Friday, October 15, 2004
Transcript hits. Excerpts soon.
Update: You've got to read the whole thing. It's hard to decide what to excerpt. All references to crosstalk and laughter removed:
STEWART: [...] I made a special effort to come on the show today, because I have privately, amongst my friends and also in occasional newspapers and television shows, mentioned this show as being bad.
STEWART: Here's just what I wanted to tell you guys.
STEWART: Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America.
STEWART: No, no, no, you're not too rough on them. You're part of their strategies. You are partisan, what do you call it, hacks.
CARLSON: [...] I want to contrast our questions with some questions you asked John Kerry recently.
STEWART: If you want to compare your show to a comedy show, you're more than welcome to.
STEWART: But my point is this. If your idea of confronting me is that I don't ask hard-hitting enough news questions, we're in bad shape, fellows.
BEGALA: Well, [...] see, we're a debate show.
STEWART: No, no, no, no, that would be great. To do a debate would be great. But that's like saying pro wrestling is a show about athletic competition.
CARLSON: Jon, Jon, Jon, I'm sorry. I think you're a good comedian. I think your lectures are boring.
STEWART: [...] What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery. And I will tell you why I know it.
CARLSON: You had John Kerry on your show and you sniff his throne and you're accusing us of partisan hackery?
CARLSON: You've got to be kidding me. He comes on and you...
STEWART: You're on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls.
CARLSON: Well, I'm just saying, there's no reason for you -- when you have this marvelous opportunity not to be the guy's butt boy, to go ahead and be his butt boy. Come on. It's embarrassing.
STEWART: I was absolutely his butt boy. I was so far -- you would not believe what he ate two weeks ago.
STEWART: You know, the interesting thing I have is, you have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably.
CARLSON: You need to get a job at a journalism school, I think.
STEWART: You need to go to one.
CARLSON: Wait. I thought you were going to be funny. Come on. Be funny.
STEWART: No. No. I'm not going to be your monkey.
STEWART: I watch your show every day. And it kills me.
STEWART: You know, because we need what you do. This is such a great opportunity you have here to actually get politicians off of their marketing and strategy.
CARLSON: Is this really Jon Stewart? What is this, anyway?
STEWART: Yes, it's someone who watches your show and cannot take it anymore.
STEWART: I just can't.
CARLSON: What's it like to have dinner with you? It must be excruciating. Do you like lecture people like this or do you come over to their house and sit and lecture them; they're not doing the right thing, that they're missing their opportunities, evading their responsibilities? STEWART: If I think they are.
CARLSON: I wouldn't want to eat with you, man. That's horrible.
STEWART: I know. And you won't. But the thing I want to get to...
STEWART: Why can't we just talk -- please, I beg of you guys, please.
CARLSON: I think you watch too much CROSSFIRE.
We're going to take a quick break.
STEWART: No, no, no, please.
CARLSON: No, no, hold on. We've got commercials.
STEWART: Please. Please stop.
CARLSON: Next, Jon Stewart in the "Rapid Fire."
STEWART: Please stop.
CARLSON: Hopefully, he'll be here, we hope, we think.
CARLSON: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE.
We're talking to Jon Stewart, who was just lecturing us on our moral inferiority.
STEWART: [...] But let me ask you guys, again, a question, because we talked a little bit about, you're actually doing honest debate and all that. But, after the debates, where do you guys head to right afterwards?
STEWART: Yes. You go to spin alley, the place called spin alley. Now, don't you think that, for people watching at home, that's kind of a drag, that you're literally walking to a place called deception lane?
BEGALA: [...] They actually believe what they're saying. They want to persuade you. That's what they're trying to do by spinning. But I don't doubt for a minute these people who work for President Bush, who I disagree with on everything, they believe that stuff, Jon. This is not a lie or a deception at all. They believe in him, just like I believe in my guy.
STEWART: I think they believe President Bush would do a better job.
And I believe the Kerry guys believe President Kerry would do a better job. But what I believe is, they're not making honest arguments. So what they're doing is, in their mind, the ends justify the means.
CARLSON: I do think you're more fun on your show. Just my opinion.
STEWART: You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show.
CARLSON: Now, you're getting into it. I like that.
CARLSON: OK. We'll be right back.
QUESTION: Renee (ph) from Texas. Why do you think it's hard or difficult or impossible for politicians to answer a straight, simple question?
STEWART: I don't think it's hard. I just think that nobody holds their feet to the fire to do it. So they don't have to. They get to come on shows that don't...
BEGALA: They're too easy on them.
CARLSON: Yes. Ask them how you hold...
STEWART: Not easy on them...
BEGALA: ... saying we were too hard on people and too (INAUDIBLE).
STEWART: I think you're - yes.
CARLSON: All right. Jon Stewart, come back soon.
BEGALA: Jon Stewart, good of you to join us. Thank you very much. The book is "America: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction."
From the left I am Paul Begala, that's it for CROSSFIRE.
CARLSON: And from the right I'm Tucker Carlson, have a great weekend. See you Monday.
Wow. I know what two shows I'm TiVo'ing Monday.
As they closed the show, Stewart's face was a mix bewilderment, mischief and resignation.