CNN never ceases to amaze me. They had the opportunity to pick the brains of two of the more rational liberal comedians of the last 25 years, and they absolutely missed the mark.
Instead of asking comedians Dave Chappelle and Jon Stewart straight forward questions about the political climate and what they’re combined shows are all about, CNN’s Christine Amanpour tried to lead the duo into saying something, anything negative about President Trump.
You might not agree with Chappelle and Stewart politically, but at least they’re mostly rational people who can see beyond all of the fury the media uses to attack Trump. At the very least Chappelle wasn’t giving Amanpour the soundbites she was looking for.
“I hear people say, you know, families are not speaking to one another because of politics. That sounds insane to me,” Chappelle told Amanpour. “There’s a ton of people that I love and respect that I completely disagree with.”
That sounded like a pretty rational response, wouldn’t you say?
Stewart took Amanpour’s bait way more than Chappelle did, but at least he did so in a comedic and non-hostile fashion.
Here’s a few of the incredibly leading questions Amanpour asked the pair. One of the questions was so ironic that Amanpour should’ve taken her media organization and put them in a mirror:
In speaking about the resurgence of late controversial comedian Lenny Bruce, Amanpour asked, “People are saying the same things that he [Bruce] was satirizing and making part of his comedy back then exist right now: The assault on free speech, the partitioning of the country along race and religious lines, the protests on the streets and in Congress. And I wonder how that affects you, whether you internalize that, given what you said about a rational voice?
Do you think it [division] is more acute right now?
Is the “Trump era a good era for comedians? Is it just unbelievable fodder or not?
He’s [Trump] been a lot more aggressive towards journalists and reporters? I wonder what you think? I mean, obviously we’re speaking in a moment when, you know, one of our colleagues [Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi] has been butchered in cold blood?
Chappelle, at one point, actually responded by saying that Trump is “getting too much credit” for the division we’re currently seeing in our country.
Throughout the interview, Amanpour played clips of Trump joking at rallies about reporters for Chappelle and Stewart. She even played a clip of Stewart, when he was still “The Daily Show” host, not taking Trump as seriously when Trump announced his presidential candidacy.
Stewart responded by saying that after Trump’s initial comments about Mexico that his young campaign was done for. That’s when Amanpour had to drop in an overt hint as to the evils of Trump’s statements.
“Not to mention what he said about women,” Amanpour said without expounding.
The bottom line of this interview was that Amanpour played the typical CNN hand, asking leading questions that were designed to get a desired response.
I don't agree with Chappelle and Stewart's take on politics, but they're comedians. As long as their acts aren't completely about Trump, no president is above a joke. It's when it becomes constant where the comedy gets stale and targeted. All I'm saying is that you should be able to joke about pretty much anyone, as long as it remains comedy and doesn't veer into nasty attacks. That's when comedy isn't funny anymore.
CNN only showed the portion of the interview that had to do with the current political climate, basically so they could continually ask the question, ‘What do you think about Trump?’ CNN would be better served to have constructive interviews with rational people rather than leading interviews where their bias is clear.
You can watch the interview that CNN wants you to see below: