Jon Stewart and his astute staff at The Daily Show nailed Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn tonight.
Stewart started his story about the John Roberts Supreme Court hearings with some quotes from Democrats (Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy), and jokes about them. Then he moved onto Coburn, showing the freshman from Oklahoma apparently choking back tears as he pleaded for politicians to stop bickering. Coburn said "...my heart aches for less divisiveness, less polarization, less finger-pointing, less bitterness, less mindless partisanship."
Stewart then said "you mean like this?", and then showed Coburn's face on the left hand side of the screen, with this Coburn quote on the right side:
"The gay community has infiltrated the very centers of power in every area across this country, and they wield extreme power ... That agenda is the greatest threat to our freedom that we face today. Why do you think we see the rationalization for abortion and multiple sexual partners? That's a gay agenda."
Wild cheering and laughter ensued, but Stewart wasn't through. "Maybe he was referring to this." Again, shot of Coburn with another quote:
"I favor the death penalty for abortionists and other people who take life."
Stewart's show, while described as "comedy", continues to offer the most relevant commentary on the hypocrisy in politics, and although it's presented in a humorous way, it's still stinging and effective (can you say George Carlin?), and simply the best "news" show out there. No other network picked up on, only showing Coburn's seemingly heartfelt emotion in their reports.
Stewart ended the bit by saying (and I'm paraphrasing here), "maybe we can forgive Coburn, as he probably intently listened to the hearings and became so worked up...oh wait [video clip looking at the Senate from behind Coburn's shoulder, clearly showing him working on a crossword puzzle under the desk while another Senator spoke]...is that a crossword puzzle?" Only Stewart can pull off the incredulous "are you f'ing kidding me?" emotion with such timing and precision.
Knockout: Stewart. Still champions: The Daily Show.