Jon Stewart reverted back to his old bread and butter last night: making fun of cable news hosts.
GLENN: Jon Stewart last night making fun of me, calling me — connecting me to Hannibal Lecter and Clarice is Sarah Palin. Nobody can figure out why I had — you know, why I put us there at the Statue of Liberty.
Pat: (Laughter.) No. I think Stewart did. I think he —
Glenn: Can you play that back?
Pat: I can play some of it.
Glenn: Play some of it, before it gets dicey.
Pat: It gets dicey pretty quickly.
Glenn: Yeah. It’s cable news. So —
Pat: Here we go.
Stewart: — Fox News. The first day there she sat down with Bill O’Reilly, went very well. The next day was a visit to perhaps Fox’s next biggest star, Glenn Beck. I wonder if Glenn Beck has lost any perspective on the relative importance of this moment.
Glenn: We have a full hour with former Governor Alaska Sarah Palin. She’s now a Fox contributor and this is the first time that we have actually sat in the same room and looked eyeball to eyeball with each other and I picked this spot because of that statue and what it means.
Stewart: She’s from Alaska. She’s not an immigrant. I get it. The only appropriate spot for an meeting of this import is in the shadow of Lady Liberty. I guess they would have done the interview on the lap of the Lincoln Memorial.
Pat: I think that’s about as far as we can go.
Glenn: That’s as far as we can go there.
Pat: It’s funny, because they show the two of you on the lap of Lincoln.
Glenn: Right. Is that available? Can you rent that?
Pat: Well, Stewart goes on to say —
Glenn: I know. I know. I know. I know. It wasn’t about the interview. It was about trying to find trust. Do you trust her? Do you trust anybody anymore? What do you trust? The only thing that really Americans look at anymore is Abe Lincoln and the Statue of Liberty and they’re, like, I trust that.
Glenn: They don’t trust any of our other symbols.
Stu: It’s good to see him falling back on just bashing cable news personalities after he got schooled by John Yoo a couple of days ago. Did you guys see that?
Glenn: No, huh-uh.
John Yoo vs John Stewart
Stu: Yeah. You know, the guy who basically wrote the, you know, the legal justifications for the water boarding of terrorists which saved, you know, how many lives. Of course, that’s crazy talk to Jon Stewart and he had John Yoo on. Well, I think it would be — I would love to hear you talk to him about it. He has got a book out and it’s — I don’t know if he’s doing the rounds or whatever, but, you know, talking to him about that and Jon, a tad out of his league in that conversation.
Glenn: Do you have any of it ready?
Stu: Just a tad. I don’t know any of it ready, but I can get for the next break.
Glenn: Yeah. See if you can get it for the break. I would love to hear that.
Stu: Because it’s the typical, like, How can you justify terror? And then he gives you 75 different ways that it’s happened, you know, whether it’s torture or not and where you draw those lines and he goes through the entire thing.
Glenn: See if you can find the audio for me. See if you can find the audio. We’ll play it at the — after the next break.
Pat: You know, we’ve been talking all week, we’ve been following this British list of the 100 most influential conservatives all week from
Glenn: And it doesn’t make any sense because a lot of them are not even conservatives.
Pat: Most of them, probably, aren’t conservatives.
Glenn: David Brooks is on this list.
Pat: But we were thinking — yeah. And Lindsey Graham. I mean, you’ve got a whole bunch of pseudo conservatives who really don’t belong together. You’ve got a bunch of progressives.
Glenn: You have — if you take out the idea of progressive and you don’t think that that is a problem, then you have a lot of these Republicans that claim they’re conservative but they’re not. They’re progressives.
Pat: So, today — I mean, all week long we thought, okay, maybe you would be 180, somewhere in there, because they’ve released 20 a day.
Glenn: Yeah, yeah.
Pat: All week long.
Pat: You weren’t there. You weren’t in —
Glenn: Just give the number.
Pat: 60. All right. You just want the number? No. 6.
Glenn: Give me the —
Pat: No. 6.
Glenn: Who was in the top 10?
Pat: No. 1, of course, you would think Rush. They didn’t. They chose Dick Cheney. No. 2 was Rush.
Glenn: Hang on a second. Is that the deal, most influential?
Pat: Yeah. Top conservatives. Yeah. Most influential conservatives.
Glenn: I don’t think he is.
Stu: He’s been out a lot, though, this past year and he’s —
Glenn: He is one that —
Pat: He was in the top 10.
Glenn: He’s one of them and he’s one that I get to listen to and I’m, like, Okay. Where were you? Where were you?
Stu: He’s been speaking a lot of truth over the past year, I would say.
Pat: But No. 1 over Rush? Would you put him there? I wouldn’t.
Stu: No. Maybe not, but he also was the vice-president of the United States. You get some stature for that.
Glenn: There is a lot of — I read a couple of days ago — and I’m trying to figure out this list on how they — because I saw — I don’t remember. It must have been Lindsey Graham I saw on this list and I thought, How do they get on the list? It is — also part of it is influence and years of influence. So, if you’re —
Pat: Okay. Well, he fits those criteria.
