Jon Stewart

Obama held secret meetings with Jon Stewart

Obama Held Secret Meetings With Jon Stewart

'Daily Show' host Jon Stewart interviews President Barack Obama for the last time on July 21, 2015. [The Daily Show]

Daily Show’ host Jon Stewart interviews President Barack Obama for the last time on July 21, 2015. [The Daily Show]


President Barack Obama summoned television host Jon Stewart to the White House on several occasions before he made major announcements, according to a Politico article that revealed the secret connection between “The Daily Show” host and the president. News of the private meetings surfaced Tuesday as Stewart prepares to end his tenure as host on Aug. 6.

Some have questioned Stewart’s ethics because he did not disclose his connection to Obama. “The summoning of Stewart to the White House validates the belief that the comedian is more influential on the public discourse than any journalist,” said a Minnesota Public Radio article Tuesday. “But do the rules of journalism apply to a comedian who doesn’t consider himself a journalist even as the people watching consider him one?”

While still at the White House, former Obama advisor David Axelrod kept in touch with the host by phone and email. In an interview, Axelrod said Stewart was “a useful prod” for the administration. “I can’t say that because Jon Stewart was unhappy, policy changed. But I can say that he had forceful arguments, they were arguments that we knew would be heard and deserved to be answered,” said Axelrod, who also makes appearances on “The Daily Show.”

Stewart visited the Oval Office to meet with Obama privately on at least two occasions, one of which was in fall of 2011 while the administration dealt with heated budget negotiations. “The president wanted to counter his critics on the left and lay the groundwork for his 2012 re-election campaign,” former Obama aide Austan Goolsbee said to Politico.

As the Ukraine crisis broke out, the president met with Stewart in Feb. 2014 before a significant announcement. Later that day, Obama went on air to say that “there will be costs” if Russia continued its aggression towards Ukraine.

Obama frequently appears on the “The Daily Show,” and he visited most recently last Tuesday, close to Stewart’s departure date. He used the segment to discuss topics such as the Iran nuclear deal. Three of the seven times Obama has been on the show have been when he was in office.

Obama ‘Issues An Executive Order’ Telling Jon Stewart He Can’t Leave (VIDEO)


Tuesday made The Daily Show history. It was the last time that President Obama would appear on the show across from Jon Stewart. Tuesday was also Obama’s seventh appearance on The Daily Show, although he was only president for three of appearances.

The president was on for the entire duration of the show and showing his sense of humor we’ve seen so many times, he began, “I can’t believe that you’re leaving before me. In fact, I’m issuing a new executive order: Jon Stewart cannot leave the show.” Stewart joked that it’s a state’s rights issue.

After the initial banter, Stewart began running off Obama’s list of “lame duck” accomplishments, including Iran, Fast Track, etc. “Are you feeling like seven years in…”

“I finally know what I’m doing?” Obama joked.

Obama replied that many of the things that are happening now are results of years of negotiations and work. Obviously, Obama appeared on the show at least in part to discuss the Iran nuclear deal. Stewart noted that after the years and decades of bombing first, “diplomacy sounds interesting.”

“We might as well try it, see what happens,” Obama joked.

Obama admitted that this peace agreement is not the last step and that Iran will continue to cause us problems. He also sent out a nod to Israel, who is against the agreement and said we will continue to need them.

Stewart then asked Obama if the media was focusing on the wrong things and demanding too much of him and of government in general. Obama answered, “some (medias) get on my nerves more than others.” (Guess who that might be.) He said that journalism and media is supposed to be tough on government. The problem, though is that “it gets distracted by shiny objects and doesn’t always focus on the big tough choices and decisions that have to be made.”

Here’s the video:

Jon Stewart blasts ‘a*shole’ McKinney cop: ‘How do you go from a pool party to this?’

