June 26, 2011 5:22pm PT by THR staff
Chris Wallace Fires Back at Jon Stewart: 'I Guess the Joke Is on' Him (Video)
Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace fired back at Jon Stewart on Sunday, a week after the Daily Show host called Wallace "insane" on the morning program and claimed that Fox News viewers are the most "consistently misinformed."
Stewart's comments came amid a debate with Wallace over bias in the media.
During the heated interview, Stewart said, "The bias of the media is toward sensationalism, conflict and laziness."
But Wallace later argued that Stewart was inserting his own bias when on a recent episode of The Daily Show he compared a video of Sarah Palin's One Nation bus tour "to a certain commercial ... Sarah Palin and a herpes drug, really?"
Stewart then argued that he was actually comparing the "technique" used in both clips and not making any sort of political commentary.
And if Wallace believes otherwise, Stewart said: "You're insane. ... Here's the difference between you and I. I'm a comedian first. My comedy is informed by an ideological background; there's no question about that. But the thing that you will never understand ... is that Hollywood, yeah, they're liberal, but that's not their primary motivating force. I'm not an activist. I am a comedian."
Stewart later added that Fox News viewers are the most "consistently misinformed media viewers" in "every poll."
But on Sunday, Wallace wasn't content to let the subject die, especially given how much attention was given to last week's interview.
"I figured it would get some reaction, but not that it would light up the Internet," Wallace told viewers Sunday.
What Wallace is now taking issue with is Stewart's reaction to Wallace's statement that Fox News does in fact do its viewers a service by telling "the other side of the story." (Stewart had responded by making a sarcastic remark about how there were only two sides to every story.)
"Jon seemed to think that was a big deal, that I said we tell the other side of the story," Wallace said Sunday. "While I wish I had said the full story, here is what I meant. As we showed today, we don't go easy on Republicans. But we try to provide a fuller perspective. For instance, pointing out the strengths and some of the problems with ObamaCare before anyone else did.
"But let me give you a classic example of what 'fair and balanced' means to me. After Hurricane Katrina, the mainstream media piled on FEMA for the failure to respond to the crisis. And the federal government did a lousy job. But it was Fox News that started reporting on the failure of the first responders, the city of New Orleans, and the state of Louisiana to help people. Yes, we reported FEMA's problems, but we also told the other side of the story."
Wallace also addressed Stewart's claim about Fox News viewers being the "most consistently misinformed." He said the website PolitiFact looked into that claim and determined it to be false based on its "Truth-O-Meter."
He also cited a Pew Poll from 2010 where Fox News scored better than MSNBC, CNN and the broadcast networks' evening newscasts and morning news programs.
"As for individual shows, 31 percent of Hannity viewers got all four questions correct, 29 percent for O'Reilly and all the way down near the bottom viewers of Jon Stewart's Daily Show at 22 percent," Wallace said. "So folks, all that talk about you're the most consistently misinformed viewers? I guess the joke is on Jon Stewart."