Here's a textbook example of why Jon Stewart isn't entirely trusted on the left -- when a big fat eephus pitch is heaved from a lumbering liberal, Stewart is swinging for the fence. And when the man connects, that ball is ... gone!
On his Comedy Central show last night, Stewart demonstrated why he is more than willing to eviscerate a worthy target regardless of whether said target is otherwise simpatico with Stewart's well-established lefty politics.
Stewart revisited the Obama administration failing to send a high-profile representative to the massive unity rallies in France earlier this month following the terrorist attacks at Charlie Hebdo and a kosher deli.
Compensating for this egregious faux pas fell inevitably to Secretary of State John Kerry --
STEWART: So President Obama had a successful bro-time hangout with the British prime minister. But how are we making up for last week's no-show on the Champs-Elysees?
NEWS SEGMENT: Secretary of State John Kerry is on a charm offensive this morning in Paris ...
STEWART: Now I know what you're thinking -- is it a good idea (gesturing toward a photo of Kerry) to send a man who appears to be a love child of Andrew Jackson and (pause) a wooden cigar-store Indian on a charm offensive?
Stewart is among the few can say "cigar-store Indian" -- and show a photo of one -- without overwrought pushback from perpetually offended liberals --
STEWART: It is a good idea (pause) if he's going to France.
CLIP OF WOLF BLITZER ON CNN: John Kerry -- speaks French, loves France, studied in France ...
STEWART: Favorite type of fries? French! Favorite type of bulldog? French! Favorite kind of maid? French! Favorite mustard? Heinz (pronounced sheepishly). C'mon, he's not going to jeopardize his marriage over mustard! I'll tell you this, though -- late at night, when John Kerry's wife Teresa Heinz Kerry is sleeping, what condiment does the Secretary secretly retrieve from the hiding space behind that loose tile under the toilet tank? (Grey Poupon?) Wink! (gesturing toward photo of French's mustard). Don't you see, this is a brilliant move. Kerry's general Frenchiness, the thing that lost him our presidential election (zing!), is what makes him our perfect envoy.
Stewart then showed footage of Kerry man-handling an obviously reluctant French President Francois Hollande and translated the body language in the manner of a merciless Project Runway judge (enough already, my wife watches) --
STEWART: ... and he's going (Hollande holding out both hands, Kerry pulling them toward him and forcing the men to hug) and no, I don't think he wants that, no! No, I don't think he, No! He doesn't want to touch! Pull out! No! He's not wanting that!
You know, I gotta check out that hug utilizing NFL's replay technology because Hollande's face is of a Frenchman not being healed but being forced to eat his first Velveeta Wonder Bread sandwich. Let's see! (The Hug shown again in slow-mo). All right, he's walking in there, there you go. Now the French president goes with the Oprah hands, it's the Oprah hands (Hollande's arms extended out in apparent signal that he wants to shake hands, not hug). I just want to touch hands! I just want to touch hands! This is the distance! Keep it at this distance! But Kerry says f*** that! C'mon, baby! Bring it in! Ohhhh, we're bros! Couple of guys will do this! Now, the French president is saying, OK, I've had enough and, no! (footage shows Kerry pulling Hollande in for second hug, followed by Hollande pulling away again). All right, I'm done, I'm done! Hollande tries to get out, but watch Kerry, he says, I tell you what though (lowers voice creepily for effect), I am never letting you go. I am never, look at Hollande, he's looking at him, Hollande says (Stewart growls). All right, that's not what I wanted but ... (after Kerry had awkwardly raised Hollande's hand up, as if for running mate). That is not prom worthy.
This was phase one, Stewart said, which "did not necessarily go off according to plan." But phase two "will win French hearts and minds" -- unless it involves some syrupy plan to send a '70s pop singer to serenade the French --
NEWS REPORT: Secretary Kerry brought James Taylor to perform "You've Got a Friend" for the people of France to help ease tensions. (Taylor shown performing).
Reaction shot of Stewart, hands on face, expression of mock horror --
STEWART: Are you trying to get us in a war? (Or lose the one we're fighting against militant Islam?) Is that what this is? James Taylor singing "You've Got a Friend." A little on the nose, don't you think? For God's sake, Kerry, you couldn't fly the Rembrandts over to do the "Friends" theme? ... Or maybe the Zack Attack? Oh don't act like you don't know the Zack Attack? (characters from the '90s sitcom "Saved by the Bell" shown performing "Friends Forever).
Thank you, Jon Stewart, for putting Kerry's decision to cast Taylor as consolation prize for our oldest ally in proper inane perspective -- and you know it had to be Kerry's idea, and that no one under him at State summoned the fortitude to challenge its preciousness.
Hard to imagine FDR, Truman, JFK or LBJ doing this -- not hard at all seeing McGovern, Carter, Clinton and Obama on board with it.
What next -- Kerry sending Diana Ross to Syria to sing "Stop! In the Name of Love"? (A meme making the rounds on Facebook).