Jon Stewart mocks McKinney Police Cpl. Eric Casebolt on June 8, 2015. [Crooks and Liars]

Jon Stewart mocks McKinney Police Cpl. Eric Casebolt on June 8, 2015. [Crooks and Liars]


ile Daily Show host Jon Stewart was aghast on Monday at the incident involving McKinney, Texas police Cpl. Eric Casebolt and a group of black teenagers, he did get a chuckle out of video showing Casebolt barrel-rolling through the scene.

“I’ve never seen a cop run through a frame and do a little parkour somersault in the manner that he did,” Stewart said. “That was some Starsky and Hutch sh*t.”

As Gawker reported, Casebolt kept a “police training” playlist on his YouTube account before wiping it clean as the incident, filmed by a white witness, began getting attention nationally.

At one point, Casebolt also included that footage in the playlist. Another one of the clips was titled, “Self-Defense Roll and Strike Drill.” A screenshot can be seen below:

Casebolt video

But aside from Casebolt’s tumble, Stewart was alarmed by the footage of the encounter.

“How do you go from a pool party to this?” Stewart asked, before mimicking Casebolt and yelling, “When I say ‘Marco,’ you say ‘Polo,’ motherf*cker!”

He also criticized Casebolt for his treatment of Dajerria Becton. The footage shows Casebolt telling the teen, “Get your ass on the ground” while she was actually sitting on the ground.

“Not only is he being an a*shole, he’s redundant,” Stewart said.

Correspondent Jessica Williams, sporting body armor under a swimsuit — aka “a McKinney bikini” — told Stewart that the encounter taught black residents an important lesson.

“When you go to a pool party, even in your own neighborhood that you live in, you have to know pool etiquette,” she said. “No running, no splashing, no talking back. And if at all possible, get your ass even further into the ground than it is.”

At the same time, Williams said, what happened in McKinney showed “progress.”

“I’m sorry,” Stewart replied. “A cop pulled his gun out and dragged a 14-year-old girl around by her hair.”

“I know — white people always want to touch our hair; it’s nothing new,” Williams said. “Jon, it’s progress because a cop pulled a gun on a group of black kids and nobody is dead.”

Watch Stewart and Williams’ commentary, as posted by Comedy Central on Monday,below.

Jon Stewart unloads on Fox News in exclusive: “Watching these channels all day is incredibly depressing … I live in a constant state of depression”

Jon Stewart unloads on Fox News in exclusive: "Watching these channels all day is incredibly depressing ... I live in a constant state of depression"

Jon Stewart (Credit: Comedy Central)


In amazing new interview, Stewart details why he’s leaving, whether he’d ever watch Fox again, and biggest regret

Jon Stewart opens up in a terrific new interview with The Guardian, conducted before and after the announcement that he’ll leave “The Daily Show” this year. It’s the most wide-ranging conversation he’s had since then and gets into his mindset about the 2016 election, his “heartbreak” over a tough Barack Obama interview, and what he’s thinking about for his future.

(The occasion of the interview is the British release of his film “Rosewater.”)

He also has a frank, frightening assessment of Fox News — and a straight answer about whether he’ll ever watch the network again after he leaves the “Daily Show chair.”

Here are the highlights. The whole interview can be found here.

On why he’s leaving “The Daily Show”:

“It’s not like I thought the show wasn’t working any more, or that I didn’t know how to do it. It was more, ‘Yup, it’s working. But I’m not getting the same satisfaction.’ … These things are cyclical. You have moments of dissatisfaction, and then you come out of it and it’s OK. But the cycles become longer and maybe more entrenched, and that’s when you realize, ‘OK, I’m on the back side of it now.’”

On what he’s likely to do in the future:

“I would do what I’m doing. Whether it’s standup, the show, books or films, I consider all this just different vehicles to continue a conversation about what it means to be a democratic nation, and to have it written into the constitution that all men are created equal – but to live with that for 100 years with slaves. How do those contradictions play themselves out? And how do we honestly assess our failings and move forward with integrity?”

On what it’s like watching that much Fox News:

 “Watching these channels all day is incredibly depressing. … I live in a constant state of depression. I think of us as turd miners. I put on my helmet, I go and mine turds, hopefully I don’t get turd lung disease.”

