Jon Stewart Bleeds on TV, Still Goes Easy on Weiner (VIDEO)

Jon Stewart took to the Daily Show stage last night with an obvious plan: to confront the claims that he had been going too easy on his friend Anthony Weiner, the congressman who admitted on Monday that he'd tweeted a picture of his congressional pickle to a woman who was not his wife. (Would it have been okay if it was to his wife?)

In his opening bit, Stewart staged a fake press conference (in the same manner as Weiner did), during which he apologized for not covering Weiner's admission and not clearly stating during Monday's show that Weiner was "a liar and that [Stewart] believed his pants to be on fire." But he did say that time was a factor (Weiner's admission came just over an hour before The Daily Show was set to tape) and it was wholly Stewarat's decision to proceed with Monday's show as it was written, with a short acknowledgment of Weiner's press conference. Stewart also reiterated that last week, he'd said he believed Weiner wasn't telling the truth and that the congressman should resign if he did indeed to the deed.

In a bit of "wow, this really is live-to-tape!" proof, Stewart actually sliced open his hand while making a frozen strawberry margarita. The cut reportedly took six stitches to close.



But Stewart still never really went for the jugular and outright buried his buddy, as some viewers—myself included—believed he would, instead letting correspondents John Oliver and Kristen Schaal do most of the talking on all penis-related matters (Schaal's bit, which is embedded below, was particularly hilarious). It raises the question of whether Stewart should be seen as a loyal friend and fake-news comedian or a legit newsman not doing his job. Since taking over hosting duties 12 years ago, Stewart has adeptly blended some of TV's most insightful comedy with honest-to-goodness news editorializing, blurring the definition of his place in journalism. Is he an intelligent comic with a knack for news, or is he a real news personality who delivers the real deal with a punchline?

Stewart had a chance to strengthen his position as well-respected news anchor with the Weiner situation, but he took it out of his own hands by going easy on Weiner, and that's Stewart's prerogative. First and foremost, The Daily Show is entertainment. Becoming a trusted news source sort of fell in Stewart's lap, and at times he seems a bit uncomfortable with that title. To me, this was a step in the direction of reminding everyone that while The Daily Show does take its faux-news seriously, it is still a comedy show and Stewart is still a guy who loves to do old-Jewish-man voices.

Stewart made it clear that Weiner is a friend of his, but perhaps he should have explicitly excused himself from covering the matter in light of his personal relationship with the peter-tweeter. Conflicts of interest in journalism do happen. I can't write articles about Angelina Jolie anymore because of our summer fling in '03. The dick jokes are fine, actually, they're great. But if Stewart had taken his name out of the battle beforehand, I wouldn't have been wondering whether he would or wouldn't roast Weiner and this wouldn't be much of a deal.

I still want Stewart to run for office, though.

That said, even though Stewart was the focus, Kristen Schaal stole last night's show with her editorial on the men-sending-penis-pictures craze.


How do you think Jon Stewart handled the Anthony Weiner situation? Do you want him to be a newsman or a comedian? Would you vote for him if he ran for office?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Funny how this is once again relevant...
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Though I do agree it is MEANT to be a comedy show on COMEDY Central, I'm merely saying a lot of people don't treat it that way.
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I don't think Stewart dropped the ball at all. He covered this damn story for about a week. And for the record Stewart is a trusted source of news whether he likes it or not. He has a demographic of young people that genuinely trust they will get the news with the bullsh!t exposed when they watch the daily show.
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I honestly don't care that the guy sent pics to some woman online. Granted he is kinda of a scumbag for sending pics to a woman who is not his wife-how many wives out there would be happy if our husbands sent pics like that to another woman? But that is between him and his wife. What pisses me off about him is tha the LIED. He got up in front of the entire country and told us all that it wasn't him and it was a hack job. I don't like ppls whose knee jerk reaction is to lie to me. If he thought it was no big deal, he should have confessed it was indeed him and he did send it when it came out...not lie about if for a frickin' week. It isn't a big deal that he did it so why even bother lying?
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Why should he? Wiener is a weener but hasn't actually broken any laws that we know of yet. If Wiener deserves a roasting and is forced to step down shouldn't he at least wait for the family values hypocrites on the right to resign? Vitter and Ensign both broke laws and still the remain in office - "broke the law", in case you thought you misread that. They broke the law and have remained in office with no mock republican outrage.

