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Tucker Carlson Rips Jon Stewart Repeatedly (VIDEO)

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Tucker Carlson repeatedly blasted Jon Stewart for his grilling of Jim Cramer on "The Daily Show" last Thursday. Carlson, appearing on CNN's "Reliable Sources," called Stewart a "partisan hack," just an operative for the Democratic party, who only took on Cramer and CNBC because they criticized President Obama's budget. Carlson also predicted that Stewart was becoming "so self-serious and sanctimonious that it's just a matter of time before he becomes unfunny."

Carlson's two co-panelists disagreed with him, and Howard Kurtz played the now legendary clip of Stewart going on Carlson's old show "Crossfire" and chastising the hosts for hurting America.

Watch clips of Carlson's appearance on "Reliable Sources" below. (Transcipt below)

KURTZ: So Stephanie, do you see Jon Stewart as somebody who is just, you know, keeping the Democratic administration off limits, and that his comedy is one-sided, as Tucker suggests?

MILLER: I don't think so. I mean, I think that, you know, "The Daily Show" has historically taken on both sides and made fun of both sides. He clearly is on one side of the ideological divide. But Tucker, I spent time with you, and you are delightful, may I just say. I would not use the word "hack" about you, but you hosted the right side of a "CROSSFIRE" show. You're saying you're not a partisan?

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: No, I was the right-winger. I wasn't there speaking on behalf of the stupid Republican Party, which I've never been involved in. I'm not my team, right or wrong. I believe in certain ideas.

MILLER: Right. But for you to call Jon Stewart partisan, you know...

CARLSON: No, I think Jon Stewart is dishonest. And by the way, I also think he's a sacred cow. There's nobody who has the huevos to attacks Jon Stewart because he's too popular. The press sucks up to him like I've never seen -- it's like Oprah. Jon Stewart, all the kids watch Jon Stewart. He's brilliant. I would like to see somebody have the stones to come out and say, Jon Stewart's kind of a pompous jerk, actually.

ZURAWIK: But he's not. That's why people aren't saying it.

CARLSON: But he is!

Full Transcript

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": Jim Cramer, I apologize. That was out of context. Technically, you were correct, you weren't suggesting to buy Bear Stearns. That was something that you did five days earlier in your buy or sell segment.

JIM CRAMER, HOST, "MAD MONEY": I believe in the Bear franchise.

You know what? At $69, I'm not giving up on the thing.

STEWART: Yeah!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Cramer, who also criticized President Obama's policies and got dissed by spokesman Robert Gibbs, defended himself on the "Today"

show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEREDITH VIEIRA, "TODAY": You know, the White House is not the only one who has come down on you, Jim. Jon Stewart and you are having a little war on words.

CRAMER: Oh, a comedian -- a comedian is attacking me. Wow! He runs a variety show.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: And then, late this week, the face-off between the funnyman and the "Mad Money" man.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: CNBC could be an incredibly powerful tool of illumination.

CRAMER: My first reaction is, absolutely, we could do better. Absolutely. There are shenanigans, and we should call them out.

I had a lot of CEOs lie to me on the show. It's very painful. I don't have subpoena power.

STEWART: But you're pretending that you are an innocent. Listen, you knew what the banks were doing and yet, were touting it for months and months. The entire network was. And so now to pretend that this was some sort of crazy, once-in-a-lifetime tsunami that nobody could have seen coming is disingenuous, at best, and criminal at worst.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: So, who won? Who was left for roadkill? And what is this feud doing to CNBC's reputation?

Joining us now in Los Angeles, Stephanie Miller, host of the nationally syndicated "Stephanie Miller Show." And here in Washington, David Zurawik, television critic for "The Baltimore Sun" and writes "Z on TV" blog. And Tucker Carlson, commentator and a contributor to "The Daily Beast."

All right. Stephanie Miller, let's face it, Jim Cramer was playing on Jon Stewart's home court. So how do you score this basic cable showdown?

STEPHANIE MILLER, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED TALK SHOW HOST: Well, this a technical term, Howard, but kind of an ass-kicking is I think what took place there.

KURTZ: Who did the kicking?

MILLER: I mean, something -- Jon Stewart, for sure. I mean, something has gone awry in our country, Howard, when, you know, a financial guy is screaming and throwing pies on television and a comedian is giving really cogent economic analysis. I think there's only one thing that's going to come from this, and I think we have to look at Carrot Top to solve the Middle East crisis.

KURTZ: All right.

Tucker Carlson...

MILLER: Hillary Clinton, for the good of the country, must step down, Howard.

KURTZ: Tucker Carlson, I want to play more a little bit more and get your opinion on the other side. You've tangled with Jon Stewart.

We'll get to that a little later in the show.

Let's play another bite from that interview on "The Daily Show."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: I understand you want to make finance entertaining, but it's not a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) game. And I -- when I watch that, I get

-- I can't tell you how angry that makes me.

CRAMER: Jon, don't you want guys like me who have been in it to show the shenanigans? Who else can I do? I'm not Eric Sevareid, I'm not Edward R. Murrow. I'm a guy trying to do an entertainment show about business for people to watch.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Did Jon Stewart prove his case against Jim Cramer?

TUCKER CARLSON, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: Can you imagine Jim Cramer sitting there and taking a sanctimonious lecture from Jon Stewart? Yes, I mean, Cramer was craven and sweaty and pathetic, I'm sure his wife was ashamed of the behavior, the butt-sniffing he gave Jon Stewart.

But Jon Stewart, let's be honest, this was a partisan attack. He went after Cramer the moment Cramer criticized Obama's budget. That was the mortal sin. That's what kicked off this entire feud.

KURTZ: You don't buy the notion that Jon Stewart is angry? I mean, Jon Stewart's been...

CARLSON: Of course he's angry. And he's angry about a lot of things.

KURTZ: Right.

CARLSON: But look, was Jim Cramer the only analyst to call it wrong...

KURTZ: No.

CARLSON: ... to, you know, come up with stupid stock picks? Of course not. He criticized Obama's budget, and that's what started this, because in the end, Jon Stewart is a partisan hack.

KURTZ: Let me -- we'll come back to that point, but I want to get David Zurawik in.

I want to play one more piece of tape which shows Jim Cramer. A lot of people were surprised that he didn't fight back very much. Let's roll that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRAMER: I'm a big fan of the show.

I'm sorry, you're absolutely right.

You're right. I don't want to personalize it. I'm trying. I'm trying. And I got a lot of things wrong.

What else can I do? I'll do that. I wish I had done a better job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID ZURAWIK, TELEVISION CRITIC, "THE BALTIMORE SUN": Howie, he was pathetic. It just got more and more pathetic.

If you looked at body language, almost every shot, you had Stewart coming over the desk and Cramer going like this through the whole thing.

You know, he really thought -- I think he came on thinking he could do a showbiz schmooze and get out of this, and it would be some jokes and they'd be out of there. And Stewart set him up, in some ways, where he said, oh, it was just pies being thrown and some schmutz got on your suit, blah, blah, blah. And I think Cramer thought it's going to be OK.

But when he said, you know, guys made good calls and bad calls, and I think that something he said may be set him off, or maybe he was just doing a brilliant piece of argumentation, Stewart, the way he set it up. But first, he said this is not entertainment. You know, this is -- you've abrogated any journalistic responsibility. But by the end of it, he was accusing them, CNBC and Cramer, of dishonesty, of knowing there was this...

(CROSSTALK)

KURTZ: Right. Yes. That's what I was really surprised, that Cramer said, we didn't know, and if I had known, I would have blown the whistle.

And by the way, Jim Cramer did criticize CNBC's Rick Santelli for that rant against President Obama. That got cut out in the editing.

Stephanie, does Jon Stewart try to have it both ways -- hey I'm just a comic, I'm an entertainer, we're here to have a good time, but here's my serious social commentary?

MILLER: Well, if he does have it both ways, he does it very well.

And Tucker, I think you're wrong on that. This did not start because he criticized -- because Cramer criticized Obama. This started

-- you know, he was just doing a rant against CNBC. Jim Cramer was included.

It was because of Santelli going off on the American homeowner that Stewart took them to task. So I don't think it had anything to do with Obama or that policy.

CARLSON: Well, Santelli wasn't going off on the American homeowner, of course. He was going off on Obama and Obama's policies. And that's

-- that's the point here.

