"FAKE NEWS" ANCHOR JON STEWART RAILS AGAINST REAL NEWS
IN A "60 MINUTES" PROFILE THAT HELPS EXPLAIN HIS RECENT INCIDENT ON CNN'S "CROSSFIRE" -- SUNDAY ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK
Before he went on CNN's "Crossfire" program and made news by lecturing its hosts, "Daily Show" comedy anchor Jon Stewart complained about cable news to 60 MINUTES' Steve Kroft. Kroft's profile of the Comedy Central star and his satirical news show will be broadcast Sunday, Oct. 24 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Cable news, says Stewart, has become a street fight instead of civil discourse. "You know�what has become rewarded in political discourse is the extremity of viewpoint," he tells Kroft. "People like the conflict. Conflict, baby! It sells. Crossfire! Hardball! Shut up! You shut up!" says a mocking Stewart.
Stewart says reporters complain about Fox News, but he doesn't think much of CNN as an alternative. "Fox has the phrase 'fair and balanced' and journalists wring their hands about that," he says. Stewart has no problems with Fox because everyone knows what it does, but not necessarily its competitors. He finds it ironic that journalists say, "'How can they�say fair and balanced, but they're not? I watch it. It's not. It makes me so mad,'" Stewart says. "Well, CNN says, 'You can depend on CNN.' Guess what? I watch CNN. No, you can't!" he tells Kroft.
The comedian also takes a light swipe at news programs that may not all run on cable. When reminded that the Television Critics Association voted his "Daily Show" the best news and information program of the year, Stewart says, "I think in some respects, they were punking you, as opposed to praising us."
The rest of the profile is one laugh after another, with Stewart humorously commenting on subjects including the two presidential candidates, John Edwards' using his program to announce his presidential candidacy last fall and what it would be like to have President Bush on his show.
CBS and Comedy Central are both owned by Viacom.