In the two days following The Daily Show winning its 10th consecutive Emmy for best comedy show, it showed why an impressive number of political leaders take it seriously and so many young Americans rely on it as their primary source of news.
Jon Stewart’s fist post-Emmy guests were former President Bill Clinton and Jordanian King Abdullah II.
Stewart may be a comedian and look for the humor in an interview, but he is also very smart and serious. He’s one of the few television interviewers I’ve seen – Charlie Rose is still the best — who asks the kind of intelligent questions that show he’s done his homework, including reading the books of authors on promotion tours.
The king obviously takes the Daily Show seriously. It was a return visit for him and it was featured as the lead story on the Jordan Times home page, complete with a picture of the monarch and Stewart.
The most surprising part of the interview was Stewart’s failure to call out the Jordanian leader when he said the reason the Iranians have a nuclear program is “because of what Israel is doing to the Palestinians and the future of Jerusalem. By resolving the conflict in a just and comprehensive manner, many problems will be solved, and there would be no reason for a nuclear arms race.”
He told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria much the same thing: "If we solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem, why would Iran want to spend so much money on a nuclear program? It makes no sense."
Does he really think that’s what the Iranians mean when they say their nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes?
Does he honestly believe the ayatollahs will drop their bomb plans, shut down their centrifuges and open up for inspection and verification if the Israelis and Palestinians sign a treaty? And when reminded of their incessant vows to wipe the cancerous Zionist entity off the map, will they simply shrug and say “Never mind”?
Abdullah can’t be that naïve. Or maybe he was just trying out his comedy chops.