he’s short. He’s not bald, so he doesn’t win the trifecta of insecure man syndrome, so my guess is he’s got two out of the three.

    Talk about cognitive dissonance. Watch Stewart explain how his rally was him NOT coming down from the stands and playing the game. What a fool. The bigger fools are people who still buy his “I’m just a comedian and you lower yourself to compare me to you” routine.

    Poor Rachel Maddow. She sooo wanted to talk to Jon Stewart about Pakistan but didn’t get to it. What a shame. Laughable.

  • “per say” should be spelled “per se”.

    -Language Martinet

  • “per say” should be spelled “per se”.

    -Language Martinet

  • Anonymous

    I think Stewart, while being a liberal, is still doing a tremendous job in opening the door for dialogue and allowing the Tea Party to get a point accross to the left. After all, if we are confident in our message there’s nothing to be afraid about when entering a dialogue.

  • Anonymous

    I think Stewart, while being a liberal, is still doing a tremendous job in opening the door for dialogue and allowing the Tea Party to get a point accross to the left. After all, if we are confident in our message there’s nothing to be afraid about when entering a dialogue.

  • Anonymous

    According to Madcow, ONLY THE RIGHT SHUTS DOWN DEBATE!

  • Anonymous

    FOX NEWS NEVER CRITICIZED BUSH,people just don’t listen.

  • Kim_ae

    That was a good interview… It almost seems like Jon Stewart is realizing that the left in media (Like Rachel) want to be or consider themselves to be just like himself on his show, whereas the right leaning media sees the comedic line and keeps to the other side of it.

    I don’t think it’s surprising that some college kids can’t tell the difference between a comedy show and MSNBC News because they both use exaggerated hyperbole. Although I think Jon might be seeing that finally and in this interview is trying to stake his claim and say I’m a comedian and you’re supposed to be news, don’t follow me and confuse people. That’s just the feeling I got though, I also felt he was being sincere and not just a chuckle-head.

    • Tyler

      Yep yep. Agree or disagree with him, I think Stewart is genuinely a sincere guy who just happens to have a different point of view and those who disagree with him just need to take that with a grain of salt and go from there. That was actually what I thought was one of the better points of the interview…when he said that he tries to understand where the people he disagrees with are coming from because we don’t do that near enough if at all.

    • Ella EB

      This is what struck me so much about the last clip. Is Maddow seriously claiming that “Oh, we took the joke too far?”, etc? I thought she was supposed to be a newswoman?
      MSNBC cannot have it both ways. You are either journalists or you’re not.
      The fact that she is whining about equivalency between herself and Fox News is ridiculous if she thinks a journalist makes sex slurs against a group of people as a joke for weeks. And the fact that she claimed she doesn’t advocate for one party in her reporting is ridiculous. “Oh, I never told people who to vote for.” No, she just called the other party fake, or insinuated the world would end if they won. I guffawed out loud at that one.

  • Tyler

    I look forward to him actually coming on Fox to interview with Chris Wallace. I hope he wasn’t just being the comedian when he agreed to that on his show.

    • AGREE with this so much. Chris Wallace is one of the best interviewers on tv right now, he is fair, smart and forceful with everyone, left right or center, and generally rises above the surroundingnoise. I like Rachel Maddow a lot too and found this interview fascinating, but I think seeing Wallace have a nice long sit-down with Stewart would be equally fascinating, so I hope Stewart follows through with his promise!

  • Ella EB

    My first taste of Maddow was during the election coverage this year and I cannot stand her after that. I don’t understand how people can stand a “journalist” that acts so condescending and smirky. It’s off-putting. I disagree with a lot of people on CNN too, but none of their anchors has ever brought out such a negative visceral reaction in me as she has.

    I don’t have a problem with Stewart as much as he is funny, smart (even though it’s clear we disagree on a lot of things) and really is an entertainer moreso than posing as a legitimate newsman. As long as viewed with the “clown nose” on all the time I don’t take issue with him.

  • West

    haha. “OJ isnt going to kill someone every day”. rofl.

  • Hawaiihal

    Too Much Maddow! Let us hear from Stewart. He is far more compelling than that biased hack.

  • They are both Such TOOLS lol…… Beyond that, there is alot i dont like about Fox News either. I only watch 3 shows to gather facts and research them myself. One is Glenn of course bc every foot note he uses is on his website and i can double check his sources and information. That is SOOO POWERFUL!!! but people like Hannity i cant stand. They are the flip side of the coin on the Demo vs Repu issues.

    • Beck and Hannity are both just in it for the money and don’t really care much about journalistic integrity as far as I can tell, but where Beck is sort of likably crazy and all over the place, sometimes making good points and sometimes making jaw-droppingly ridiculous claims, and everything in between, Hannity is more of a straight up hack, always spinning everything to the most anti-liberal extreme he and his hack staff can fabricate. I find him insufferable unless he has someone like Bob Beckel on hand to check his outlandish lies.

  • Cranky1

    I can’t get past how much Jon actually looks like Rachel. Am I wrong for pointing that out?

    • Paulchri

      The elites apparently inter-breed. Hee hee.