Bill Doskoch: Media, BPS*, Film, Minutiae

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Jon Stewart: Is he must-see TV inside The Beltway?

According to an article in The Hill, not necessarily — especially with the older U.S. lawmakers (seen via Crooks and Liars).

An excerpt:

For many members of Congress, particularly older ones or those who do not crave a national presence, Stewart is not on the radar screen. In certain circles, however, his impact grows and grows and grows; his popularity appears more solid by the day.

Next month, Stewart, who took over hosting “The Daily Show” from Craig Kilborn six years ago, will perform two shows at George Washington University. The comedian’s first show sold out so quickly that a second show was added. That, too, has sold out.

Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) was recently on “The Daily Show.” Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joseph Biden (D-Del.) have both appeared on numerous occasions; Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), at the height of his presidential race in July last year, went on it. Stewart later told Oprah Winfrey that the interview had not gone well, that Kerry had been too guarded and unrelaxed.

Even Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) turned up on the show last year to discuss homosexuality and religion. “I live in New York City,” Stewart said, beginning his mockery of Santorum’s stance on traditional marriage. “I’m literally — we’re in a sea of homosexuality.” (Santorum laughed.)

Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) announced his candidacy for president on the show, but Stewart wouldn’t allow it, telling him the information didn’t count on a fake-news show.

Many Republicans seem keen to appear on the show, despite Stewart’s left-leaning politics and routine ridicule of Republicans, which includes a devilish imitation of President Bush’s laugh. He recently played a clip of Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.) flirting with Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity and then suggested that Hannity’s adversary, Alan Colmes, should make himself scarce.

“I love the Jon Stewart show,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), adding that he’d like to appear but has never been asked. “If you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re in the wrong business. He makes fun of everyone, not just Republicans.”

Fri, September 23 2005 » Main Page, Media