Would he ever watch Fox News again:

“(L)et’s say that it’s a nuclear winter, and I have been wandering, and there appears to be a flickering light through what appears to be a radioactive cloud and I think that light might be a food source that could help my family. I might glance at it for a moment until I realize, that’s Fox News, and then I shut it off. That’s the circumstance.”

His biggest “Daily Show” disappointment is not pinning down Donald Rumsfeld in an interview:

“He just went into the general gobbledegook. … I should have pushed, but he’s very adept at deflecting. … That interview with Rumsfeld went shitty, but it’s still just an interview. He’s the one who has to live with the repercussions of what he really did, so there’s nothing that could happen on my show that carries that same level of regret.”

Salon Staff

10 things you need to know today: March 31, 2015

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The Week

1.Germanwings co-pilot had been treated for suicidal tendencies
German prosecutors said Monday that Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had been treated for “suicidal tendencies” years before he crashed the airline’s Flight 9525 in the French Alps last week. Lubitz locked the plane’s captain out of the cockpit and was alone at the controls when the flight went down, killing all 150 people on board. Lubitz, 27, was treated “over a long period of time” but showed “no signs of suicidal tendencies or aggression toward others” in follow-up visits, the public prosecutor’s office in Dusseldorf, Germany, said.

Source: The New York Times

2.One killed by gunfire as stolen vehicle approaches NSA security checkpoint
Police officers shot and killed a person in a stolen Ford Escape when the occupants tried to drive through a security checkpoint outside the National Security Agency headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland, on Monday. The two men in the car reportedly were dressed as women. The second occupant and an NSA officer were hospitalized. Investigators did not believe the incident was a terrorist attack, and are looking into whether the men were under the influence of drugs after a night of partying. Cocaine was allegedly found in the car.

Source: CNN

3.Talks heat up hours from deadline for Iran nuclear deal
Negotiators from the U.S., Iran, and five other nations made a final push to reach a deal curbing Tehran’s controversial nuclear program hours ahead of a Tuesdaydeadline. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, returning to Switzerland to rejoin the talks, said “chances are high” for an accord on preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, but diplomats said any agreement would be preliminary and incomplete, leaving key issues, such as uranium enrichment and lifting sanctions, for later.

Source: Reuters, The New York Times

4.Prosecution rests at Boston Marathon bombing trial
Prosecutors rested their case Monday in the Boston Marathon bombing trial. The state’s 92nd and final witness, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Henry Nields, brought jurors to tears as he described the devastating and fatal injuries suffered by 8-year-old Martin Richard, the youngest of four people killed in the twin April 2013 bomb blasts. Next Tsarnaev’s lawyers will begin their defense. Seventeen of the 30 charges faced by Tsarnaev, 21, carry the death penalty.

Source: Boston Herald

5.States and cities ban official travel to Indiana over “religious freedom” law
Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy on Monday signed an executive order barring state-funded travel to Indiana, which just approved a controversial new religious freedom law criticized as anti-gay. “We are sending a message that discrimination won’t be tolerated.,” Malloy tweeted. Washington state, Seattle, and San Francisco have enacted similar bans in response to the law, which critics fear would allow people and businesses to cite religious beliefs to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

Source: NBC, Fox News

6.Strike kills at least 40 at Yemeni refugee camp
An airstrike targeting Houthi rebels in north Yemen killed at least 40 people and wounded another 200 at a refugee camp on Monday. Yemen’s state news agencySaba, now controlled by Houthis, said Saudi planes had intended the bombs for a rebel camp nearby. Saudi military officials said they were trying to confirm what happened. “It could have been that the fighter jets replied to fire, and we cannot confirm that it was a refugee camp,” Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri said. A humanitarian worker said the strike hit a truck filled with Houthi fighters at the camp gate, killing nearby residents as well as fighters.

