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Jon Stewart Responds to Daily Show Backlash, Takes Notes From… Tucker Carlson? Watch Video

Jon Stewart Responds to Daily Show Backlash, Takes Notes From… Tucker Carlson? Watch Video

In response to the online backlash he’s received for his criticism of President Joe Biden, Daily Show host Jon Stewart has decided to take a masterclass in speaking truth to power — and who better to emulate than his old pal Tucker Carlson?

It has been 19 years since the Daily Show host went on CNN’s Crossfire and took Carlson and co-host Paul Begala to task for fomenting partisan discord. After Carlson remarked that Stewart was funnier on his Comedy Central series, Stewart shot back, “You’re as big a d–k on your show as you are on any show.”

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Three months later, CNN cut ties with Carlson and cancelled Crossfire. At the time, network president Jon Klein cited Stewart’s on-air criticism as a factor in the decision to dump the debate series. Carlson eventually landed at MSNBC and, later, Fox News, but was canned by Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing media empire in 2023 and went on to launch his own, direct-to-consumer streaming platform.

Recently, Carlson flew to Russia to interview Vladimir Putin and went viral for a segment praising Russia under Putin for its pristine subway stations and allegedly affordable groceries. He went so far as to suggest that low food prices under Russia’s communist leader were enough to “radicalize you against your leaders” in the United States.

“It will radicalize you… unless you understand basic economics,” Stewart responded. “See, $104 for groceries sounds like a great bargain unless you realize Russians earn less than $200 a week. But that’s the kind of context that — what did you call yourself earlier? — a journalist would have provided.

“But here’s the reality: You f–king know all of this because you aren’t as dumb as your face would have us believe,” Stewart posited. “Perhaps if your handlers had allowed, you would have seen that there was a hidden fee to your cheap groceries and orderly streets. Ask [Russian opposition leader] Alexei Navalny,” who was killed earlier this week, “or any of his supporters. The difference between our urinal caked, chaotic subways and your candelabra-ed, beautiful subways is the literal price of freedom.”

Stewart then surmised that the message “Carlson and his ilk are pushing is that there’s really no difference between our systems. In fact, there’s might be a little better. The question is why? Why is Tucker doing this? Here’s why: It’s because the old civilizational battle was communism vs. capitalism. That’s what drove the world since World War II… but now they think the battle is woke vs. un-woke — and in that fight, Putin is an ally to the right,” Stewart explained. “He’s their friend. Unfortunately, he is also a brutal and ruthless dictator, so now they have to make Americans a little more comfortable with that. Liberty is nice, but… have you seen Russia’s shopping carts?” Watch the full segment below:

Stewart kicked off his Daily Show encore on Feb. 12 with a segment that debated whether Biden, at 81, or Trump, at 77, is fit to serve a second term. But he also pointed out that Biden, despite his advanced age, does not have Trump’s rap sheet.

TVLine readers gave Stewart’s first episode back an average grade of “A-,” but many online would disagree with their assessment. Among Stewart’s most vocal critics is former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, who took to X to declare that the comedian is a “bothsidesist fraud.”

What did you think of Jon Stewart’s second night back as host of The Daily Show? Sound off in Comments.

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