Just like how it's odd to see middle-aged people angrily protesting the
government they've been voting for for 40 years, it's surprising to hear
McCain rail against the Capitol in which he's served since the first
Reagan administration. But for anyone who's been listening to McCain
over the past few decades, his sentiment should come as no shock at all.
The Daily Show's tenacious researchers found that McCain's been whining
that "Washington is broken" for more than 20 years, and helpfully
strung a dozen examples together in a brutal montage.
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Is this a sign of a Stewart-McCain feud? Through much of the 2000s, the comedian and the senator had a chummy relationship, based in part on McCain's willingness to criticize conservatives and make jokes at his colleagues' expense--he once ventured that perhaps John Kerry had shot Zell Miller's dog. From 1999 through 2008, McCain was a frequent guest, appearing three times in 2007 alone and 15 times total. But the senator hasn't been back in two and a half years. Why? Likely because, for Stewart, McCain has lost his mavericky sheen.
In 2006, Stewart earned praise for asking pointed questions about why McCain was giving the commencement address at Liberty University, the school founded by Jerry Falwell, whom McCain famously described as an "agent of intolerance." But the exchange was friendly, and Stewart prefaced is tougher-than-usual questions with much praise for McCain, reminding the audience that, "People who watch this show know, we love John McCain," and calling him "one of our favorite figures in Washington."