Source: Reuters

7.Arizona governor vetoes bill on keeping officers’ names secret after shootings
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) on Monday vetoed a bill that would have temporarily blocked the release of the names of police officers involved in shootings. Proponents of the legislation said it would allow a 60-day cooling-off period to prevent retaliation against officers, and protests like those that broke out after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri, last year. Critics, including many police chiefs, said the measure could have escalated tensions by fueling distrust of police.

Source: The Arizona Republic

8.Obama plans first presidential trip to Kenya
The White House announced Monday that President Obama will co-host a Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya in July, his first trip to his father’s homeland as president. It will be Obama’s “fourth trip to sub-Saharan Africa and the most of any sitting U.S. president,” note National Security Council staffers Grant Harris and Shannon Green, comparing the Kenya visit to “President Kennedy’s historic visit to Ireland in 1963.”

Source: The New York Times

9. Jay-Z relaunches Tidal, a high-def, higher priced rival to Spotify
Music mogul Jay-Z on Monday relaunched Tidal, the high-definition music streaming service he acquired this year for $56 million. Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, promised “a new direction for the music industry from both a creative and business perspective.” Tidal will charge $19.99 per month, compared to $9.99 per month for established rival Spotify, but hopes to offer users earlier access to new releases by big-name musicians.

Source: Techcrunch

10.Trevor Noah picked as Jon Stewart’s Daily Show heir
South African comedian Trevor Noah will replace Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show, Comedy Central announced Monday. Noah, 31, made his first appearance on the popular satirical news show in December, when he gave his thoughts on Ebola, Boko Haram, and police brutality in the U.S., from the perspective of a biracial South African. Stewart, 52, announced in February that he was leaving later this year after 16 years, although neither he nor Comedy Central has given a date for his last show.

Source: The Washington Post

Jon Stewart Brilliantly Shreds Fox News Over Its Benghazi ‘Rage-gasm’

The Huffington Post

When Jon Stewart retires from “The Daily Show” later this year, Fox News might be the first in line to throw him a party because being on the wrong end of his wrath night after night can’t be that much fun.

On Thursday, Stewart tore the “fair and balanced” news network to shreds over its repeated demands that Ferguson protesters and their supporters apologize in the wake of a Department of Justice report that found Michael Brown didn’t have his hands up when he was shot by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri.

“The lesson Fox News is getting at is very clear,” said Stewart. “Wouldn’t it be nice if people who jumped to conclusions and peddled a false, divisive, anger-stoking narrative had to apologize for misleading America?”

So how about Fox News and its “two-year rage-gasm” over Benghazi? As Stewart points out, a report from a Republican-led committee that cleared the Obama administration of just about every conspiracy theory Fox News has been pushing went largely ignored by the network.

Has Fox News apologized for its “tsunami of misinformation?”

Of course not — and, for now anyway, Stewart is still here to remind them of it.

Check out the clip above for the full take-down.

Stewart: Conservatives Suddenly Want Obama To Be ‘Powerful Muslim King’ (VIDEO)


Screenshot | Comedy Central

TPM LiveWire

The subject was conservatives’ newfound adoration of Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who, unlike the President, shows the proper hostility toward the Islamic State terror group (despite Obama launching roughly 2,000 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria).

“Ultimately what the right is saying is, ‘why can’t Obama be more like this powerful Muslim king?,'” Stewart said. “Which is weird.”

“Because, if I may say, that’s also been their biggest complaint about Obama!” Stewart said, rolling clips of Fox News hosts and guests calling the President a literal “king” and suggesting an unsavory allegiance to Islam.

“I thought you liked that!” Stewart shouted, pointing out that other conservatives, such as Rep. Louie Gohmet (R-TX) and Rudy Giuliani, have praised Egyptian dictator Gen. al-Sisi and Vladimir Putin, respectively.

“It’s kind of ironic, because if President Obama started acting more like any of the guys whose leadership you admire, pretty sure I know the first place he’d shut down,” Stewart said, flashing an image of the Fox News logo on screen.