Glenn: He fits that because he’s been around forever.
Pat: No. 2, Rush. No. 3, Matt Drudge who has a lot of influence.
Glenn: At lot of influence.
Pat: No. 4, Sarah Palin, who clearly has —
Glenn: A lot of influence.
Pat: A lot of influence. No. 5, Robert Gates, just the Defense Secretary of the United States of America. No. 6, Glenn Beck, Fox News presenter.
Glenn: How stupid is that?
Stu: One of these things just doesn’t belong.
Glenn: What do they write?
Pat: Let’s see. The fastest-rising star of cable television, Beck delivers monologs that veer from doom-saying to tears, jokes, and rapid-fire analysis of Obama Land, suspect connections, hidden beliefs, and dark plots. His subjects include the threat of fascism, communism, terrorism, Wall Street fat cats, Mexico’s collapse. How often have we talked about Mexico’s collapse?
Glenn: I talked about it early on.
Pat: The decline of religion and power of the liberal media. All this is united by the theme of impending doom and the fear that the ordinary American is being forgotten. Well, that’s accurate.
Glenn: I think all of that is accurate.
Pat: It’s working spectacularly. Since switching from CNN’s Headline News to Fox, Beck has soared up the ratings chart with his 5:00 p.m. show, capturing an average 2 million viewers — I think it’s much higher than that now, isn’t it? —
Pat: — an unprecedented number at that hour. His talk show rates third in the country. There have been five best-selling books. A recovering alcoholic, drug addict, he has also cried more than any other presenter in memory. What is that presenter thing?
Glenn: I hate that.
Pat: Often welling up at the thought of what will happen to the United States. I’m sorry. I just love my country, and I fear for it, he once wept. His opposition to big government and Obama has seen him adopted by many of the tea party movement as their figurehead. There has been talk of a presidential bid, which will do his ratings no harm. "I consider myself a libertarian. I’m a conservative but every day that goes by, I’m fighting for individual rights," explained Beck who describes his show as a fusion of entertainment and enlightenment. That’s it. No. 7, this is interesting. Roger Ailes. He placed ahead of his British — Roger Ailes.
Glenn: I think that would be a misunderstanding.
Glenn: Seeing that Roger is the guy who hired me and keeps me on the air.
Glenn: So —
Glenn: Really, he’s probably more influential.
Pat: No. 8, just the head of U.S. central command, David Petraeus. No. 9, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. That seems a little high for Paul Ryan. I mean —
Glenn: Tell me about Paul Ryan. Wisconsin?
Pat: Yes. He has it all, according to this article, including time on his side. He entered Congress at the tender age of 28. Doesn’t turn 40 until next year. Just because he’s — none of these guys — none of these Republicans —
Glenn: I don’t want a guy who got in at 28 and is now 40 and is still in Congress.
Pat: Where do you want him to be?
Glenn: Maybe running a business.
Pat: Okay. Well, that’s — yes. Term limits would be a good thing at this point.
Glenn: Doing his own gig.
Pat: Sure, sure. And then No. 10 I wholeheartedly disagree with because, again, it’s not a conservative, Tim Pawlenty. No. 11, Mitt Romney. No. 12, George W. Bush, only former President of the United States. John Roberts was 13th. Haley Barbour, Mississippi, was 14th, followed by Eric Cantor, McCain, Mike Pence, Bob McDonald.
Glenn: If you look at this list of conservatives and you count the number of progressives on this list you see — progressives or people who ignored the progressives, for instance, Dick Cheney ignored the progressives, you know, and just went along with them, if you look at that list, there are a lot of enemies within the gates of the conservative movement. I can’t — I started writing the speech for CPAC last night. I sent a little bit to you guys. Did you read it? Did you see it?
Pat: I saw it. I haven’t read it.
Glenn: Did you read it or see it?
Stu: I did see the e-mail, but I have not read it yet.
Glenn: Thanks, guys. That’s big.
Stu: Nothing else to do. I was so bored. I was, like, What can I do today, and then I saw your e-mail and I was, like, Oh, this is 40 pages of a speech a month from now. Let me read it now.
Glenn: Don’t do that.
Pat: Right, right.
Glenn: I think that it’s time to clean house. I think it’s time to clean house and I think it’s — I’m tired of playing, not the ugly stepchild. I mean, we’re not even the stepchild. We’re the enemy that’s outside of the house. Conservatives are the majority, the vast majority, and somehow or the other, we’ve allowed yourselves to be painted as something different than that and we’ve been painted that with the help of the progressives in the Republican party. Look at — what do you think Lindsey Graham is doing? Look what he’s doing. He is painting within the framework of the party, he is framing people with real values and belief of the of Constitution and the founders. He’s in the party, painting those people as an extremists.
Graham: I’m clueless. I’m clueless.
Glenn: There may be more to that statement, but we’ll just agree with it and move on, because —
Graham: I’m clueless.
Glenn: Yes, Lindsey —
Graham: I’m clueless.
Glenn: — you are.