"Sixty Minute Man"
The Hotline
April 23, 2001


"Daily Show" host Jon Stewart sat for an interview with "60 Minutes" Steve Kroft. Some excerpts:

Kroft, on Stewart: "In the world of comedy, the saying goes, 'satire is something that closes on Saturday night.' But not this year, at least not when it comes to poking fun at politics and the media. The endless election, the continuing Clinton scandals, and the travails of the new Administration have provided lots of material for Letterman, Leno and 'Saturday Night Live.' But nobody has benefited more than Jon Stewart."

Kroft, on The Daily Show: "It is television news' evil, demented twin -- so full of itself, it almost looks real. In a time when more and more news broadcasts are produced as entertainment, Jon Stewart anchors a comedy show disguised as news."

Stewart, on the success of The Daily Show: "I think why this works is there is a real frustration out there with the aggregate, assaultive effect of television news. If you were to watch television news, you would think that we are not only in a deep economic recession, but in the middle of a rampant crime wave. And not only that: your children are not safe from bacteria that may or may not be growing in your bathroom."

Kroft, to Stewart: "What do you think of George W. Bush? Do you think he's funny?"

Stewart: "I think he might be funny privately. When I see him on television, he's acting. Is he a good actor? Not really. When he got through the inauguration speech, people were kvelling, 'He read it so beautifully!' They literally said, 'I thought at that inauguration he looked presidential.' He was being sworn in as President! What did people expect?!"

Stewart, on how "Daily Show" gets its news: "We keep our TV probably mostly tuned to CNN. If we want fair reporting, then FOX. Because they report, we decide. ... You check facts. We would never think to do that -- to check actual facts. It's just not something that would ever occur to us. We have no credibility issue because we have absolutely no credibility."

Stewart, on fame: "William Bennett asked me for an autograph for his kid. You've seen the show. If you were William Bennett, would you even talk to me?"

Kroft, to Stewart: "Why do you think so much has been made of political humor this year?"

Stewart: "Because there are 5 24-hour news channels. At some point, they have got to turn and go, 'Does anybody have a joke about this?!'"


<< back

Copyright © 2001 The Hotline. All rights reserved.
Thanks to Tamara for the article.

main - pictures - transcripts - multimedia - desktop - links