Jon Stewart Mercilessly Shreds Tucker Carlson’s Vile Veneration of Vladimir Putin and Russia

The return of Jon Stewart to “The Daily Show” is proving to be a stark reminder of just how much the world of media satire has been missing for the past nine years. His ability to wrap fact-filled commentaries in a humorous package with biting deliveries is unparalleled in contemporary comedy.

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Jon Stewart, Donald Trump

Monday night’s episode was a perfect example of this as Stewart refocused his attention an old and pitiful adversary, Tucker Carlson. Stewart frequently creamed Carlson’s ivory tower white nationalism when he was a Fox News Trump-fluffer. And even before that, when Carlson co-hosted CNN’s Crossfire. On Monday Stewart referenced an infamous exchange from that era saying that “I know I’ve said this before, but you’re such a dick.”

WATCH THE ORIGINAL: Fox News Hack Tucker Carlson Lamely Tries to Insult Jon Stewart, Gets Another Brutal Beat Down

Stewart was not swayed by Carlson’s worshipful propaganda (video below). He reviewed Carlson’s lapdog interview of his hero, Vladimir Putin, describing his enrapt facial expression throughout as “like you’re constipated while jerking off to a Sears catalog.” Carlson spent most of his two hour audience with Putin gazing adoringly at him as he disseminated flagrantly self-serving disinformation and outright lies. None of which were challenged by Carlson.

SEE THIS: Tucker Carlson Snuggles Up to His Master, Vladimir Putin, in a Humiliating Parade of Propaganda

Stewart brutally took apart Carlson’s slobbering adoration of Russia’s subway stations and grocery stores, including his feigned surprise that the value of groceries there had “radicalized” him against U.S. leaders, whom he apparently believes set the prices for groceries. Stewart mocked Carlson saying…

“And it will radicalize you! Unless you understand basic economics. See, $104.00 for groceries sounds like a great bargain unless you realize Russians earn less than $200.00 a week. But that’s the kind of context that a — what did you call yourself earlier? — a “journalist” would have provided.

“But here’s the reality: You f*cking know all this. Because you aren’t as dumb as your face would have us believe. Perhaps if your handlers had allowed, you would have seen there was a hidden fee to your cheap groceries and orderly streets. Ask Alexei Navalny or any of his supporters.”

Whereupon Stewart played a video of Navalny mourners being harassed and arrested by Russian police, observing that “The difference between our urinal-caked, chaotic subways, and your candelabra, beautiful subways, is the literal price of freedom.” Stewart concluded by noting that to today’s right-wing Trump MAGA cult, Putin is an ally and a friend, saying “I mean liberty is nice, but have you seen Russia’s shopping carts?”

Carlson appears to be determined to prove that he is as much a Russian asset as Donald Trump. But it isn’t because of any principles that he adheres to. It’s out of the desperation that comes from being a washed up pseudo-pundit whose puerile perspectives have gotten him fired from CNN, PBS, MSNBC, and even Fox News.

So like the rest of the MAGA Republicans scrambling to avoid the inevitable anguish of irrelevancy, he’s clinging to Trump and the futile hope that such pathetic toadyism will save him. Yeah, that’ll work. Just keep hanging on and maybe you can share an apartment in Moscow with him. Or a prison cell.

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Crybaby Trump Bares His Ultra-Thin Skin in Tantrum Against Late Night Comedy Shows

Poor Donald Trump has suffered long from the trials and tribulations of being a malignant narcissist. His inability to cope with trifling jokes at his rather modest expense has been one of his most pronounced personality disorders. By some estimations, it is the reason he chose to enter politics, following jabs by Seth Meyers at the White House Correspondents Dinner (WHCD) (Video below).

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Stephen Colbert & Trump Baby

During Trump’s occupation of the white House, he refused to attend the charity dinner all four years. That’s because he’s too big a baby to sit through a program where he might be the butt of a few jokes. Which is funny because he doesn’t seem otherwise opposed to being or having a big butt. Last year, for the first time in six years (it was postponed twice due to COVID), the dinner was attended by the President of the United States, Joe Biden. Trevor Noah was the featured comedian, and he didn’t shy away from Trump jokes.

NOR DID BIDEN: The Condensed White House Correspondent’s Dinner Remarks About Fox News and Crybaby Trump

On Monday morning, Trump took time away from his brooding and whining about having lost the 2020 election to complain again about the state of comedy in America. In a post on his floundering social media scam, Truth Social, Trump linked to an article on Fox News that roasted late night comedy as a declining format, which Fox blamed on the hosts mocking Trump. He wrote that…

“It was my great honor to have destroyed the ratings of Late Night “Comedy” shows. There is nothing funny about the shows, the three hosts have very little talent, and when Jimmy Fallon apologized for having humanized “Trump,” and his ratings soared, the Radical Left forced him to apologize—that was effectively the end of The Tonight Show. In any event, congratulations to Greg Gutfield!”

