Stewart: How MSNBC can take 'mouthpiece' reins from Fox
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Tuesday December 2, 2008

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One result of an Obama presidency is that Fox News will no longer be able to maintain its accustomed role as administration mouthpiece, and The Daily Show's Jon Stewart wondered on Monday what it might do instead.

He found the answer in a montage used by Fox to urge its viewers, "As your world changes, stay with Fox." Stewart summarized the flow of alarming images in the spot by saying, "We will protect you from raging fire, Iranian nutjobs, angry gay-lovers and the Jew whispering to the black man. Think of us as cable tv's panic room!"

Stewart also raised the question of which network could replace Fox in the mouthpiece role, and the obvious answer was MSNBC. However, Stewart cautioned the MSNBC bosses, "If you want to be the new administration's news source of choice, you're going to need foot soldiers."

Stewart's first example was Fox's Bill O'Reilly. "You're going to need a freakishly over-sized ruddy-faced Irish multi-millionaire, still clinging to his blue-collar roots," Stewart explained, "and it helps if he's quick to anger."

Stewart handily matched that job description with footage of MSNBC's Chris Matthews berating a conservative radio talk show host.

"But MSNBC," continued Stewart, "what do you have in a partisan ideologue who fears for the world if it's in any way touched by the hands of his political enemies?"

To answer that, he juxtaposed clips of Fox's Sean Hannity telling Karl Rove, "This is a clear and present danger to the United States," with MSNBC's Keith Olbermann declaiming about something being "a clear and present danger to the peace of this nation."

"He's perfect!" squealed Stewart. "I'll take two!"

"All right, MSNBC, you really want to do this?" Stewart continued. "You're going to need a token from the other side of the aisle."

Stewart then drew a not-very-close comparison between Sean Hannity's former sidekick and token liberal Alan Colmes and MSNBC's conservative host Joe Scarborough. "You gave him his own show?" Stewart exclaimed. "He's supposed to be a token, you idiots!"

But even Stewart had trouble finding any Fox equivalent to MSNBC's "complex, eloquent, even-tempered" Rachel Maddow. After flipping through images of a couple of Fox's blond female hosts, he finally settled on Steve Doocy, commenting, "There's my girl!"

This video is from Comedy Central's The Daily Show, broadcast Dec. 1, 2008.

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