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.
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:
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The Senate bill "would increase the number of people without health insurance by 22 million by 2026, a figure that is only slightly lower than the 23 million more uninsured that the House version would create. Next year, 15 million more people would be uninsured compared with current law...The legislation would decrease federal deficits by a total of $321 billion over a decade."