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If you have any interest at all in the national politics of these here United States, you probably know that President Obama sat for an interview on premiere fake news program "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart. This is neither the end of the, nor the start of a brand new, world; so let's keep that in perspective. The President is catching some flak from the opposition for his decision to appear though, and I want to address that.
First of all, I cannot consider this to be a soft-ball interview. Jon Stewart may be a comedian, and he may sympathize with the current adminitration, but I think he asked some tough questions, and pushed for real answers. Maybe he didn't ask every question he could have, but I'm sure he asked some questions the President wishes he hadn't. Also, I can't consider any interview to be softball where the interviewer literally laughs in the interviewee's face.
Second, The Daily Show is in Washington DC specifically for the run up to next week's election day. Since many people, especially in the opposition, view this set of election races as referenda on President Obama and the Democratic party, I think it would have been a mistake for the President to ignore their request for an interview. Some presidents and candidates fear exposure even in friendly settings, so President Obama's appearance took some bravery.
I think it went well. Stewart got some laughs, President Obama got some exposure for his political message, and we all got to watch a politician respond to criticism in a not-totally-scripted fashion. I think this was a good thing.
2010.10.28 at 10:30am EDT
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