Jon Stewart once quipped that his audience sometimes behaved like they were watching a wrestling match during the Daily Show's interview segment.
William 'Bill' Kristol - Top wrestling heel (villain)Surprisingly this is not the picture painted by Conservative guests who usually bring out the fireworks on the Daily Show set. A recent New York Magazine article features testimonies from prominent conservatives Cliff May, Bill Kristol and John Bolton among others commending Jon Stewart's brand of inquiry
JON STEWART: Boy the audience, I don't know when they started thinking this was pro-wrestling. It's the strangest thing -- they literally boo and hiss and cheer like you're the Rock and I'm - you know - The Undertaker.
Why Neoconservative Pundits Love Jon StewartThe article goes on to contrast Jon Stewart's style with other pundits, making the case that the Daily Show format is less like pro-wrestling
"There is genuine intellectual curiosity," May told New York. "He's a staunch liberal, but he's a thoughtful liberal, and I respect that." May isn't the only conservative gushing about Stewart. While the movement professes a disdain for the "liberal media elite," it has made an exception for the true-blue 46-year-old comedian. "He always gives you a chance to answer, which some people don't do," says John Bolton, President Bush's ambassador to the United Nations and a Fox News contributor, who went on the show last month. "He's got his perspective, but he's been fair." Says Bolton: "In general, a lot of the media, especially on the left, has lost interest in debate and analysis. It has been much more ad hominem. Stewart fundamentally wants to talk about the issues. That's what I want to do."
Conservatives like Stewart because he's providing them a platform to reach an audience that usually tunes them out. And they often find that Stewart takes them more seriously than right-wing political hosts, who are often just using them to validate their broad positions, do. Stewart will poke fun, but he offers a good-faith debate on powder kegs — torture, abortion, nuclear weapons, health care — that explode on other networks. "Shepard Smith did the same discussion [on torture]," says May. "He kept yelling me at me: 'This is where I get off the bus! Not in my name!' He wasn't arguing with me. It was just assertions and anger. That's not what Jon deals in."Read the complete New York Magazine article here - Why Neoconservative Pundits Love Jon Stewart