Once again, Trump is attempting to take credit for something that he had nothing to do with. He’s also assuming incorrectly that anyone regards his analysis of comedy as having any merit or insight. What’s more, the article he links to is profoundly lacking in any grasp of the TV business or program performance.

In order to make their argument work, Fox compared the current ratings of the late night shows hosted by Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy Kimmel, to their ratings – not last year – but six years ago, before Trump took office. That’s a long time in TV land. Fox completely ignored the fact that the television landscape had changed significantly during that time frame, with the advent of streaming and other methods of time-shifting. That’s what had the biggest impact on ratings. And it was an impact that occurred across every part of the TV schedule.

The article asserts instead that the ratings decline was due to the abundance of Trump jokes. However, it contradicts its own premise by noting that Colbert and Kimmel substantially increased their ratings when they told more jokes about Trump. Fallon, on the other hand, lost viewers with his less political style.

The Fox News article also took this opportunity to promote their own show with right-wing pseudo-comic, Greg Gutfeld. But it is deliberately dishonest to compare his ratings to the network late night shows. Those shows are shown at 11:30pm local time (tape delayed) across the country. Fox News airs Gutfeld at 11:00pm Eastern time nationwide. That means that Gutfeld is on at 8:00pm in Pacific time, 9:00pm Central, etc. Therefore, most of the nation sees Gutfeld in prime time when there are more people watching television. So when the article brags that Gutfeld’s 2.2 million viewers edged out Colbert’s 2.1 million, it’s missing the fact that Colbert actually drew a much higher percentage of the available audience.

Throughout the article Fox accuses the late night hosts of delivering Democratic talking points. But they never offer a single example to support that charge. If Fox has a problem with the leftward slant of the humor by these hosts, then their real problem is that, as Colbert once noted (at the WHCD in 2006), “Reality has a well known liberal bias.”

The article also ignores its own brazenly partisan perspective. The only quotes the author bothered to include were exclusively from washed up conservative “comedians” (Jimmy Failla, Tim Young, Joe Piscopo, Rob Schneider). There was no effort to get any statements from the shows that the author was maligning, their hosts, or their networks.

That won’t surprise anyone who is familiar with the purposeful dishonesty of Fox News. And it’s affirmation of the popular meme that has circulate for many years that says “I get my news from Comedy Central and my comedy from Fox News.”

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Trevor Noah is Leaving the Daily Show – And Creating a Huge Opening for Media Satire

Late night TV comedy is getting significantly shaken up with the news that Trevor Noah is quitting as host of “The Daily Dhow” after seven years. He made the announcement on Thursday night in an emotional statement (video below) that recalled his unexpected selection to take over from Jon Stewart, and his early days in the anchor chair.

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Trevor Noah

There was no timetable given for his departure, and no indication of who might succeed him. Noah thanked his staff and crew and audience saying that…

“I’ve loved hosting this show. It’s been one of my greatest challenges. It’s been one of my greatest joys. I’ve loved trying to figure out how to make people laugh even when the stories are particularly shitty on the worst days.”

Noah was never in an easy position as the guy who had to follow in Jon Stewart’s footsteps. He had some hits and some misses during his tenure. But he eventually put his own stamp on the show and connected with a new audience. His focus leaned more heavily on racial politics and international affairs. He said early on that he didn’t want to continue doing jokes about Fox News and other media. That was unfortunate in my view.

Jon Stewart’s Daily Show was not, as many people assumed, political satire. It was media satire. The whole premise was one of a fake news show with a fake anchor and fake correspondents, who mocked the failures and absurdities of the corporate television press. Naturally, Fox News was a frequent target given its abundance of material to ridicule. It is a feast of bias and lies and propaganda. But much of the mockery of that has receded during the Noah years. Which is too bad because there isn’t any other program on TV that is dedicated to media satire.

When Comedy Central selects its next Daily Show host, here’s hoping that they return to those roots and take on the media again. There is more reason to do so now than ever. Fox News has veered much farther into the fringy far right with their embrace of the loopy cult of Donald Trump and his QAnon-flecked following. Add to that Newsmax, the One America News Network, and an emerging crop of wingnut streaming and podcasting, and you have a severely unbalanced press pool that is screaming out for satirical spankings. Even CNN with new owners is lurching to the right.