Watch the clip, courtesy of Comedy Central…

10 things you need to know today: February 11, 2015

Jon Stewart |

The Week

1.Kayla Mueller’s family says it has received confirmation the ISIS hostage is dead
The family of Kayla Mueller, an American aid worker held hostage by the Islamic State for 18 months, confirmed Tuesday that she is dead. ISIS saidFriday that Mueller had been killed when Jordanian warplanes bombed the building outside the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa. The U.S. and Jordan questioned the Islamist extremist group’s account, but Mueller’s family received an email and photo last weekend that enabled intelligence officials to determine she had been killed.

Source: Reuters

2.Daily Show host Jon Stewart announces his departure
Jon Stewart said Tuesday that he would be stepping down as anchor of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show after 15 years as the “fake” news show’s anchor. “I’m going to have dinner on a school night with my family, who I have heard from multiple sources are lovely people,” Stewart said in an emotional farewell on Tuesday’s show. He said he would stick around until at least September. Stewart, 52, turned the already popular show into a source of cutting commentary on news makers and the media.

Source: The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly

3.Three young Muslim family members murdered in N.C.
Three young members of a Muslim family — Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, her husband Deah Barakat, 23, and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19 — were found shot dead execution-style in their apartment near the University of Chapel Hill campus on Tuesday. A suspect, Craig Stephen Hick, 46, surrendered to police, and was charged with three counts of first-degree murder. Police did not disclose any theory about the motive, but Hicks has reportedly made anti-Muslim comments on his Facebook page.

Source: New York Daily News

4.NBC suspends anchor Brian Williams
NBC suspended Nightly News anchor Brian Williams late Tuesday for six months without pay over revelations that he had exaggerated events. The scandal began last week when Williams said a helicopter he traveled in while covering Iraq in 2003 was hit by enemy fire and forced to land. In truth, Williams was in a helicopter riding as much as an hour behind. Next, critics questioned details of his coverage of Hurricane Katrina. Williams said Saturday that he planned to take several days off.

Source: The Washington Post

5.New York cop indicted for manslaughter in killing of unarmed black man
A rookie New York City police officer, Peter Liang, was indicted for manslaughter on Tuesday for the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man in a housing project stairwell. The second-degree manslaughter charge means that Liang is being accused of being reckless. He allegedly was opening a door with the same hand that was holding his gun when he accidentally fired, killing Akai Gurley, 28. Liang, 27, could get up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Source: New York Daily News

6.U.S., Britain, and France shut down embassies in Yemen amid rebel gains
The U.S. suspended operations at its embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, on Tuesday due to security concerns. Britain did the same on Wednesday; France said its embassy would close Friday. The U.S. ambassador in Sanaa will reportedly leave the country by Wednesday. The news comes as Shiite rebels seized the Bayda province on Tuesday, shortly after they dissolved the parliament and took control of the government. Bayda is key for the Houthi rebels because it is a gateway to the country’s south and east, which they don’t yet control.

Source: The Associated Press, The New York Times

7.Judge might force Alabama holdouts to allow gay marriages
A federal judge on Thursday will hear a case that could compel local officials in Alabama to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Supreme Court on Monday cleared the way for gay marriage to begin in the state, but most counties refused to comply with the decision. The dissonance prompted lawyers for same-sex couples to sue, and U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade — who issued the original ruling striking down the state’s gay marriage ban — agreed to hear the case.

Source: The New York Times

8.Three sentenced for hate-crime murder in Mississippi
Three white Mississippi men received sentences ranging from seven to 50 years in prison on Tuesday for their roles in the murder of a man who was targeted because he was black. The defendants all pleaded guilty to committing the 2011 hate crime. Deryl Dedmon, 22, received 50 years for running over an already beaten James Craig Anderson with his truck, fatally wounding him. Anderson and co-defendants John Rice and Dylan Butler were in a group that prowled Jackson harassing and attacking African Americans.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

9. Samsung counters critics, saying its smart TVs don’t eavesdrop
Samsung’s smart TVs got a double blast of unwanted publicity on Tuesday, as reports emerged that the sets were inserting short advertisements directly into video streaming apps, without the involvement of the app providers. That news came a day after a flurry of criticism over news that the TVs’ voice-recognition systems captured random conversations by users. Samsung said Tuesday that its smart TVs never eavesdrop.

