When it comes to the economy, "it's not good. Not good," according to Jon Stewart. "But don't take my word for it. Seriously, I'm actually doing very well."
On May 1, "The Daily Show" host was introducing a segment that made light of doom-and-gloom economic reporting on network and cable news. His mash-up highlighted CBS's own "Grim Reaper," Anthony Mason, ABC's Betsy Stark, NBC's Brian Williams and CNN's senior business correspondent Ali Velshi.
Stewart poked hardest at Velshi, whom he called that "Hairless Prophet of Doom."
"Who is that hairless prophet of doom and how can we appease his anger, please?" Stewart pleaded, "If we give you our hair will you give us back our money? Will you do it, sir? I beg of you - Velshi!"
He wrote, "This is bad. Morning TV is not meant to depress people. But it's not my fault - the economy is Issue No. 1 during the election - and my beat is covering the economy."
"Problem is," Velshi continued, "when you see my chubby mug on TV, it is generally bad news. It hasn't always been that way. I've covered good business news, too. In fact, I covered some good news this week. Good economic news."
That's true - the Business & Media Institute has given Velshi credit a number of times for bringing more than a doom-and-gloom perspective to the issues. But BMI has also recently criticized him for changing the definition of "recession."
After Stewart's ribbing, Velshi resolved "to look at the glass as half-full instead of half-empty."