So who are the most promising prospects to take over the Daily Show? There is actually a pretty deep a bench. It includes inspired comics like Jordan Klepper, Amber Ruffin, Samantha Bee, Roy Wood Jr., Desi Lydic, and Hasan Minhaj. However, it isn’t certain that Comedy Central will even continue the program. That would be a shame. In the meantime, we still have Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel and, of course, Jon Stewart, to lighten the load.

UPDATE: Trump weighed in on Noah’s announcement with a typically asinine comment saying that “Trevor Noah was a waste of time, no talent, no anything. Jon Stewart was only slightly better, but highly overrated.” He went on to advise Comedy Central not to do political comedy. But if they do, it should be all conservative. Sure, because Dennis Miller is cracking them up in whatever comedy graveyard he’s working in.

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An Open Letter To Rush Limbaugh From The Deranged, Literally Insane, Filled With Hatred, Democrat Party Base

Dear Rush,

Have you finally gone completely off your titanium-reinforced, bubble-enclosed, Viagra IV-fitted, rocker? Not that anyone could tell the difference from what you have been spewing for the last quarter century, but your latest tirade is either evidence of a severe thrombotic stroke, or you are deliberately providing late night comedians with new material.

Rush Limbaugh

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Your re-imagining of recent history with regard to the catastrophic falsehoods that were dispensed by the Bush administration in order to justify the invasion of Iraq is simply preposterous. Rather than recognizing the reams of documentation that the Bush administration mislead the nation and the world about “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” you attempt to turn that fact into a lie saying that…

“One of the biggest lies told during the Iraq war was that Bush lied us into war. That lie, that propaganda has done more damage to this nation’s ability to take on legitimate terrorism with confidence and assurity (sic) and defeat it. For however many years the Iraq war went on, every night on Comedy Central, practically every night, the audience there heard about it was all a lie. That Bush lied, people died, Bush Hitler.”

So it’s Comedy Central’s fault that America has failed to eradicate terrorism from the planet? [Damn you Jon Stewart!] And because of them the U.S. military has been drained of its legitimacy and confidence? That’s a pretty nasty remark to make about the heroes who are defending your freedom. Setting aside your contention that “practically every night” they were associating Bush with Hitler (which is more like never on any night), the assignment of responsibility to a cable comedy network for what you believe to be damaging to military readiness should be cause for concern by those who care for you. But you didn’t stop there:

“Every night for whatever number of years, seven years, six years, Comedy Central, Stewart, Colbert, you name it, Bush lied. The mainstream media, every day, every week, Bush lied. What did that do? In the minds of young skulls full of mush, it turned around the Iraq war into a joke, number one. It turned Bush into a joke. It turned the country into a joke, and it told everybody that everything we were doing over there was illegitimate because we had no business being there, that there was no terrorism.”

For your information, Bush didn’t need any help to be turned into a joke. And America’s “Young Skulls Full Of Mush” [YSFOM: The name of my next punk rock band] had the same opinion as most of the rest of the nation about his criminal adventures in the Middle East. We didn’t have any business being there since it had nothing to do with the attacks on 9/11, and all of the evidence presented as validation was fabricated.

For much of your rant you diverted to subjects that had no bearing on your topic. For instance, you found some excuse to complain bitterly that feminist extremists were pushing an agenda that defined all sex in college as rape. I have a disturbing notion that you are subconsciously projecting your own experiences during your truncated college years which, by all indications, were unsuccessful both academically and socially. And when you returned to the harangue of the day, your hostility could no longer be restrained and was loosed with a fury at the innocent and unsuspecting fans of a television comedy channel:

“Many of these people make up the deranged, literally insane, filled with hatred, Democrat Party base. And Obama can’t call it terrorism because his comedian buddies have spent seven years saying it didn’t exist.”

Well that settles it. Now that you have established that the millions of “literally insane” hate-mongering viewers of political satire are the core of the Democratic Party it will be much easier to dismiss them when they point out that your insights about the President are completely without merit. Where, for instance, did you get the idea that Obama’s comments about terrorism were influenced by “his comedian buddies?” Even if that were true, it’s better than being influenced by the terrorists, which is the case for you, Fox News, and other right-wing bloviators.

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In closing, it is hard to fathom your assertions that the YSFOM ever accused Bush of lying about ISIS since there was no ISIS when Bush was president. Maybe you are conceding the fact that his ill-advised policies resulted in the creation of ISIS and led to a rise in terrorism worldwide. But that would require an assumption that there is still some remnant of sanity in your diseased brain. Lacking any other corroborating evidence of that, it would be safer to assume otherwise.

