The first time I watched his interview with Kimberly Strassel of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, I was appalled. I thought it was an awful interview and I was ready to write a piece saying that Stewart seemed unable to follow her questions and just repeated one question a few times. But after watching it twice more, I realized I missed something important and decided he played it just right. He did indeed repeat a question to her, but it was a question on the minds of many: "Is it not suspicious that oil companies’ profits are so high right now when the gas prices are also high?" I think he summed up the sentiment well when he said, “I don’t want to hate the oil companies but I am having a hard time not having a visceral emotional reaction to their presence.”
Strassel suggested other factors are at work, including changes in supply and demand. Stewart admirably cut through those answers and said, “But all this seems like bullshit. All those things don’t explain why these guys have record profits. Should not oil companies have to feel gas consumers’ pain rather than 'dancing on our heads?'”
Her answers sounded, at times, quite patronizing. It was his next comment that made me change my position on the interview: “You are having trouble because you feel like you are talking to a retarded person. I see it in your eyes.” Rather than politely denying it she laughed and noted that he was making that comment, not her. “It has to be frustrating to talk to people who clearly don’t know what they are talking about,” Stewart said. He then uttered my favorite line of the week, which I think reflects the main appeal of talk radio and Bill O’Reilly’s show: “The important thing is my visceral emotional reaction.”
In other words, "set logic aside and deal with my anger." She replied, “That is really valid but I think you should be mad at other people.” When she suggested he should also be mad at Congress for causing problems with an ethanol mandate he said Congress is not escaping his ire.
Stewart’s attitude – "I’m angry and not interested in hearing complicated answers" – reminded me of the famous line from the classic movie Network: "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore."
I’m right there with you, Jon.