Thursday, May 12, 2016

Frank Rich, Hillary Clinton's tears, etc. The comedians tag. Liberals used to complain about political commentary as theater criticism. Now they don't.

AXELROD: Talk to be about Hillary Clinton as an opponent to him, and what...
STEWART: I've never run against her, so I don't...
AXELROD: ...what would you be saying about her if you were doing your show right now?
STEWART: What I think about Hillary Clinton is, you know, I imagine to be a very bright woman without the courage of her convictions because I'm not even sure what they are. So, I would suggest that, when I watch her campaign - - when I watch her campaign, it reminds me of -- and again, I'm throwing out references that mean absolutely nothing to anybody, so I will continue to do that -- she reminds me of Magic Johnson's talk show, and I won't say anything else.
AXELROD: You had that thought too, huh?
STEWART: If you ever watch Magic Johnson's tele-- Magic Johnson was a charming individual, but he wasn't a talk show host, and when you watched his show you could almost see Arsenio's advice to him, in real time rendering, so he would sit and he would go, "Uh, my first guest tonight -- Oh, Arsenio said, enthusiasm is something that's sell is -- "my first guess tonight is Cher, everybody." But he never seemed authentic and real to his personality. It seemed like he was wearing an outfit designed by someone else for someone else to be someone else, and that is not to say that she is not preferable to Donald Trump, because at this point, I would vote for Mr. T over Donald Trump. But, I think she will be in big trouble if she can't find a way, and maybe I'm wrong. Maybe a real person doesn't exist underneath there. I don't know.
AXELROD: You worked -- you dabbled on the government side when you were advocating for the Zadroga Act for 9/11 survivors. Did you work with her, when she was Senator of New York, on that?
STEWART: No.
AXELROD: So you never had any...
STEWART: I worked with Kirsten Gillibrand.
AXELROD: Mm-hmm. I see. So, she was out of the Senate by then.
STEWART: She's terrific. Kirsten Gillibrand is terrific.
AXELROD: So, Hillary was out of the Senate by then. Now, you must've had her on your show. STEWART: Yes.
AXELROD: And what was that like?
STEWART: Really cool. It's -- look, there are politicians who are either rendering their inauthenticity in real enough time to appear authentic, and then there are politicians who render their inauthenticity through -- it's like when your computer -- you want to play -- if you have a MAC and you want to play a Microsoft game on it...
AXELROD: Yes, yes.
STEWART: ...and there's that weird lag.
AXELROD: Yes. No, I mean...
STEWART: That's Hillary Clinton.
AXELROD: ...that's big problem. There's like a seven second delay and all the words come out in a perfectly... STEWART: Right.
AXELROD: ...politically calibrated sentence.
STEWART: Right. Now, what gives me hope in that is that there's a delay, which means she's somehow fighting something. I've seen politicians who don't have that delay and render their inauthenticity in real time and that's when you go, "That's a sociopath."
AXELROD: That's an uplifting message there. The...
STEWART: By the way, as far as uplifting messages, I have never in my life experienced what I experienced in my one day of lobbying down in Washington, D.C.
AXELROD: Yeah, I want to ask you about...
STEWART: And let me just say, like for however I painted it on the show, it's so much worse than you could possibly imagine. It is a cesspool. There are some good people trying to survive within the lava, but it's a f---ing horror show. No disrespect.
AXELROD: No. STEWART: There is...
AXELROD: Just the fact that you're at the Institute of Politics where we're trying to encourage young people to get into the public arena.
STEWART: Can I say this? Get into it and don't get it on you. I've never -- I was down there with firefighters who had spent a year on the smoldering remains of the World Trade Center. The guy that I was with, Ray Pfeifer, had a titanium rod in his leg that was breaking because of the metastasized cancer that was roiling through it that he got from being on the pile. We had the scientific evidence with us. You cannot imagine the disrespect, the lack of compassion, that was exhibited towards this man and this cause by individuals in higher ogce. It was -- I will never recover from it.
AXELROD: So, here's my -- here's my theory, because I can't sit in front of a thousand young people and not say this; you know, you have to -- if you turn away, and you walk away from this and you just seed -- seed all of that to the people you're talking about, you're going to get what you get and it seems to me that there's some obligation to go in there and try and change it. You say go in there and don't get it on you...
STEWART: Yes.
AXELROD: ...but, we need that. We need that. We need that. No, but this is the most public spirited...
STEWART: When I say, "Don't get it on you" I don't mean, don't engage. I mean, take appropriate precautions, wear a HAZMAT suit. Bring your ideals. Whenever I speak to -- and we used to do this thing every year where we'd bring the press secretaries for all the Senate and all the House people that wanted to come in and they would say to me, "So, what can my candidate to have a successful appearance on your show?" And I would say, "He could, or she could, say what she thinks about the issues concerning America."
AXELROD: And he says, "Is there any other way to do it?"
STEWART: But they would say, "But what should I tell them? What works best?" "When people say what they believe." "What's that?" And honestly, like, I know you think that I'm being hyperbolic. I recognize that you don't understand this. I am not -- they are as unaware of their own machinations as you could possibly imagine. It's -- and I'm not even saying its malevolence.

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