Flashback: Tucker Carlson Hammered Jon Stewart So Hard it Ended His CNN Gig

Video has resurfaced of a contentious interview between comedian Jon Stewart and Tucker Carlson who was co-hosting CNN's "Crossfire" at the time.
Custom: Screenshots - Alex Felker YouTube Channel

The tragedy of Tucker Carlson’s firing from Fox News had me thinking… of when he was fired by CNN. The hilarious incident came during a contentious interview between comedian Jon Stewart and Carlson, who was co-hosting CNN’s “Crossfire” at the time.

The video is from October 2004, when Carlson joined Stewart alongside co-host Paul Begala on a program meant for rotating hosts representing different political ideologies to debate news topics.

The comic was there to promote a new book but instead launched into a tirade about how the show was “hurting America,” calling Begala and Carlson “partisan hacks.”

“You have John Kerry on your show and you sniff his throne and you’re accusing us of partisan hackery?” Carlson fired back.

If you’ve never seen this brawl, take a watch. If you have seen it, here’s a refresher:

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Tucker Carlson Shreds Jon Stewart

The accusations of ‘partisan hackery’ toward Tucker Carlson are incredibly rich from Jon Stewart.

Carlson for years now has been the absolute gold standard in news/opinion commentary broadcast and is, to a man, far funnier than Stewart has ever been.

He at one point was garnering more Democrat viewers in a key advertising demographic than any other show on television – including left-leaning networks.

By contrast, the Stewart variety of “news” is single-handedly responsible for dumbing down the American voter, running a faux news show that audiences actually thought was real news and took seriously.

Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”used numerous cut-and-paste clips to create false narratives about the topics they were discussing and the subjects they were interviewing during Stewart’s 16-year tenure as host.

Poll after poll showed people were getting their ‘news’ from a show that, if they thought about it objectively, they knew was making up narratives.

The media often portrays the exchange between Jon Stewart and Tucker Carlson with the comedian as the victor.

In reality, that’s how you know he wasn’t.

Even so, Carlson certainly got his shots in.

Stewart suggested that CNN’s “Crossfire” had to be held to a higher standard than his show, which was preceded by “Crank Yankers,” a show he described as “puppets making crank phone calls.”

“When you have this marvelous opportunity not to be the guy’s (Kerry) butt boy … and you go ahead and be his butt boy,” an exasperated Carlson hit back. “It’s embarrassing.”

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Tucker Was Let Go by CNN

The exchange between Jon Stewart and Tucker Carlson is often cited as a reason that the political pundit and CNN parted ways.

“The back-and-forth between Carlson and Stewart made headlines in what The Post and other outlets described as ‘a brawl,'” the Washington Post reports.

“Three months later, there was a larger fallout: CNN canceled ‘Crossfire’ and cut ties with Carlson in January 2005.”

Whether “CYA” or not, Jonathan Klein, CNN’s president at the time, said the network wasn’t renewing Tucker’s contract because the host was seeking his own night-time show.

Carlson later claimed he resigned from the show “many months before Jon Stewart” appeared because he “didn’t like the partisanship” and “thought in some ways it was kind of a pointless conversation.”

Carlson was suddenly and unceremoniously fired from Fox News on Monday.

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Rusty Weiss has been covering politics for over 15 years. His writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, Fox... More about Rusty Weiss

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