Entertainment

Jon Stewart Gets Candid: ‘We’re Still the Same Country’

Admits faults of the Left while also defending Trump voters

The former host of “The Daily Show” may not be in the public eye as much as he once was, but he’s still got an opinion — and that opinion seems far more candid and middle-of-the-road than it used to be.

While Jon Stewart was once the comedic television host beloved by the Left, in a recent chat with The New York Times Stewart set his sights beyond the political Right.

“Obama has been in office for eight years and I don’t know about you, but it seems like there’s still s*** to do,” Stewart told Editor Chris Smith. The conversation was meant to promote the new book, “The Daily Show: An Oral History.”

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Stewart added, “There’s a lot of s*** that I didn’t agree with. I thought they [the Obama administration] were terrible for press freedom.”

Stewart even admitted some hypocrisy in the Left’s treatment of President Obama versus his counterparts. “There will be real victims of the policies over the next four years, but there were real victims — like Barack Obama’s administration deported more people than any in history,” Stewart said. “That was real and whether we took comfort in the fact that he was one of the good guys that did that, real people paid a price for that. And you have to care about that, even if it’s one of your guys that did that.”

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Stewart, who was a vocal critic of Donald Trump during the presidential campaign, also got honest about Hillary Clinton and her qualifications. He admitted that Clinton “was an unqualified secretary of state because of the way she handled classified material.”

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And while the former television host had plenty of criticisms to throw Trump’s way as well, he also condemned many on the Left and in the media for their treatment of Trump voters. In regard to Trump supporters being called racist or misogynistic, Stewart said, “This has to stop.”

He added, “This idea that we’re all … that our team is perfect and the other team is demons. And this is not like a ‘Kumbaya, let’s all get along.'”

Stewart continued defending Trump voters and got fired up in the face of the media’s condemnation of them. “I’ll say this, I know a lot of first responders. I spent a lot of time in that community. A s***load of them voted for Trump. The same people that voted for Trump ran into burning buildings and saved whoever the f*** they could no matter what color they were, no matter what religion — and they would do it again tomorrow,” said Stewart.

“So, if you want to sit and tell me that those people are giving tacit approval to an exploitative system — I say, ‘OK, and would you put your life on the line for people who aren’t like you? Because they did.’ I get mad about this stuff.”

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With Stewart’s long history as a comedian willing to shill for the Obama administration while taking the Right to task week after week, it’s more than a surprise to see him openly criticize the current president and his failed successor, Hillary Clinton. It’s even more of a surprise to see him defend Trump voters against unwarranted accusations. It could be further proof of a culture change in the wake of Trump’s victory. Even beloved and reliably liberal talking heads like Jon Stewart are moving themselves toward the cultural and political middle by taking their own side off the pedestal long perpetuated by people like him in the media.

Ending the conversation on a more positive note, Stewart cautioned people about further division and encouraged them to work together. “The only thing I would tell everybody … is we’re still the same country,” he said. “Obama didn’t change and fix everything and Trump can’t ruin everything.”

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