I don’t watch this show (I don’t get any of my news from TV), so I don’t really know who these guys are, but this clip demonstrates that they are clueless about what Stewart’s trying to say. What American citizens need is not a “debate show” that reduces everything to a fight to be won (paging Deborah Tannen), but rather journalists who question and challenge the information provided by politicians, candidates, pundits, and lobbyists. To put all of these people on a show and allow them to “debate,” assuming that the truth will emerge from such an environment…to do so is to abdicate one’s responsibility as a journalist.
Tucker Carlson sees their Stewart’s appearance on the show not as an opportunity to have a real exchange of ideas among many different positions, but instead (everyone say it with me now) as a fight to be won by one of only two sides.
Carlson thinks the way to counter Stewart’s accusations of Crossfire‘s complicity in the political game is to point out how Stewart’s questions for John Kerry were softball questions. Stewart’s response is right on: “You’re on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls. What is wrong with you?… you have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably.”