And entertains while doing so. Jon Stewart asked serious questions any hard-hitting progressive journalist or political commentator with a talk show is perfectly capable of asking. He made Huckabee explain his positions on LGBT rights and connects it to the messages in his new book about the merits of social conservatism that he's hawking. That's on-point and newsworthy journalism -- and Stewart certainly found and made the topic interesting. Thank you, thank you, Jon.

Transcript snippets:

"You write that marriage is the bedrock of society...Why would you not want more couples to buy into the stability of marriage. Why would you want to precluded for an entire [group] of people."

Huckabee responded with a series of standard points, including "Marriage still means one man, one woman, life relationship. I think people have a right to live any way they want to, but even anatomically -- let's face it -- the only way that we can create the next generation is through a male/female relationship."

In a point that Stewart would press him on later by suggesting that his history is a bit skewed, Huckabee asserted, "For 5000 years of recorded human history that's what marriage has meant."

Huckabee: "30 states have had it on the ballot, and in all 30 states, it's passed -- even in states like California, that nobody would suggest are social conservatives..."

Stewart: "30 states had Mike Huckabee on the ballot and they voted for John McCain. You can't trust those voters. The voters don't know."

Please watch the whole interview. It literally made me weep because Stewart gets it. This is a human rights issue and the bottom line is how can you NOT go after a national politician in 2008 who spews sh*t like:

"There's a big difference between being black and a person practicing a lifestyle"


"The only way to create the next generation is a man-woman relationship"


"The basic purpose of a marriage is not just to create the next generation but to train our replacements. And it's in the context of 23 male and 23 female chromosomes coming together to form a conception to create the next human life."

This man ran for president and intends to do so again. Journalists, particularly openly progressive ones, have an obligation to bore in on pols like Huckabee because their views are often wrapped up with a wink and a smile and sold as protecting family, children, the word "marriage", etc. as if this is all a benign act that hurts no citizens in this country.

One of many spot-on quotes from Stewart:

“I think it’s a travesty that people have forced someone who is gay to have to ‘make their case’ that they deserve the same basic rights.”

...“I’ll tell you this: Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality. And the protections that we have for religion? We protect religion -- and talk about a lifestyle choice -- that is absolutely a choice. Gay people don’t choose to be gay. At what age did you choose not to be gay?"


It's quite fortuitous that Stewart grilled Huckabee at this time because a couple of weeks ago I put up a post, "Rachel Maddow goes soft on anti-gay Huckabee," that generated a lot of discussion here at the Blend and at Pandagon. Maddow and I were on the Michelangelo Signorile Show yesterday to discuss the former Arkansas Governor appearance on her show to pimp his latest tome, "Do the Right Thing: Inside the Movement That's Bringing Common Sense Back to America." I was on first, then Mike interviewed Rachel. My posts about it, as well as the interviews themselves, are below:

* Audio: Rachel Maddow on Mike Signorile

* Appearance on Mike Signorile to discuss Rachel Maddow and closeted journalism

* Rachel Maddow goes soft on anti-gay Huckabee