“I’m not a constitutional scholar, so I can’t necessarily say, but are you eligible to run if you are a man-baby or a baby-man,” Jon Stewart asked David Axelrod during a live event at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.
The former host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” joined David Axelrod for a live taping of his "Axe Files" podcast on Monday, where the two discussed Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and the role of the media in the current political atmosphere.
Many were dispirited when Stewart announced his retirement from the show at the beginning of last year. He is particularly missed in such a cycle, where his wit and precise critiques would surely have offered additional entertainment and clarity to the imbroglio that is the 2016 presidential election.
While he did commend a number of his former colleagues, including Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee and Trevor Noah, for their election coverage, Stewart had blistering words for the news media as a whole. It sounded and looked at times as if he had been waiting for a moment to let it rip.
Stewart accused the news media of being “corrosive and corrupt,” adding that they are “incentivized in all the wrong directions.”
In one of the most concise portrayals of how mainstream television journalism has changed, Stewart cited the Nixon-Kennedy debate as when “television journalism was ahead of the game.”
“Since then, an entire industry has risen up … to manipulate and skew that medium to the advantage of the politicians and the powerful … rather than … creating a counterweight to that,” he concluded.
The comedian was critical of network presidents who say “Trump is good for business.” He was aghast at the symbiotic relationship that has developed between the mainstream media and politicians.
Pointing to a blatant example of this symbiosis, Stewart was appalled with Megyn Kelly’s meeting with Trump in early April: “When you have the lead anchor of Fox News having to go to Trump’s hotel to make him stop being mean to her, and now he says she’s terrific because they’ve had a detente, that’s f---ed.”