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A 2004 Clip Of Jon Stewart Roasting Tucker Carlson To His Face Has Gone Viral

“You have a responsibility to the public discourse and you fail miserably.” — Stewart said during an appearance on Carlson’s former CNN show, “Crossfire.”

Right: Comedian and former host of "The Daily Show" Jon Stewart appears on CNN's "Crossfire" with hosts Tucker Carlson (left) and Paul Begala. | Twitter/ @Keithedwards
Right: Comedian and former host of "The Daily Show" Jon Stewart appears on CNN's "Crossfire" with hosts Tucker Carlson (left) and Paul Begala. | Twitter/ @Keithedwards

A clip of comedian Jon Stewart confronting TV host Tucker Carlson to his face has resurfaced online, showing Stewart calling Carlson out for his dangerous rhetoric that would continue to plague cable television for years to come. 

The clip is from an October 2004 episode of Carlson’s former show “Crossfire” that he co-hosted with Paul Begala on CNN. Stewart, who at the time hosted Comedy Central’s trailblazing political satire program “The Daily Show,” was welcomed as a guest on “Crossfire” to promote his book “America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction.” During the appearance, Stewart told the hosts he was a daily viewer of their show, calling it “painful to watch” and “not honest.”

“This is theater, it’s obvious,” Stewart said to Carlson. “You’re doing theater when you should be doing debate, which would be great.”

“We do debate,” Begala said. 

“It’s not honest. What you do is not honest,” Stewart said. “What you do is partisan hackery.” 

After the jab, Carlson tried to point out Stewart’s show is not much different, to which “The Daily Show” host responded: “You’re on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls. What is wrong with you?”

Carlson tried to hit back at Stewart by calling him then- Sen. John Kerry’s “butt boy” when Stewart hosted the Democratic presidential candidate on his show. 

“You have a responsibility to the public discourse and you fail miserably,” Stewart responded. “When you have people on for just knee jerk, reactionary talk —”

“I thought you were gonna be funny,” Carlson interrupted. 

“No, I’m not going to be your monkey,” Stewart said. 

At one point, Carlson cuts to a commercial break as Stewart is heard saying “please, stop” in the background. 

In 2015, Begala wrote in an op-ed for CNN that Stewart’s appearance “blew up” his show, which was cancelled three months later. The network didn’t renew Carlson’s contract, but Begala continues to work as a contributor for CNN. In his op-ed, Begala called Stewart “both the smartest funnyman on TV and the funniest smart man on TV.” 

Stewart’s name was trending Wednesday on Twitter after the clip circulated. The video has gained more than 2.3 million views in 24 hours. The former host even noticed:

The 17-year-old video served as a precursor to Carlson’s move to Fox News, where he currently uses his popular show “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” as an outlet to spread dangerous conspiracy theories and hatred. Last month, he encouraged people to call child protective services when they see a child wearing a face mask, and suggested that COVID-19 vaccines don’t actually work. Carlson has also called white supremacy in the U.S. a “hoax.” 

Many people applauded Stewart for confronting Carlson at the time and pointed out the clip being just as relevant today:

Watch the entire interaction here:

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