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Stewart tells MSNBC host: Your book is a 'recipe for sadness'
Mike Aivaz and Nick Juliano
Published: Wednesday October 3, 2007

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On Tuesday night's Daily Show, MSNBC host Chris Matthews got an in-person taste of Jon Stewart's penchant for mocking the mainstream media and the conventional wisdom it espouses.

Matthews, appearing to promote his new book Life's a Campaign, said he had endured the "interview from hell" after Stewart panned the new book as a Machiavellian "recipe for sadness."

The following video is from Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart, broadcast on October 2, 2007. (Article continues below).

"What you are saying is, people can use what politicians do in political campaigns to help their lives. ... That strikes me as fundamentally wrong," Stewart said at the opening of the interview. "It strikes me as a self-hurt book, if you will. Aren't campaigns fundamentally contrivances?"

Matthews extolled the virtues of listening and insisted that people can learn much about success from the tools employed in successful political campaigns.

"It's always a campaign," Matthews said. "It's a campaign to get the girl of your dreams; it's a campaign to do everything you want to do in life."

"But there has to be some core of soul in there," Stewart retorted. "What campaigns are, are photo opportunities that are staged, and there's nothing in this book about, 'Be good; be competent.'"

Matthews said that information was in the Bible -- "it's been written," he said.

"This book has been written too, it's called The Prince," Stewart retorted, referring to Machiavelli's treatise. "I thought that (your book) was a recipe for sadness. ... If you live this book, your life will be strategy, and ... you'll be unhappy."

As the interview became more heated, Matthews invited Stewart to a tete-a-tete on his home turf, Hardball, which Stewart declined. "I don't troll," he said.

"You are unbelievable," an exasperated Matthews said. "This is a book interview from hell; this is the worst interview I've ever had in my life. This is the worst. You are the worst."

"There's something in here that you fear," Matthews charged.

"Like fascism; I fear fascism," Stewart retorted.

Given one last opportunity to talk up his tome's "good values," Matthews gave up and tossed the book on Stewart's desk after the host couldn't contain his laughter.

At the end of the segment, Stewart offered to go on Hardball "and you can yell at me." He then extended his hand, "Friends?"

The two men shook hands before the show went to commercial.