Jon Stewart did his level best to minimize the Hillary Clinton email scandal last week, a mess even MSNBC and The New York Times immediately slammed as significant. It’s what he’s done for 16-plus years — smite the right and minimize political fallout from fumbling Democrats.
Clinton’s calamitous press conference Tuesday to make the email matter disappear was too much even for Stewart. He didn’t lash into Clinton like he would a Fox News contributor. Viewers weren’t treated to an expletive-fueled rant about abusing power, her glaring lack of transparency, or what this means for Clinton’s presidential hopes.
Instead, he simply mocked her excuses as an entry-level satirist should.
First, he teased Clinton for the lame excuse of not being willing to carry two smartphone-style devices, part of her press conference’s line of defense. He then did the kind of digging he typically reserves for members of the Bush family.
“Since Clinton left the State Department her single-device preference has completely gone away,” he said, showing a clip of her bragging about the array of gadgets she now carries with her.
“You’re a person who wants to be president … did you know everywhere you go you not only have to carry a phone but a briefcase filled with nuclear codes?” he asked.
Then, he ridiculed the fact that she hired her own counsel to vet the emails in question as well as the “inconvenience” of deleting 30,000 emails rather than relying on the proper system.
Of course, the segment lacked the appropriate context, not to mention outrage. The whole press conference was arrogance on steroids. What does this say about how a Clinton administration would operate? How could the smartest, most inevitable candidate in modern times give such a tone-deaf, factually challenged press conference?
Maybe Stewart is just warming up. After all, most media outlets have been surprisingly aggressive regarding Clinton’s email woes. Stewart does, on occasion, get tough with fellow liberals when their actions are too egregious to spin.
Only time, and Clinton’s follow-up behavior, will tell.
For now, it’s the latest sign that the comedy world isn’t afraid of touching this scandal. We’ve already seen “Saturday Night Live” taunt Clinton’s excuses. Even The Onion, a reliably left-of center humor outlet, quickly pounced on Clinton’s email trouble.
When you’ve lost Stewart, SNL, and The Onion …