Jon Stewart: Fox News is wrong about "Daily Show" agenda

Comedy Central host calls Chris Wallace "insane" for insisting his comedy is driven by a political motive

Published June 19, 2011 9:20PM (EDT)

The animus between Jon Stewart and Fox News is nothing new to anyone with a cable box: The former routinely lampoons the Becks, Hannitys and O'Reillys of the world for their partisan histrionics, while the latter presents "The Daily Show" as a hub for liberal activism.

All of which make Stewart's appearance on Fox News Sunday for a one-on-one interview with host Chris Wallace all the more riveting. Over the course of the segment, Wallace continually pushed Stewart to admit that his comedy was driven by an ambition to be a political power player, something the Comedy Central host emphatically denied. Stewart struck back (in what was the high point of the interview) suggesting that the Fox camp's notions of a "Daily Show" agenda was unfounded, and based predominantly on its own role as an ideologically driven media outlet:

Said Stewart:

You cannot understand -- because of the world you live in -- that there is not a designed ideological agenda on my part to effect partisan change. Because that's the soup you swim in. And I appreciate that, and I understand it. It reminds me of -- in ideological regimes, they can't understand that there is free media other places, because they receive marching orders. 

By Peter Finocchiaro

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