Last night, the retired comedian and political commentator Jon Stewart visited Stephen Colbert’s Late Show for the second time this month, popping up from beneath Colbert’s desk upon hearing the phrase, “fake news.”
“I have a tunnel that I’ve built, straight from my farm,” he explained when asked how he got there.
“You miss it, don’t you?” Colbert asked, referring to Stewart’s show, The Daily Show, where Colbert himself rose to prominence.
“Yes!” Stewart replied, pounding his fists on the table. “I miss it! I spend the whole day yelling about Trump to the animals.”
Colbert then set his old friend and mentor up for the kind of political rant that many viewers have missed, with Stewart off the air. Addressing last week’s off-camera White House briefing, during which Sean Spicer banned journalists from seven major media outlets, Colbert asked, “Do you agree with me that Trump banning any members of the media is un-American?”
“I say stop your whining, press,” Stewart replied. ”Can I talk to the media for a moment?”
He looked directly into the camera, softened his voice, and spoke like a good friend offering relationship advice:
Hey guys. Hey media. So, I heard Donald Trump broke up with you. Stings a little, doesn’t it? Finally thought you’d met your match: a blabber mouth who’s as thin-skinned and narcissistic as you are. Well, now it’s over. Well, good riddance I say! Kick him to the curb, media! It is time to get your groove back, media. Cos let’s face facts: You kind of let yourself go a little bit for these past few years.
After reviewing clips of Trump stating blatant untruths about having the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan and the US murder rate being at its highest rate in 47 years, Stewart told Colbert that the president is lying on purpose.
His evidence for the theory? “Nobody says ‘believe me’ unless they’re lying.”
The comedian, who kept a relatively low profile during the US presidential election but is reportedly putting together an animation studio for HBO, called on the media to reflect on how they covered Trump before, during and after the election.
“This breakup with Donald Trump has given you, the media, an amazing opportunity for self-reflection and improvement,” Steward said. “Instead of worrying whether Trump is un-American, or if he thinks you’re the enemy, or if he’s being mean to you, or if he’s going to let you go back into the briefings—do something for yourself. Self-improvement! Take up a hobby: I recommend journalism.”