By Alexa Erickson, Collective Evolution
Recently, former media commentator Jon Stewart made a surprise appearance on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show. He popped up from beneath Colbert’s desk upon hearing the phrase “fake news.”
Colbert was in the middle of discussing the controversial issue of Donald Trump banning certain media from press briefings, saying, “And the root of all this conflict is that Donald Trump calls any story he doesn’t like ‘fake news.’ ”
The comedy unraveled for a bit, as Colbert addressed Stewart’s sudden presence.
“It’s always great to see you, but I gotta ask,” Colbert said, “How did you get under my desk?
“I have a tunnel,” the former host of the Daily Show replied.
“A tunnel that I’ve, uh, built, straight from my farm.”
Colbert then gave Stewart a chair, posing a question that would unravel some serious truths.
“Jon, what do you think about Trump banning mainstream media from that briefing?” asked Colbert.
“I can’t believe the guy’s got the balls,” Stewart answered. “Let me say this, I can’t believe the guy’s got the BALLS to get away with that. Trump lies more in one press conference than CNN does in a year.”
Stewart supported his argument with several clips exposing Trump’s lying behaviour, including one in which Trump claimed the U.S. murder rate is currently the highest it’s been in 47 years. Trump had called out the media in the clip, saying their surprise over such information was a result of reporters not doing their jobs. But Stewart offered another explanation.
“No, they were SURPRISED… Because it’s not true. It’s now the lowest it’s been in 45 years.”
Even Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, pointed out Trump’s false statement, noting that U.S. crime rates “remain near historic lows” and murder rates are half of what they were in 1980.
Stewart said he could tell Trump was purposefully lying because he constantly uses the phrase “believe me,” and this instance was no exception. According to Stewart, people who are telling the truth don’t need to offer such assurances.
Colbert then provoked Stewart to address last week’s off-camera White House briefing, when Sean Spicer banned journalists from seven major media outlets.
“Do you agree with me that Trump banning any members of the media is un-American?” Colbert asked.
“I say stop your whining, press,” Stewart answered. “Can I talk to the media for a moment?”
Stewart then looked directly into the camera, softening his voice, and speaking candidly to the media like he was a friend offering some necessary advice:
Hey guys. Hey media. So, I heard Donald Trump broke up with you. Stings a little, doesn’t it? Finally thought you’d met your match: a blabber mouth who’s as thin-skinned and narcissistic as you are. Well, now it’s over. Well, good riddance I say! Kick him to the curb, media! It is time to get your groove back, media. ‘Cos let’s face facts: You kind of let yourself go a little bit for these past few years.
Stewart then challenged the media to reflect on how they covered Trump before, during, and after the election: “This breakup with Donald Trump has given you, the media, an amazing opportunity for self-reflection and improvement,” he said. “Instead of worrying whether Trump is un-American, or if he thinks you’re the enemy, or if he’s being mean to you, or if he’s going to let you go back into the briefings—do something for yourself. Self-improvement! Take up a hobby: I recommend journalism.”
Watch the full clip below: