How Stewart Wins Over Neocons

Lefty comedian ready to listen to the other side
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 10, 2009 9:26 AM CDT
Jon Stewart holds the award for the outstanding variety, music or comedy series for "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
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(Newser) – Jon Stewart’s liberal inclinations don't stop him from booking voices from the far right on the Daily Show—and they give glowing reviews of their experiences, New York magazine reports. A former GOP spokesman was leery of appearing on the program to discuss torture; pundit Bill Kristol encouraged him. The result: “Literally, this is the best conversation I've had on this subject anywhere,” Cliff May told Stewart.

“There is genuine intellectual curiosity," May says. "He's a staunch liberal, but he's a thoughtful liberal, and I respect that." Plus, notes John Bolton, “He always gives you a chance to answer, which some people don't do.” Conservatives find Stewart provides a route “to an audience that usually tunes them out,” writes Jacob Gershman. “Stewart will poke fun, but he offers a good-faith debate” on lightning-rod issues.