Jon Stewart on Bill Moyers

Bill Moyers interviewed Jon Stewart in a piece on Bill Moyers Journal. Absolutely fascinating interview, if you missed it, the video should be posted here tomorrow. I would strongly advise you to watch it. Stewart is a lot more complex than I thought he was. You can find a transcript of the interview here. An example where Moyers and Stewart talk about the McCain interview:

BILL MOYERS: I saw McCain shrivel. I mean, he’s been on your show…
JON STEWART: He didn’t believe me. I think anybody who’s been in a POW camp for five years can– take eight minutes on THE DAILY SHOW.
BILL MOYERS: But something happened. You saw it happen to him. What you saw was evasive action. It wasn’t shriveling, it was merely
BILL MOYERS: But he dropped his head, and you could you could
JON STEWART: Actually, he– began to he stopped connecting and just looked at my chest and decided, “I’m just gonna continue to talk about honor and duty and the families should be proud,” all the things that are cudgels emotionally to keep us from the conversation. But, things that weren’t relevant to what we were talking about.

*snip*

BILL MOYERS: Your persistence and his inability to answer without the talking points did get to the truth, that there’s a contradiction to what’s going on in Vietnam in there’s a contradiction. Yeah, exactly, that there’s a contradiction to what’s going on in that war, that they can’t talk about.
JON STEWART: That’s right. There is a there is an enormous contradiction, and it is readily apparent, if you just walk through simple sort of logic, and simple rational points. But the thing that they don’t realize is that everyone wants them to come from beyond that contradiction so that we can all fix it. Nobody is saying, “We don’t have a problem.” Nobody is saying that, “9/11 didn’t happen.” What they’re saying is, “We’re not a fragile country, trust us to have this conversation, so that we can do this in the right way, in a more effective way.”

Brilliant stuff!
The video is not up yet, but there is video from a 2003 appearancehere, which is equally interesting. And audio of the Journal appearance is here
Okay, here is the video

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3 Responses

  1. What’s sad is how Jon Stewart is often a better journalist than the majority of those on TV. Yeah, occasionally he gets a little shrill. (I had to stop watching him there for a while before the Presidential elections) But he really is very good in his interviews.

  2. Also: ‘And I used to think, “They’re doing this based on a certain arrogance.” And now, I realize that it’s because they believe there is one accountability moment for a President, and that is the four year election. And once you get that election, you’re done … They’re completely not right. The election moment is merely the American public saying, “We’d rather you be President than that guy.” That’s it. The next four years, though, you still have to abide by the oversight process that is there to prevent this kind of bizarre sort of cult-like atmosphere that falls along.’ and ‘Because I don’t think politics is any longer about a conversation with the country. It’s about figuring out how to get to do what you want.’
    And they still call it democracy. Brilliant.

  3. You’ve missed a “Stewart” attribution in the exchange.
    BILL MOYERS: But something happened. You saw it happen to him.
    JON STEWART: What you saw was evasive action. It wasn’t shriveling, it was merely –
    I too thought the interview was a fascinating look into the dynamics of what is – Stewart’s denials notwithstanding – in fact one of the most important sources of news we have

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