Yours truly (if you still know what that means),
The Deranged, Literally Insane, Filled With Hatred, Democrat Party Base.
cc: Young Skulls Full Of Mush

The Sad Missed Opportunity Of Larry Wilmore’s Nightly Show

When Stephen Colbert Announced that he was leaving The Colbert Report to take over David Letterman’s Late Night on CBS, there was an understandable heaving of sighs at the thought of losing one of television’s most unique and talented observers of politics and the press. Colbert had forged a trail that had been unexplored for years and even brought his fake comedic persona into the real world with appearances before Congress, newsmaker interviews, and founding his own Super PAC that raised more than a million dollars.

While fans could look forward to his reemergence as the host of Late Night, the vacancy at Comedy Central gave the network the opportunity to build a new franchise with a fresh outlook. Their selection of Daily Show alum Larry Wilmore was a positive sign. He is a bright, experienced, likable, and truly funny personality. The anticipation for his premiere was bursting with hope.

Larry Wilmore Nightly Show

Unfortunately, the reality has not lived up to the expectations. Rather than presenting a program that could carry on in the tradition of satirical media scrutiny and, when appropriate, ridicule, the Nightly Show took a lazier approach that mimicked what many cable news networks already provide.

The opening segment is the best part of the program. It features Wilmore seated anchor-style at a desk delivering his take on the news of the day. The problem with the show is all of the rest of it.

By choosing to conduct a panel discussion with people that are often neither funny nor interesting, the Nightly Show took the lazy way out. What made Colbert and Jon Stewart shine was their penchant for bringing together the best professionals to write and produce highly entertaining and thought provoking material. There is no way that a bunch of random people sitting around a table engaging in extemporaneous banter, that is mostly attempts to impress the other panelists, is going to have the comedic punch of a well-scripted and rehearsed program. It takes work to be funny, insightful and entertaining, but what the Nightly Show did was to fashion a weak copy of The Five from Fox News and then lean back for a snooze.

The Nightly Show has very little preparation or input from pros with a track record for producing laughs or connecting with an audience. Consequently, the Nightly Show, in this format, can never have the relationship with viewers that Colbert and Stewart have had. As evidence of its failure, note that almost every episode of Stewart’s and Colbert’s shows resulted in clips being posted online that got as much or more attention as the original broadcast. The same thing happens with bits from John Oliver’s HBO program, Last Week. But this has rarely happened with Nightly since its debut a month ago?

Part of the problem is the array of guests. Those who have been reasonably good were the ones with actual experience in show business. However, the politicos and press performed no differently than they might have on CNN. That is not what most people watch Comedy Central to see. And the worst of it comes in the form of blatantly exploitative hacks like anti-vaxxer Zoey O’Toole, and Amy Holmes, who reports for the conspiracy-kook/televangelist Glenn Beck. Why would Wilmore give someone like that a platform on his show?

However, even with better guests there is no substitute for professionals with experience doing the hard work of crafting good comedy. And that is what Nightly is missing. It’s not too late to retool the program. Let Wilmore unleash his proven talent as a comedian the way he did in his appearances on the Daily Show. Strip out the gimmicky bits (i.e. Keep it 100) that will only become tiresome over time. Wilmore does not have to imitate Colbert, but he can learn from the format that was always changing things up. Colbert had The Word, Tip of the Hat, Better Know a District, the Threat Down, etc., and he kept them fresh by not doing hackneyed versions of them every day.

There is still an opportunity for Wilmore to become his own kind of icon over time if he’s committed to putting in the labor and collaborating with other talented pros. Television has enough panel sessions with people speaking off the top of their heads and saying nothing of interest. Wilmore is better than that and I hope he realizes it soon and trusts himself to carry the whole show on his own.

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On a separate but related matter, there will soon be another vacancy on Comedy Central’s schedule. When Jon Stewart leaves, the network needs to replace him with someone who can fit the format and expand it to even higher heights. It doesn’t have to be a superstar. Nobody knew who Stewart was when he took the helm from Craig Kilborn. (Although if they could scrape up enough cash to hook Tina Fey that would be awesome). But there is someone who seems to be uniquely qualified and well-suited for the job. John Fugelsang is a talented comedian with a broad knowledge of politics, current events, and culture. He can pontificate on matters that are serious in a way that is engaging, entertaining, and connects with an audience.

John Fugelsang

Fugelsang has the TV anchor good looks that draw people in before they’re aware that they are about to be hit with a punch line. And he has experience with both hosting a television program and interviewing people from politics and as well as other walks of life. It was Fugelsang who got Mitt Romney’s communications director, Eric Fehrnstrom, to compare campaigning to an Etch A Sketch, thus cementing his reputation as a flip-flopper.