Jon Stewart hasn't appeared in front of very many cameras since stepping down as host of The Daily Show in 2015, but when he has, it's usually been for his old friend Stephen Colbert. On Monday night, Stewart stopped by The Late Show to address the White House's decision to ban CNN, The New York Times, Politico, the Los Angeles Times and BuzzFeed from an informal press briefing on Friday. More specifically, he told the media: "Stop your whining."
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First, Stewart took viewers on a brief tour of some of President Donald Trump's most recent lies, like when he said he enjoyed the largest Electoral College victory since Reagan (his excuse was that he had been fed the misinformation), or when he said the murder rate is the highest it's been in 47 years, or when he said he is “the least anti-Semitic person you’ve ever seen in your entire life." A surefire way to tell if Trump is lying, Stewart says, is to listen for when he says, "Believe me." He has done this a lot, as The Late Show demonstrated with a montage.
Despite Trump's repeated lies, Stewart feels the press needs to buck up. So concerned is the former Daily Show host that he turned directly to the camera and addressed members of the media as if they were friends trapped in an abusive relationship. The press wants Trump, they need Trump, they can't imagine life without Trump—and yet Trump treats the press like shit. The cord needs to be cut. “The whole time you’re chasing after Donny," said Stewart, "the rest of us are thinking, ‘Can’t you see he’s an asshole?'"
“This breakup with Donald Trump has given you, the media, an amazing opportunity for self-reflection and improvement," he continued. "Instead of worrying about 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 back into the briefings, do something for yourself. Self-improvement. Take up a hobby. I recommend journalism.”
Colbert then asked Stewart if he really thinks the press will use this opportunity for self-reflection.
"I really do," Stewart said. "Believe me."
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