Look, Jon Stewart is a political player. He's a partisan. He is speaking on behalf of the Democratic Party. And in so doing, becoming, I think -- I mean, he's smart, he's talented, but he's becoming so self-serious and sanctimonious, that it's just a matter of time before it becomes unfunny.

I mean, this is the fate of all kinds of comedians. This is the fate of Lenny Bruce, and it will happen. You watch.

ZURAWIK: Honestly, Tucker, with all due respect, I think it's a horrible mistake to look at this through that kind of ideological prism.

You know, back in October, on this show, we were going after Cramer for this. This -- and what we were going after him for is essentially what Stewart talked about. It is that the job of journalism is to give citizens the information that they can use to make good decisions, sound decisions about their like.

CNBC, Cramer, Santelli, that whole crew, is doing the opposite in a time of crisis. They're giving us bad information. Thank God Stewart went after him.

KURTZ: Well, hold on. Hold on.

They're not just giving us bad information. You can take videotape and say they were wrong on this, Cramer was wrong on Bear Stearns, but they also do a lot of reporting.

CARLSON: Yes.

KURTZ: You seem to object when anybody wants to have a good time or jazz things up to make people watch. It's television!

ZURAWIK: It's television, Howie, but really, would you not say we're in a time of crisis and people are looking to us, as the press -- this is the other reason that people don't like us in the press. They say, oh, I'm going to come and get some information, and instead they get clown show Cramer up there.

CARLSON: Wait a second.

ZURAWIK: And I think -- honestly, I think it is so dangerous right now, in this democracy, for us not to be able to know where we can get that information in the press. And obviously you would turn to a financial new network in an economic crisis.

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: Howard...

KURTZ: One second.

CARLSON: Wait a second. I'm not defending CNBC or its bad calls, but you are not even commenting upon the demagoguery of Jon Stewart, who is posing as if CNBC is single-handedly responsible for the recession, which it is not.

You will never see Jon Stewart criticize the economic policies of the administration. He is acting on their behalf. He is looking through an ideological lens as he sees it.

KURTZ: I want to come back...

MILLER: Excuse me...

KURTZ: Go ahead, Stephanie.

MILLER: Tucker, may I just say, first of all, Jon Stewart is very, very funny. He is not losing his funny. You know, the best comedy is based on truth, and he is tell the truth and he's being funny doing it.

So...

CARLSON: Are you serious? "This is very serious," says Jon. "This is very serious."

Oh, lighten up, pal.

MILLER: I disagree. He's still very funny.

CARLSON: That's not funny.

KURTZ: All right. I think we need to put on the table what Jon Stewart did. Actually, he came on this show in 2002, and he did a rant about CNN, and you're the news, don't be entertainment, you've got to help us.

Then he went on your old show, "CROSSFIRE," the now defunct CNN program, "CROSSFIRE."

Let's play a little bit of that from 2004.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: It's not honest. What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery.

The interesting thing that I have is, you have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you failed miserably.

CARLSON: You need to go to get a job at a journalism school, I think.

STEWART: You need to go to one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: So you've been on the receiving end of a Jon Stewart lecture, clearly.

CARLSON: Yes.

KURTZ: And does that color your view at all of his perspicacity?

CARLSON: It's all the same. I mean, to call me a partisan hack is ludicrous.

KURTZ: Well, you are partisan.

CARLSON: I'm the least partisan person I know. I have zero interest in party politics, zero interest. I've spent half of my life attacking Republicans.

I'm an ideologue, truly. I have ideas that are distinct from partisan politics. Jon Stewart, that was the same year that he had John Kerry on his show, one of the very few people to be able to interview John Kerry, and sniffed his throne, sucked up to him. Questions like, "Why are you so wonderful?" "Why are they so mean to you?"

He's the one who's abrogating his responsibility to inform his viewers, who, by the way, actually believe him.

KURTZ: Oh, there's no question that Jon Stewart, in terms of his personal views, falls on the liberal side of the spectrum.

But now that Obama's president, I want to play this for you, Stephanie Miller. He's been making some jokes about the new president.

Let roll a little bit of that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEWART: All right. Hope. There you go, nice agenda. Solid, confident, definitely...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Health care reform cannot wait. It must not wait. And it will not wait another year.

STEWART: OK. Easy there, fellow. Let's just keep our feet on the ground here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: OK. We cut that off too soon. I didn't get to the joke.

