Jon Stewart and Rick Santorum: So Happy Together

Lots of people are talking about Jon Stewart's interview with Senator Rick Santorum last night. A bunch of people, including The New Republic, are annoyed that Stewart soft-balled the homophobic Santorum. Having seen Stewart expertly take down sanctimonious conservatives (like Bernard Goldberg) in the past, viewers were relishing a good, clean, thoughtful attack. Instead, Stewart did seem to be playing nice, telling Santorum, "I don't think you're a bad dude. I don't think I'm a bad dude."

But another bunch of people are annoyed that Stewart is being held up to standards beyond those of a satirical news show on a comedy network.

Problem is, Stewart is so good at being the hard-hitting journalist when he wants to, and at taking down people whose reasoning is failed. He fills a huge gap left by the mainstream media, which only gives us soundbites and nice, touch-feely interviews (as witnessed by yesterday's Washington Post online chat with Santorum).

Maybe Stewart is realizing what Larry King and Barbara Walters did -- if you get a reputation for giving interviees a hard time, nobody will come on your show. Or maybe it has to do with the identity of the Daily Show: Should it stick to being a comedic, satirical take on the news and the media, or should it live up to its reputation as the only TV news show that actually takes public figures to task? What do you think?

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.