Jon Stewart goes toe-to-toe with Charles Krauthammer

Anyone who’s watched “The Daily Show” long enough will have seen plenty of Fox News clips of the perpetually disapproving scowl of Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer. So his appearance as a guest on Wednesday’s show had all the promise of one of Stewart’s classic faceoffs. Remember Jim Cramer?

However, the debate between Stewart and Krauthammer, though spirited, was reasonable and respectful above all things. And because of that, both were allowed to make good points for their cause, absent the sound and fury of the modern media circus.

Krauthammer was there to promote his new book, “Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics,” wasting no opportunity to bring it up. And in looking back over his Pulitzer Prize-winning print journalism career, he revealed a surprising fact to Stewart, one that may shock anyone who’s seen any bit of his Fox News appearances: He was once a liberal.

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“So the early writings showed hope,” Stewart said.

“And then came change,” Krauthammer deadpanned.

While Krauthammer admitted the success of the social programs established with the New Deal, he argued that they needed to change in order to remain successful in the face of changing demographics and technology. A reasonable position that Stewart didn’t deny, but countered with the reality of the modern Republican Party, which he characterized as being controlled by nihilists with a dislike of government and no incentive to govern responsibly.

Of course, Krauthammer disagreed with Stewart’s characterization of the party, embodied by Sen. Ted Cruz. But for every Cruz that was brought up, Krauthammer responded with an Alan Grayson.

The discussion lasted just one segment on “The Daily Show,” but was quite lengthy online, and contained many good points for both liberalism and conservatism. A nice change from the shoutfests you often find on cable news.


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