The disastrous rollout of healthcare.gov has created a fierce adversary for President Obama: Jon Stewart, apparently. At least, that's the sense that you get from the media, which has been asking what impact his criticism of the website has on the public dialogue. "What impact does...me have on the public dialogue?" Stewart asked. "Well it introduces to the healthcare debate the term cunt punt, which I don't think had been used prior."
All the major cable news outlets — which Stewart also regularly makes fun of — are shocked that Stewart, a liberal-skewing satirical news anchor, is making fun of the barely functioning site. "Look making fun of something, that's nothing new for us," he argued. "So don't act like us making jokes about a certain program or president is evidence that that politician or issue has reached some kind of tipping point for action."
But that's exactly the argument people are making. When Sen. Jon Barrasso went on Fox to call for Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' firing, he argued that "when Jon Stewart and Saturday Night Live are making fun of the job that you are doing" it means young Americans are laughing at you, and it's time for you to quit. "If that causes things to end, why was the network you were on still on the air?" Stewart asked.
To drive the point home, Stewart brought back the Go F--k Yourself choir. "People I am here to say, that the jokes we do on this show seem to accomplish very little," Stewart sang, to which the choir replied with "They don't do shit." Later in the song, Stewart claimed his show added insult, not injury. "If anything you're just weak, dulling the populace anger that could really change the system," sang one choir member. "Someone's been reading Salon.com again," Stewart replied.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.