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Tim Russert: Take A Clue From Jon Stewart

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Message Steve mcqueen

No doubt John McCain likes Jon Stewart and visa versa.  McCain has appeared on "The Daily Show" more than any other guest.  Certainly more than any other politician.  After Tuesday night's appearance, my guess is that he'll probably think twice about showing up again, at least until after he loses the Republican primary.  Fact is, if any candidate holding an untenable position on any issue, especially one that bonds himself to the administration's Iraqi failed strategies - an obviously dear-to-the-heart issue with Stewart - will think twice before coming on armed only with talking points.

Compared to his battering on Tuesday night's "Daily Show," his inappropriate "Bomb, bomb, bomb.  Bomb Iran" parody seemed exceptionally ingenious.  

From the start, it was obvious that Stewart was not in the mood for tit for tat punchlines with his friend.

"Do you want to start with "Bomb, Bomb Iran," or your market walk?"

McCain chose the Market and it went down hill from there. It really didn't make any difference which he chose.  It was "did you stop beating your wife?" to the max.  But it was McCain who had baited his own trap.  From word to word Stewart shot down every talking point as if he had been prepared for them - a hint to Mssrs Russert, Stephanopolous, et al.  Until McCain realized that he was the sitting duck and needed to go on a non-stop diatribe, haranguing over Stewart's third, fourth and fifth degree, the interview drilled enough holes into McCain's stump speech to make him think twice about his official announcement today.    

But the interview was not as much an insight into the thinness of McCain's argument as much as a template for every Sunday morning news talk host.  I'd suggest cable talk to listen up, but they're so busy talking, hearing anything but their own voice is asking them to do the incomprehensible.

How clearly Stewart explained the divisiveness of the Bush administration and their apologists' attacking anyone who questioned their butchering of a so-called foreign policy.

"If the architects of a house without any doors and windows doesn't admit that this is the house they built,"said Stewart, "and continues to say, 'no, it's your fault for not being able to look into it,' then I don't understand how we move forward."

No response. 

McCain could only go to the surge.  Stewart wanted to know how "10,000" soldiers in Baghdad would turn the tide. 

No answer.

Stewart wanted to know how questioning the president's policy is more an undermining of the troops than extending troop tours, creating stop loss and the Walter Reed debacle; He found the administration's using of the "undermining the troops" gambit, "almost criminal," asking rather incredulously, "How does the President have the balls to justify that?" 

No answer.

When McCain used  "Al Quaeda itself told us" TP to defend the even older TP, "If we leave Iraq they'll follow us here," Stewart informed the cherry-picking,  near candidate that Al Quaeda also said, "Our strategy is to trap America in a war that will bleed them of treasure and lives."


That it takes a comedian to get drive a Kenworth through a would-be president's humongous hole of bullsh*t is an awful commentary on serious talk shows.  Still, it would be nice if Sunday morning "moderators" took a look at how neatly Stewart took the wheel and turned in an interview that actually revealed that with McCain, there was no there, there.

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