Fox New Chief Roger Ailes attacked Jon Stewart. Now that’s right up there with attacking Bill Clinton. Don’t do it.
Basically, here’s what it was over:
When Jon Stewart was appearing on the O’Reilly Factor a few weeks back, he stopped by Roger Ailes’ office for an hour-long chat about politics.
“He’s obviously really, really smart,” the Fox News chairman says. “He openly admits he’s sort of an atheist and a socialist. He once told me he would’ve voted for Norman Thomas.”
Ailes was appraising the Daily Show star in a friendly, good-natured tone. But that tone changed when the conversation turned to Stewart’s continuous carping about the excesses of cable news:
“He hates conservative views. He hates conservative thoughts. He hates conservative verbiage. He hates conservatives.”
There was more.
“He’s crazy. If it wasn’t polarized, he couldn’t make a living. He makes a living by attacking conservatives and stirring up a liberal base against it.”
I tried to interrupt.
“He loves polarization. He depends on it. If liberals and conservatives are all getting along, how good would that show be? It’d be a bomb.”
But Stewart played clips of MSNBC as well as Fox at his Washington rally last month, casting them as part of the “24-hour politico, pundit, perpetual panic conflictinator.” He says his concern is not the ideology of cable channels but the tone of the discourse.
“Oh, horseshit,” Ailes shot back. “Look what he does to Sarah Palin.” If Stewart wants to go after cable hosts for the entertainment value, fine, “but don’t give me a social speech on the steps of the Washington Monument. Don’t lapse into non-comedy.”
Nice guy! Not! Actually Ailes sort of has a hell of a nerve. He has people on all day editorializing and president bashing and pretending they are news…and he takes a shot at Jon Stewart? At least Stewart is upfront about who he is and what he is all about. Can Ailes make that claim for himself and his gang of merry character assassinators?
Is Roger Ailes really in any position to be castigating Jon Stewart over his treatment of anyone? Jon Stewart is a comedian and claims to be nothing else. Ailes runs a 24 hour cable network that claims to be news and commentary, He often confuses the two. As for feeling sorry for Palin, when does Palin not take a shot at someone who isn’t a Republican? When her lips are closed.
Strange indeed that Fox News would be so self-revealing.