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CNN Larry King Live

Interview With Jon Stewart

Aired October 20, 2010 - 21:00   ET



LARRY KING, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, Jon Stewart on his "Rally to Restore Sanity." A political event or a put-on?

Oprah's sending "The Daily Show" audience to D.C. Even President Obama has given it props.

Plus, we'll talk candidates who claim they aren't witches. Voicemail for Anita Hill. Getting a grip on Planet Earth from the man who wrote the whole book about it.

Jon Stewart for the hour. No joke. Next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: Good evening. Jon Stewart. Good to have him back. He's the host, executive producer of "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central. He's leading the "Rally to Restore Sanity" in Washington, D.C., appropriately the night before Halloween, October 30th.

He and the "Daily Show" writers are the authors of the new best- seller, in fact the number one best-seller on "The New York Times" best-seller list, "Earth: The Book, A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race."

I'm on one page of this. We're not going to show it to you.


KING: Because it's a family show, but it just increased sales of the book twofold. He'll host "Night of Too Many Stars." An overbooked concert for autism education. That airs on Comedy Central tomorrow night.

Half of it was taped in New York, right?

STEWART: I'm sorry, I'm just listening to the end of "PARKER/SPITZER." They're just -- that's witty. That is witty.


KING: You like that show?

STEWART: Listen, I'm just glad they got a real table. You see -- for the first couple of nights, they didn't have a table, they had a stool with, like, newspapers piled on it. Like they didn't have a guy to just come in and go, maybe we should move those.

What's happening, baby? Can I tell you something? You made the right choice. You are leaving this place. You know what you are? You're the last guy out of a burning building, my friend.


KING: Jon.

STEWART: You are --

KING: Stop.

STEWART: Oh, I'm sorry, am I -- are we on CNN right now?

KING: You're on -- yes.

STEWART: I thought this was, like, the pre-show banter.

KING: No, no, we're on.

STEWART: Oh, OK. Listen, you're really leaving this place with a great infrastructure and I think you've done -- I think it's in a wonderful --

KING: Thank you, Jon.



KING: Let's first get to the rally. Explain this to me. Now this is a definitive show here. We've been around a while so you should be proud to be here.

STEWART: I'm very proud to be here and honored to be here.

KING: So explain this rally.

STEWART: "Rally to Restore Sanity."

KING: Is it a political rally?

STEWART: No. It is in fact not a political rally.

KING: So what are you assuming, there is insanity prevailing and you're the restoring of the --

STEWART: Do you watch television?

KING: Yes. What are you presuming here?

STEWART: Do you live and breathe, my friend? We are presuming that -- that 75 to 80 percent of the country, reasonable people, they get along, they may not agree on things but they can do things.

And the other 15 percent control it. The dialogue, the legislation. This is for the people that are too busy, that have jobs and lives, and are tired of their reflection in the media as being a divided country and a country that's ideological and conflicted and fighting.

This is for those people. Those people are going to come to Washington, D.C. on October 30th and say to the world --

KING: Who will be speaking other than you and your pal?

STEWART: So we should -- you're -- you --

KING: Colbert. You and Colbert are speaking.

STEWART: You're saying we should have planned speakers?

KING: There are no speakers?

STEWART: Oh, Jesus. What --

KING: It's just a bunch of people rallying?

STEWART: What exactly -- what would you -- no, it's going to be -- we got a whole thing planned. We got guests. Musical. We got things planned. It's going to -- it's going to shock maybe not even just this world, other worlds. Maybe aliens.

KING: Comedy Central telecasting it?


KING: Fully?


KING: Other networks permitted to cover it? CNN can come?

STEWART: You can pick up -- we call it in the business the feed. You can pick up the feed.

KING: You are the host, going to be there all day?

STEWART: We were going to have a feed. We're like your livestock.

KING: What time is it? Are you putting --

STEWART: That's going to be a trough.

KING: Are you putting yourself in the same place like Martin Luther King?