Oh, Stewart is a comedy show in case you forgot.
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"a legit newsman not doing his job"...?
"strengthen his position as well-respected news anchor"...?

LMAO...The Daily Show is on Comedy Central for crying out loud! The fact that some might consider him a reliable news source speaks more of the ineptitude of FoxNews, CNN & MSNBC than it does about Stewart. The fact that he shares airtime with South Park and Reno 911 should be all the evidence you need that he's neither interested nor wants to be considered a "newsman" or "anchor"

He's a comedian. An articulate and exceptionally well informed comedian, but a comedian none the less

People should be far more concerned with the atrociously poor and biased news coverage from ACTUAL NEWS OUTLETS than how many d*ck jokes Jon Stewart makes
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Jon is hilarious and why is everyone being so critical of his coverage of this issue (which is also blown way too out of proportion), his job is to poke fun at news stories not berate anyone who makes a little mistake (that is for every other news show!)
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Letterman gave the audience a top ten list of “What to ask yourself before Tweeting a photo of your deal.” Conan on the other hand remained abnormally innocent with a mere mention of Weiner’s “porn star name” and Leno, well he played it rather coy with technology and comes across as the unwitting comedian. http://bit.ly/iAmMoR
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I don't know why this is even a debatable issue--Jon Stewart is not a journalist. He's never claimed to be. He's a comedian. An intelligent comedian, and I watch TDS religiously. But it airs on COMEDY Central. And he doesn't need to be non-biased. I love his ideas and his way of presenting things, but I also watch NBC for my real news. Kat
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Yes, i think it would have been better for his reputation if he was sending the picture to his wife instead of some other woman. Yeah he would still be mocked mercilessly, but at least he's not an adulterer on top of it. There wouldn't be a need to call for his resignation if he was just trying to spice things up with his own wife.
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Schaal is just great! I think Jon does just fine how he does it! Everybody can't be a di#k on tv, and he definitely is a class guy, to friends or foe!
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it is when he tries to be both, comedian and [liberal] newsman that i don\\\'t find funny. i enjoy his fresh; non **** view on politics and i somewhat enjoy his humour, but both together, especially directed at or towards bush (it still happens) and other republicans is annoying. as well as the same about democrates (i found his weiner impersonation to be dull and half hearted)
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Does this really deserve two full articles devoted to it? Nope. But I'm assuming since the TV landscape is a wasteland right now, that answer becomes a yes. Honestly... who cares though? No need to doubt Jon Stewart's abilities or integrity over this. Stewart just happens to be such a smart comedian that he looks like a true, top tier journalist in comparison to most of the pundits on 24 hour news channels. It doesn't mean he is one, or that he deserves to be accused of being biased for the way he covered this. The Daily Show did a segment on this nearly everyday last week so even though Weiner didn't admit it was him until this week, I don't really see how they could've continued milking it more than that without beating the whole thing to death. Gross pun most definitely intended.
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@KevinODonnel2
lol, Fox is not a news station, anyone with a brain knows that.
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What is there to go after? Weiner sent some naughty pics - big f*cking deal! Why are you Americans so scared of sexuality? Yes, it was a bad decision, but it absolutely doesn't take away from Weiner's political views, which I agree with on nearly all fronts. Seriously, your economy is in the gutter and THIS is what you're worried about?
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Is this really still a debate issue? Stewart has said numerous times that The Daily Show is a comedy show and that he is not a journalist and never plans to get into actual reporting.

I will not get into a debat on wether The Daily Show crew headed by Stewart prioritizes the "right" stories. I suspect they run with the funniest ideas and sometimes miss out on top NEWS stories because they didn't have the right idea or sufficient time to realize them.

I do agree that Weiner gate could have been covered with more bite, but the same is true of many other segments on the show.

I really don't see any double standard or attempts to bail out his friend. Coverage of republican non-Stewart-friends in the same type of situation have been similar, and keeping the funny fresh on the same type of stories is probably not very easy.
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He is a comedian doing a comedy show on a comedy network. He is NOT a journalist. He is NOT a news anchor. The Daily Show is a parody of news shows.People need to remind themselves of that. If you watch the daily show to get your news you should be watching CNN, Fox, Yahoo news, BBC news whichever is your favorite instead.
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