Source: CNET, ComputerWorld

10.Alex Rodriguez apologizes to Yankees about Biogenesis scandal
Alex Rodriguez met with New York Yankees executives on Tuesday to apologize for his connection to the doping scandal surrounding the Biogenesis clinic. Rodriguez requested the meeting two years after his name was linked to the now-shuttered facility. “There was an honest and frank discussion on all of the issues,” Rodriguez and Yankees leaders said in a joint statement. “As far as the Yankees are concerned, the next step is to play baseball in spring training.”

Source: USA Today

‘Daily Show’ trolls NYPD ‘slowdown,’ invites you to ‘sh*ttier New York’

Jon Stewart hosts ‘The Daily Show’ on April 1, 2014.

The Raw Story

Daily Show host Jon Stewart took a more optimistic tack on the news that New York City police were intentionally cutting down on arrests as part of a grudge against Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“A slowdown sounds so negative,” Stewart said on Thursday. “It’s really more of a public safety stay-cation, if you will. It explains the NYPD’s new motto: ‘To chill and reflect.’”

Stewart and correspondent Jason Jones, along with the “committee for a sh*ttier New York,” then invited viewers to visit the city, now that Jones could act like he was negotiating drug deals in full view of an officer without any hassle.

“Catch the spirit of the city’s old-world charm, and also some chlamydia,” Jones said over footage of himself wearing a cardboard box instead of pants and inviting a man to his one-man “peep show.”

The “new New York,” Jones said, opened up new business opportunities, like selling bootleg copies of Stewart’s movie, Rosewater, on the street.

“I tell you what — you buy American Sniper, I’ll give you two Rosewaters,” he told a prospective customer.

Stewart noted that police have cut down drastically on arrests for minor offenses following the fatal shootings of Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos on Dec. 20, accusing de Blasio of disrespecting them.

But at the same time, he said, the “slowdown” happened just as the city is boasting an overall decrease in the crime rate.

“Burglary — down. Assault — down. Remember that giant ape, used to be on the skyscraper? Gone,” he explained. “The only thing we have to deal with now is the occasional koala ruckus, which is really one of the more adorable problems our city has.”

Watch Stewart and Jones’ take on the “new New York,” as posted online on Thursday, here.

Jon Stewart goes off on serious Garner case rant: ‘We’re definitely not living in a post-racial society’

A frustrated Jon Stewart on ‘The Daily Show’ on Nov. 3, 2014 [YouTube]

The Raw Story

Even Daily Show host Jon Stewart found it hard to come up with anything funny to say on Wednesday in the wake of a Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in connection with the death of Eric Garner.

“I don’t know,” Stewart confessed. “I honestly don’t know what to say. If comedy is tragedy plus time, I need more f*cking time. But I would really settle for less f*cking tragedy, to be honest with you.”

What separated this case from the one involving Ferguson, Missouri officer Darren Wilson, Stewart said, was that grand jury in that case had to contend with conflicting accounts of his shooting and killing Michael Brown this past August. Yet the results were the same as in the Garner decision.

The fact that Pantaleo was not indicted despite being clearly seen on video grabbing Garner from behind in what the New York City Medical Examiner’s office later determined to be a chokehold, Stewart said, ran counter to the idea that requiring officers to wear body camera could cut down on encounters of this nature.

“I mean, maybe, to look at the bright side, we’re about to save ourselves a sh*tload of money on cop camera vests, but damn,” Stewart lamented. “We are definitely not living in a post-racial society. And I can imagine there’s a lot of people out there wondering how much of a society we’re living in at all.”

Stewart was so flustered, at one point he threw up his hands and yelled “F*ck” at the ceiling. However, he still managed to sneak in a jab at the cuisine at Arby’s.

“Arby’s: You think pain and grief are hard to digest,” he said sarcastically.

Watch Stewart’s commentary, as posted online on Wednesday, below.