Obama does the Daily Show
I agree entirely with Jonah Goldberg’s viewing of the Obama/Jon Stewart interview:
I apologize for not focusing on this pressing matter earlier, but I’ve only just now actually watched the apparently infamous "dude" scene from Obama’s Daily Show appearance. I think everyone’s missing the most revealing part of the exchange (including Dana Milbank). Look, I think calling the president "dude" is inappropriate in almost all circumstances. But one of the circumstances where it’s not is on the Daily Show. You accept an invitation to be on the Daily Show, you should not be shocked that it’s the Daily Show when you get there.
(If anything, I wish Stewart was more consistent. Whenever he’s criticized for his substantive opining he responds "I’m just a comedian." Well, if you’re just a comedian, stay a comedian. The truth is he switches hats and tone depending on the guest — a lot.)
What’s interesting — and obvious by my lights — is that Obama barely even noticed the "dude." He was stung by the fact that Stewart — and the audience — clearly busted the president saying something politically very stupid. Saying that Summers did a "heckuva job" — on the Daily Show! — was a real blunder. Obama is clearly embarrassed that he got busted saying it. And rather than laugh with the audience and at himself he says, entirely unconvincingly, "pun intended."
No it wasn’t. For the record, it wasn’t even a pun.
That surprised me, too – much more than Stewart calling the Commander in Chief “dude” which I doubt I would have thought twice about had I not already read so much “dude” focused commentary. I was also very disappointed that Stewart didn’t bring up DADT, DOMA, or anything in regard to foreign policy. I realize we’re headed into an election, and this is heavy stuff that might tick off liberals and potential Democratic voters, but I thought Stewart would at least mention some of these contentious issues.
As a side note, I probably won’t watch the Stewart/Colbert rallies this weekend – I can think of a number of ways I’d rather spend my afternoon on Halloween weekend. I do wonder if they can make the events as funny as their shows. I know that at previous events like this – such as their joint coverage of the 2008 elections – much of the humor fell flat on its face. I think both Stewart and Colbert are wonderfully funny most of the time, but when they get out of their element – out of the comfort zone of their shows – sometimes it can be a pretty big let down.