Jon Stewart: Unlikely Conservative Hero?

The comedian has been critical of the Obamacare website rollout. And with Stewart’s young audience, this could prove problematic for the president.

President Obama appearance on The Daily Show with host Jon Stewart on Oct. 18, 2012.
National Journal
Matt Vasilogambros
Oct. 22, 2013, 6:26 a.m.

There’s an un­likely me­dia hero for con­ser­vat­ives fol­low­ing the stumbled rol­lout of the Obama­care web­site: Com­edy Cent­ral’s Jon Stew­art.

Stew­art, whose top­ic­al polit­ic­al rants have made him a fa­vor­ite among lib­er­als, in re­cent weeks has been an hon­est and harsh crit­ic of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion for its im­ple­ment­a­tion of the pres­id­ent’s sig­na­ture health care le­gis­la­tion.

His latest show Monday even­ing is now mak­ing the rounds among con­ser­vat­ive circles as a poin­ted take­down of the health care web­site’s mal­func­tions and Obama’s at­tempt to “pol­ish this turd.”

“Yes, ap­par­ently the Health­care.gov web­site has 99 prob­lems, but a glitch is all of them,” Stew­art said.

Sev­er­al con­ser­vat­ive voices, in­clud­ing The Blaze and Fox Na­tion, linked to Stew­art’s seg­ment. It also re­ceived some Twit­ter at­ten­tion from Re­pub­lic­an groups, as well.

And two weeks ago, it was Stew­art again whom con­ser­vat­ive me­dia hosts, pun­dits, and politi­cians alike cited after his in­ter­view with Health and Hu­man Ser­vices Sec­ret­ary Kath­leen Se­beli­us. There, Stew­art asked sev­er­al dif­fi­cult ques­tions of the ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial lead­ing the health care rol­lout, in­clud­ing why a one-year delay was gran­ted for some busi­nesses and not for in­di­vidu­als. Se­beli­us walked around many of the ques­tions, and con­ser­vat­ives jumped on it.

Dur­ing his con­ten­tious in­ter­view with MS­N­BC’s An­drea Mitchell on Oct. 8, Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., cited the comedi­an:

One is­sue we have, the me­dia won’t ask the ques­tion about why are you treat­ing fam­il­ies dif­fer than big busi­ness. You need Jon Stew­art on Com­edy Cent­ral to ask Sec­ret­ary Se­beli­us, ‘Hey, why won’t you treat these two equally?’ and she won’t an­swer it. That’s how pathet­ic news re­port­ing has come when they won’t ask tough ques­tions to the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

To be clear, Stew­art is not al­ways a sup­port­er of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion. In sev­er­al shows, he’s gone after Demo­crats for ap­par­ent in­com­pet­ence or hy­po­crisy.

But with Stew­art’s young­er audi­ence — a Pew poll in Septem­ber 2012 found that 39 per­cent of The Daily Show‘s view­ers are un­der 30 — this con­tin­ued badger­ing could be prob­lem­at­ic for the pres­id­ent. That same demo­graph­ic, Amer­ic­ans ages 18-29, were split on how well the health care ex­changes were work­ing on­line — 37 per­cent both say­ing it went well and went poorly, ac­cord­ing to a new Pew poll.

And the very people whom the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion needs to sign up for health care ex­changes are young, healthy people.

Watch the video from Monday night:

What We're Following See More »
BIG CHANGE FROM WHEN HE SELF-FINANCED
Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
10 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Variety Looks at How Michelle Obama Has Leveraged Pop Culture
11 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

“My view is, first you get them to laugh, then you get them to listen," says Michelle Obama in a new profile in Variety. "So I’m always game for a good joke, and I’m not so formal in this role. There’s very little that we can’t do that people wouldn’t appreciate.” According to writer Ted Johnson, Mrs. Obama has leveraged the power of pop culture far beyond her predecessors. "Where are the people?" she asks. "Well, they’re not reading the op-ed pieces in the major newspapers. They’re not watching Sunday morning news talk shows. They’re doing what most people are doing: They are watching TV.”

Source:
QUESTIONS OVER IMMIGRATION POLICY
Trump Cancels Rallies
18 hours ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.

Source:
‘STRATEGY AND MESSAGING’
Sean Hannity Is Also Advising Trump
1 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”

Source:
THE SHAKE-UP CONTINUES
RNC’s Spicer to Work from Trump HQ
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump's campaign and the Republican party will coordinate more closely going forward, with the GOP's top communicator and chief strategist Sean Spicer increasingly working out of Trump campaign headquarters, the campaign confirmed Sunday."

Source:
×