Jon Stewart had a lively discussion with Fox Business host Judge Andrew Napolitano on his Thursday show.
Napolitano is an avowed libertarian, and one of Stewart's favorite themes is the virtues of government, so sparks flew immediately between the two.
"Government exists to take away rights," Napolitano said by way of an opening. "...We have natural rights by virtue of our humanity, and government negates those rights." Stewart said that he sees government as an often "benevolent force" that enhances freedom through things like roads and the social safety net.
Napolitano disagreed, saying that government should not be in the business of picking "winners and losers" through things like a social safety net, or bailouts for banks. "The free market" should do those things, he said. "So what should we do with the losers that are picked by the free market?" Stewart asked. He told Napolitano he was troubled by his take on life because it clashed with his view that "everybody's success is predicated on the hard work of all of us."
A minute later, Napolitano startled Stewart by agreeing completely with his seemingly baited question about whether he viewed government as an inherent evil. "it is an inherent evil!" he said. "You're not pushing me where I don't want to go." Stewart laughed out loud.
In the extended, web-only portion of the chat, Stewart told Napolitano it was "insane" to trust a corporation more than the government, and seemed downright crestfallen at the Judge's view that, if the government stopped regulating the health care market, "we would be able to go to health care facilities that would be as plentiful and inexpensive as Starbucks."