Comedian Jon Stewart dropped by the Ed Sullivan Theater in Midtown Manhattan Monday for a guest appearance on CBS's "Late Show With Stephen Colbert," where the two discussed, among other things, White House press secretary Sean Spicer "blocking" certain mainstream media outlets from attending a press gaggle Friday.
At one point, Colbert asked Stewart his thoughts on CNN, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Politico and BuzzFeed being barred from the event.
"I can't believe the guy's got the balls — let me say this — I can't believe the guy's got the balls to get away with that. Trump lies more in one press conference than CNN does in one year. And this is coming from a guy who, as you know, hates CNN," Stewart replied.
Stewart then cited two examples of Trump making false statements. The first was made by Trump during a Feb. 16 White House press conference, during which Trump claimed his Electoral College victory was the "biggest" since President Ronald Reagan. But in fact, every Electoral College victory except former President George W. Bush's victories in 2000 and 2004 has been larger than Trump's win.
The second example was the president's Feb. 7 statement during a meeting with sheriffs that the U.S. murder rate is the "highest it's been in 45 years." But the U.S. murder rate is not the highest it's been in 45 years, according to Politifact. While inner cities have experienced a recent spike in crime, the national murder rate is significantly lower than it was just 10 years ago.
When Colbert challenged the claim that Trump was "lying" in each of those instances, Stewart was adamant. "He's lying on purpose," he exclaimed. "You want to know how [I know]? Because he constantly says the phrase 'believe me.' Nobody says 'believe me' unless they are lying."
Colbert rhetorically pushed back again, saying that Trump doesn't say "believe me" that often.
Stewart then played a prepared 15-second montage of Trump repeatedly saying "believe me" on the campaign trail and after he was elected president.
Returning to the topic of the Trump administration "blocking" certain members of the mainstream press, Colbert asked Stewart if he agrees that the action was "un-American." But while viewers might have expected Stewart to take one more jab at Trump, he did just the opposite.
Stewart, mocking the claim, said, "You know what I say? Stop your whining, press."
Then, looking squarely at the camera and addressing the media directly, Stewart continued to lay into the fourth estate, comparing its relationship to Trump with that of a dysfunctional couple.
"Finally thought you met your match. A blabbermouth who's as thin-skinned and narcissistic as you are," Stewart said in a joking tone. "It is time for you to get your groove back, media. Because let's face facts, you've kind of let yourself go a little bit these past few years."
Stewart referred to the media "defending" Trump throughout the primaries, citing some pundits' claims that Trump would change after winning the Republican nomination. But as Stewart pointed out, Trump didn't change.
The comic said that Trump and the media went through a "break up" as a result of Trump not changing, adding, "This breakup with Donald Trump has given you, the media, an amazing opportunity for self-reflection and improvement."
"Instead of worrying about whether Trump is un-American or if he thinks you're the enemy or if he's being mean to you or if he's going to let you go back into the briefings, do something for yourself — self-improvement. Take up a hobby. I recommend journalism," Stewart added.
(H/T: Daily Beast)