Stewart: Pundits should say 'we were wrong about everything'
Jon Stewart came down hard on the pundits on Wednesday's Daily Show for their lapses in covering the New Hampshire primary, beginning with their predictions of an Obama landslide.
"I didn't watch New Hampshire ... because I don't watch shows that I already know the ending to," Stewart began, adding, "So, the pundits were slightly off. Nobody can foresee everything."
He then played a series of clips of one pundit after another attempting to explain why their predictions were wrong: "Women ... she took charge personally ... unions ... more traditional blue-collar Democrats ... older voters ... base Democrats ... spring-like weather in New Hampshire."
"And nobody foresaw that there might be dragons," commented Stewart.
He turned next to the rhetorical excesses of the tv commentators, contrasting them with the simplicity of John McCain's victory speech, where he stated merely, "I'm grateful and humble..."
"Johnny Mack, need flourishes, baby, metaphors," said Stewart. "Watch the masters."
Stewart offered as examples a series of strained metaphors offered by commentators for the campaign: "The fall of the house of Clinton ... like kids going into a Baskin-Robbins ... that game of 52 card pickup ... a restaurant with a really short menu ... can a souffle rise twice?"
"Now that was magic," Stewart said reverently, but he asked further, "May I get something in a pop culture metaphor?"
"A Perfect Storm ... The Empire Strikes Back ... Friday the 13th ... she is looking into the Abyss and the abyss is looking back."
"Does anybody have a struggle analogy that's a little more epic?" Stewart prompted, leading to an elaborate comparison from Chris Matthews:
"Hillary Clinton's campaign was not ... positioned well. You remember in the great movie Lawrence of Arabia, where the Turks aimed all their guns at the sea and the Arabs, the Arab revolt came in from the desert. They crossed the Nefu. ... This latter-day Lawrence, Barack Obama, cross the Nefu and come in behind the Clintons into their base ... They're going to lose Aqaba to the Arabs -- or to the enemy in this case ..."
A stunned-looking Stewart pulled himself together to declare, "And that is what happened here in New Hampshire! I think. But of course, I was wrong ten minutes ago. ... That guy's insane."
Stewart finally turned to veteran newsman Tom Brokaw saying at the end of the night, "We all ought to take a deep breath."
"Finally a little touch of class," said Stewart with relief. "A little old-school newsman saying, 'Hey, let's just take a breath, let's just stop with all the speculation, we were completely wrong about pretty much everything that happened from Iowa all the way through New Hampshire.' So moving forward to South Carolina, I think the media's going to heed his advice."
However, one final set of clips proved Stewart wrong in this hope:
"Black women will probably determine the outcome in South Carolina ... Romney probably now will lose Michigan ... I think it gives McCain real momentum ... Huckabee can draw on strong pro-life support from a very large Dutch community."
"I always knew Huckabee was in the pocket of big wooden shoe," was Stewart's final comment.
This video is from Comedy Centrals' The Daily Show, broadcast January 9, 2008.