Jon Stewart Supports Kerry; Loses Cool...Viewers

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

While Stewart's leftward leanings are nothing short of obvious, his public endorsement of Senator Kerry weakens his credibility with viewers who expect equal parody of both parties. And according to a recent Drudge Report scoop, The Daily Show's audience has been rapidly slipping despite a publicity blitz and best-selling book.

Stewart, who announced last week that he plans to support John Kerry, pulled 1,040,000 total viewers for month of September -- down 7% from August, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

Jumbo hype from media writers and a bestselling book apparently has failed to translate into any TV audience improvement.

CNN editors were busy this weekend cleaning up a transcript from Stewart's Friday appearance on CROSSFIRE. One CNN executive called Stewart's performance "belligerent."

During the live program, Stewart slammed host Tucker Carlson: "You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show."

The awkward exchange came at the end of an 8 minute segment between Stewart, Carlson and co-host Paul Begala.

CARLSON: You had John Kerry on your show and you sniff his throne and you're accusing us of partisan hackery?

STEWART: Absolutely.

CARLSON: have this marvelous opportunity not to be the guy's butt boy, to go ahead and be his butt boy. Come on. It's embarrassing.

STEWART: I was absolutely his butt boy. I was so far -- you would not believe what he ate two weeks ago.

STEWART: You know, the interesting thing I have is, you have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably.

CARLSON: You need to get a job at a journalism school, I think.

STEWART: You need to go to one.

The thing that I want to say is, when you have people on for just knee-jerk, reactionary talk...

CARLSON: Wait. I thought you were going to be funny. Come on. Be funny.

STEWART: No. No. I'm not going to be your monkey.

BEGALA: Go ahead. Go ahead.

STEWART: I watch your show every day. And it kills me.

CARLSON: I can tell you love it.

STEWART: It's so -- oh, it's so painful to watch...

CARLSON: Is this really Jon Stewart? What is this, anyway?

STEWART: Yes, it's someone who watches your show and cannot take it anymore. I just can't.

CARLSON: What's it like to have dinner with you? It must be excruciating. Do you like lecture people like this or do you come over to their house and sit and lecture them; they're not doing the right thing, that they're missing their opportunities, evading their responsibilities?

CARLSON: I wouldn't want to eat with you, man. That's horrible.

STEWART: I know. And you won't.