The joke was he was -- let's just say he took exception to the Obama's notion about a cure for cancer in our time.

So Stephanie, do you see Jon Stewart as somebody who is just, you know, keeping the Democratic administration off limits, and that his comedy is one-sided, as Tucker suggests?

MILLER: I don't think so. I mean, I think that, you know, "The Daily Show" has historically taken on both sides and made fun of both sides. He clearly is on one side of the ideological divide.

But Tucker, I spent time with you, and you are delightful, may I just say. I would not use the word "hack" about you, but you hosted the right side of a "CROSSFIRE" show. You're saying you're not a partisan?

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: No, I was the right-winger. I wasn't there speaking on behalf of the stupid Republican Party, which I've never been involved in. I'm not my team, right or wrong. I believe in certain ideas.

MILLER: Right. But for you to call Jon Stewart partisan, you know...

CARLSON: No, I think Jon Stewart is dishonest. And by the way, I also think he's a sacred cow. There's nobody who has the huevos to attacks Jon Stewart because he's too popular.

The press sucks up to him like I've never seen -- it's like Oprah.

Jon Stewart, all the kids watch Jon Stewart. He's brilliant. I would like to see somebody have the stones to come out and say, Jon Stewart's kind of a pompous jerk, actually.

ZURAWIK: But he's not. That's why people aren't saying it.

CARLSON: But he is!

ZURAWIK: Tucker, all last week -- this is what you do. This is "CROSSFIRE." Jon Stewart's watching and saying...

(CROSSTALK)

KURTZ: Go ahead.

ZURAWIK: All I'm trying to say is it is a dangerous mistake to try to dismiss it the way you are. And this is, by the way, what conservatives have done to the press, is say, oh, you can't trust them because they're liberal.

This was not about political ideology. He was helping, literally, do the job for the press. Look, it doesn't make me happy that we can do this back in October and it doesn't have the kind of traction it does when he did it.

CARLSON: Are you serious?

ZURAWIK: Yes. Yes.

CARLSON: Is Jim Cramer responsible for the meltdown? That's not journalism. That's demagoguery.

ZURAWIK: He didn't say they're responsible for the meltdown. He said CNBC and Jim Cramer and Rick Santelli are not doing their job as journalists. That's what he said.

KURTZ: Let me get in here, because I want to give you my two cents. And that is, you know, Jon Stewart is, in my view, a razor sharp media critic, and he cares passionately about this stuff. You see that on the air. I've talked to him off the air.

But he is a satirist. People are calling him the next Edward R.

Murrow. He is under no obligation to be fair. He's under no obligation to give the other side and to give context. And the notion that Jim Cramer and/or CNBC are single-handedly responsible for blowing the biggest financial story of the past decade is totally unfair, because they had plenty of help from the rest of the financial press that had bits and pieces of the story but failed to put the whole thing together.

I do think one thing, though. I do think that we, in our business, can learn something from the way that Jon Stewart calls people out.

Tucker thinks Jon does it unfairly, but he does have a way of cutting clue the clutter and using clips to show when people were wrong. And I think we need more of that.

I want to get to one more point before we break, and that is -- I guess it was on Thursday Bernard Madoff, the scam artist who is responsible for a $60 billion fraud, he was down at the federal courthouse in Manhattan. Let's roll some tape of that.

He -- the victims were interviewed. And I just wonder David -- you're a TV critic -- was this kind of a cathartic moment? In other words, everybody -- all the big Wall Street institutions that screwed the American public with their risky behavior, they're kind of faceless institutions. But here's Madoff, and here's television going off on Madoff because he became the face of this.

ZURAWIK: Well, absolutely. Absolutely.

In television, you know, you've got a great new show if you can provide catharsis at the end of it. You're doing what the Greeks did.

This is great.

They did. But honestly, I thought in many ways newspapers and television, too -- you know, "The Baltimore Sun" that day had a front page interview with a victim. I watched CNN, and they had some people in a trailer park in Arizona who couldn't leave the trailer park because of money.

I think this was a good thing. Humanize that story and show the suffering that this guy caused. And we haven't covered two percent of the suffering this guy caused.

KURTZ: Right, although the victims who put their life savings with one guy's fund I think were not acting responsibly as well.

All right.

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