KING: Well, you're holding a rally in Washington on a Saturday.

STEWART: Let me put it this way. I'm putting myself in the same class as Martin Mull. How about that?


KING: Martin Mull.

STEWART: This is -- it is --

KING: Anti-Glenn Beck rally?

STEWART: It is not the Anti-Glenn Beck rally. It's a very similar -- what we are doing is we are using the rally format to do the same thing we do with our shows. The message will be a very similar-type idea.

It's just using the rally through a satirical format. Like the book is like our show in book form. We're going to also develop our show in capsule form. In powder form. Maybe a drink form the astronauts can use up in the space shuttle.

It's not -- you know, everybody should just wait and see what it is, make their own decisions.

KING: All right. Now many news organizations prohibit employees from taking part in political events.

STEWART: I don't --

KING: NPR, in fact --

STEWART: I don't blame them.

KING: -- sent out a memo, National Public Radio --


KING: Reminding the staffers it will be against the rules for them to attend the rally.

STEWART: And I have --

KING: What do you make of that?

STEWART: As a countermeasure against NPR.

KING: Yes?

STEWART: To fight back, I have prohibited my employees from describing events in esoteric terms.


STEWART: Yes? You won't come to my rally? Well, we will no longer be quirky and use sound effects. KING: That's right.

STEWART: To describe public events. So that's --

KING: What do you make -- are you hurt by that? Is that a --

STEWART: Am I hurt by that?

KING: Yes, hurt, emotionally hurt.

STEWART: Very little NPR can do to hurt a fella. Other than perhaps come and reclaim my tote bag. From now on, I'm carrying everything just in my arms like this. I will no longer use their tote bags.

I find it interesting that you would forbid people to go to something that even we don't really know what it is.

KING: Well, see, that's peculiar. You don't know --

STEWART: I think it's somewhat peculiar. We actually know what it is. But they don't.

KING: But they're guessing it's political.

STEWART: They're guessing it's political. And they are --

KING: You're saying here tonight it is not political.

STEWART: They are guessing wrong, my friend.

KING: It is not a political rally.

STEWART: They are guessing wrong. This is not a political rally in any way, shape or form. It is a visceral expression of --

KING: Of sanity.

STEWART: Of a people fed up with the reflection that they are shown of themselves as a divided people.

KING: If I were bringing a picket sign to this --

STEWART: We shall -- sorry?

KING: If I bring a picket sign --

STEWART: A picket sign? What are you? A wobbly?

KING: If I were to bring --

STEWART: You're fighting labor with the picketing boys in 1932?

KING: If I will bring me a sign in support of this rally, what should it say?


KING: Aha.

STEWART: OK, that's fine. If that's all the space you have on it, aha would be fine. There's a whole -- we have a whole Web site, You can put that on there. The signs that I've come up with are, "I may disagree with you, but I'm pretty sure you're not Hitler."

KING: Good sign.

STEWART: "Got competence." That sort of thing.

KING: Got competence.

STEWART: Yes. I'm -- at this point, I'm just a competence --

KING: And honestly, though, couldn't that be boring? I mean, so -- it's so civilized.

STEWART: Yes -- no.

KING: In this age of franticism.

STEWART: Yes. No, it is. It's -- you're right. It's going to be an actual tea party. We're just going to have people sit. The crowd is going to play the Mad Hatter. I'm going to be Alice. We're just going to have a little setup with doilies. It's going to be very lovely.

KING: What a great idea.

STEWART: Yes, it is very lovely. Wouldn't it be nice to not have so much franticism? Would it be nice if conflict and the false urgency of the 24-hour news networks of which you very wisely have decided to walk away from. And by the way, I think they made a brilliant choice by bringing in a British guy no one's heard of.

I think that is -- when I'm thinking about floating a sinking ship, what I do want to bring on it? The guy that people are going to tune in and go, "who's that?" And why is he speaking so funny?

KING: All right, back -- just a little more on the rally. Then we'll cover other things.


KING: But I want to --

STEWART: We should cover other things.

KING: Oprah Winfrey is supporting the rally. In a uniquely Oprah way here's the announcement she made on "The Daily Show" last week. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OPRAH WINFREY, TV HOST: "Daily Show" audience. Look under your seats.

STEWART: Look under your seats. What's under there?


STEWART: They have no qualms about obeying Oprah. Oprah's our leader.


WINFREY: You're going to the rally. You're going to the rally! You're going to the rally. Everybody's going to the rally.


STEWART: They're all this. They have no idea what they've done. Here's what is crazy.

KING: All right, put his mike --

STEWART: Are we coming back?

KING: Go ahead.

STEWART: So here's what is crazy. She gave everybody in the audience rally tickets except for one person. One person opened it up, anthrax.


STEWART: That's how she plays. She gets everybody, like you're going to the rally, you're going -- one person just looked and went, my god, I can't breathe.

Yes, she's very nice. She sent people plane tickets, reservations.

KING: She's amazing.

STEWART: She's unbelievable.

KING: And they obey her, right?

STEWART: She said look under your seats, they're like, OK.


STEWART: Stand up, punch the person next to you.

KING: There is some controversy. I think it's been cleared up but we're going to settle it in a minute about whether there are potties at the -- portable potties at the rally. I think you have to have them.

STEWART: This is why I'm here, to answer the hard-hitting questions.

KING: We'll be -- we'll be right back.



STEWART: Welcome to the mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED) "Daily Show."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For something that happened more than 60 years ago.

STEWART: What? Larry King's first wedding is not the president's fault. Slightly less than two months ago. By the way, Guatemalan syphilis experiment, worst Ben & Jerry's flavor ever.


KING: You are sick, you know? I mean --

STEWART: We're just entertaining ourselves.

KING: It's a little -- the Marine Corps marathon --


KING: Is the day after your rally.


STEWART: I'm running.

KING: Oprah ran it in once.

STEWART: Did she really run the marathon?

KING: She did. She did.

STEWART: There is nothing the woman can't do.

KING: I know. The organizers have arranged for 800 portable toilets but they won't be delivered to the mall until after your rally.

STEWART: Wise choice.

KING: Has this been solved?

STEWART: We have been in contact with the Port-o-Potty people.

KING: And? This is serious, hey.

STEWART: Right now, they are -- they say they're efforting.

KING: Efforting?

STEWART: Port-o-Potties. We will have toilets. They may not be enclosed. I guess what I'm saying is --

KING: You just decreased the crowd.

STEWART: We will either have toilets or we will have shovels.


STEWART: It's really up to people to make up their own mind.

KING: Well, we have a gift for you.

STEWART: I don't -- now I really don't know what to think.

KING: I wanted to do my bit for the rally attendees.

STEWART: We're very --

KING: This will be shipped to you.

STEWART: So this is your response to Oprah?

KING: Open the curtain please.

STEWART: This is a curtain? Oh, my god.

KING: There it is. The first potty for the rally.

STEWART: Can I tell you something?

KING: And our executive producer almost used it.

STEWART: That is -- please tell me that that is not the capsule that they keep you in.


STEWART: Is that the hyperbaric chamber that when you're not working? All right. Somebody store King until tomorrow. We got Loni Anderson and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Let's keep -- put King back in the crisper.

That is -- now here's the thing.

KING: Let's do this again. Show it again.

STEWART: We are going to -- we have gone out -- I don't know if you know this, but you can get port-o-potties pretty easily. We have a ton of them. Can we still take this one and just --

KING: Yes.

STEWART: We will delineate it as yours.

KING: Put a sign on it?

STEWART: Are we responsible for cleaning and upkeep or is that something you're also taking care of?

KING: I don't know.

STEWART: You are not responsible for the cleaning and upkeep? So this is merely the facility? Well, I appreciate the gesture greatly and I'm --

KING: Honored.

STEWART: Very thankful, I'm honored. You know what's weird about something like, I'm hooked up but (INAUDIBLE) so I can't move. My first instinct is to go, that's so nice, let me go check that out, like it's -- even something like that.

Well, you are -- this is, you know, Oprah does her bit and you clearly --

KING: In our humble little way.

STEWART: In your humble little way, you are, in fact -- you don't have your own Angel Network, but yet --

KING: You don't know what to say, do you? You really don't know what to say. Jon Stewart is stumped.

STEWART: You, you, you gifted me with -- you know what, that's the one I'm going to use. Can I tell you something? That's the one I'm going to use.


STEWART: I appreciate it.

KING: By the way --

STEWART: You're a good man.

KING: This is the first Peabody Award winning show to present a port-o-potty.

STEWART: You know what? In honor of this -- hold on, I'm just going to go right now.

KING: Let me know when you're done.

STEWART: All right.

KING: OK. All right. That's the perfect symbol, isn't it, of the elections this year?


KING: It's kind of like national --

STEWART: Is that your segue?

KING: Yes, that's my segue.

STEWART: Oh my god.

KING: Isn't it an example?

STEWART: The port-o-potty.

KING: What is going on in this country?

STEWART: It's an enclosed space where people urinate?

KING: No, no, no, never mind. All right.

STEWART: I'm missing it.

KING: You got to think.

STEWART: I'm missing your metaphor. All right. I'm going to think about it.

KING: All right. America. What do you make -- skip the potty.



STEWART: What do we got?

KING: What do you make of what's going on?

STEWART: What's going on electorally?

KING: Yes.

STEWART: Well, people seem to be somewhat frustrated with the status quo and are at this point willing to elect -- let's say dolphins instead of what's out there right now. So I think -- I think at this point, this is the best chance ever for a bowl of fresh fruit to make it to Congress.

A bowl of fresh fruit. You could put it out there and be like this piece of fruit is not a Washington insider. It is merely a peach. Just like you. A regular average American peach.

You talk like the corrupt inside Washington fear mongers. This -- I mean, it's absolutely astonishing. And by the way, completely justified. I mean, it's a mess there. It is an entrenched and seemingly endlessly corrupt system.

KING: We'll be back from bathroom humor to political jokes to more conversation with Jon Stewart.

STEWART: Want to get out on another fruit reference?

KING: And we'll talk about what he's doing for autism as well. And about the book "Earth." Don't go away. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


STEWART: So to recap, a few simple guidelines for our rally. No nudity. No throwing stuff. And no totalitarian fascism. The guidelines are basically this. When in doubt, don't be douchey.


KING: Funny.

STEWART: Very similar, I believe.

KING: How did this idea come about, the rally? Did it spark you one day?

STEWART: Yes. Well, you know, we've been trying to think about a way to sort of encapsulate how to do it. And then when, you know, rallies became sort of the in thing for the news to talk about with all that, we thought that's the perfect format for us to do our shtick.

KING: President Obama is elected. A new wave is coming in America.

STEWART: Yes. When is that, by the way? Do you even know? Do you even know when that's scheduled?


STEWART: A new wave?

KING: He's on your show October 27th.

STEWART: Yes, yes.

KING: OK. A sitting president is coming to Comedy Central. Slamming.

STEWART: Yes. It is.

KING: What do you make of that?

STEWART: It really shows what's happened to the majesty of the office.


STEWART: Doesn't it? The oval office.

KING: Yes.

STEWART: It used to be the bully pulpit. Now it's just another pulpit.

KING: Are you excited?

STEWART: I think we're excited. I think it's always -- we're always -- those days are always very distracting. You know the last we had on, Pervez Musharraf. When he was the leader of Pakistan. And all the tumult around it, there's snipers on the -- you know, and there's guys with AK-47s in the hall way, and they bring in the bomb- sniffing dogs.

And you know, you know my staff, the dogs don't just sniff bombs. So -- you know, that day, it's like, all right, everybody, get your -- everybody's contraband out. And they set up a Kevlar front to my desk. Because we have like 200 people in the audience.

KING: I know. I've been on your show.

STEWART: And they have -- is that true? How were you on it? Were you good?

KING: I was very good. You fell off the chair laughing.

STEWART: Is that true?

KING: Yes.

STEWART: Oh, and I wouldn't fake that.

KING: No. No. Are you telling me you faked that?

STEWART: No, I'm just kidding. You were great. You're always -- your stories -- people don't realize this. In the commercial breaks are the most interesting about this, your life is so much more interesting than mine.

As soon as we go to commercial break, I'm throwing out Martin Mull jokes. He's giving me a port-o-potty. As soon as we go to commercial break, so I interviewed George Wallace, you know, it was right after the Martin Luther King rally, "I Have a Dream." And I'm like, wait, why didn't we talk about that?

Why are you asking schmucky for stories? You've got it all in your head.

What are we talking about? Pervez Musharraf?

KING: Yes.

STEWART: They set up a Kevlar front to the desk.

KING: Yes, I know.

STEWART: So I said -- there were two guys with Pakistani secret service. I said, what is that for exactly? He said, well, if anyone does get a weapon in here and they make a move, we will dive on the president and put him below the Kevlar.

And I said, you know, I'm going to be actually also sitting out there. And the guy, he gets real quiet and he goes, you should duck. What?

KING: This whole mess -- and it is a mess in many areas.


KING: Why did it -- is it Obama's failure to --

STEWART: I don't know that the -- you know, I don't -- he did not arrive in a pristine environment and throw mud on the walls. I think it's hard to unravel. I think the difficulty of the mess is that the problem solving apparatus is not really rewarded for pragmatic solutions.

It's rewarded to keep sort of very entrenched interests that occupy Washington afloat. It's a --

KING: What happens to the rest of us?

STEWART: Well, they assume that we're busy. And they assume that we're not going to notice. That they will -- their shenanigans will occur in a kind of haze. That's why it's important to have a media that's tenaciously clarifying these issues for people, as it does so well.

KING: You don't think we do well?

STEWART: Oh, the worst. Not you. You're great.

KING: You talking about the --


STEWART: The media in general. You said it yourself. It is -- it's focused on conflict. It's focused on creating drama and a false sense of urgency. For better or for worse, the 24-hour networks are now the leading light of our information age. They're the ones that kind of drive the dialogue.

KING: Is this better or worse than, say, the Edward R. Murrow days? Truth, because we get more information now --

STEWART: Right. I don't know how old you think I am.

KING: You don't know Edward R. Murrow?

STEWART: I know him. I know of him. I've seen him on Cinescopes. But I was not alive, Larry.

KING: OK. I'm sorry.

STEWART: To compare and contrast. Here is -- I mean I do know this. We have a false sense of nostalgia about the country that was. That's -- it feels to me like the right wants to take us back to a time in America that never really existed, and the left wants us to advance to a utopian environment where no one can say anything about anybody. It'd be sort of this weird -- you know, where we're all just worried about the fragility of stepping on each other's toes.

KING: Where's the middle in all this?

STEWART: The middle is at the "Rally to Restore Sanity," Larry.

KING: We'll ask --

STEWART: Which camera?


KING: Makes a guy to know --

STEWART: Edward R. Murrow? What do you -- how does this compare to Hoover's day?

KING: This is wonderland.

STEWART: Sure, it's --

KING: All right, let me help you.

STEWART: All right.

KING: He was pretty good.

STEWART: He seemed damn good.

KING: Yes. He's damn good. He had a nice voice.

STEWART: But would you --

KING: Good stance.

STEWART: Would you disagree? You're the guy that's been around. Would you agree that we have created and rewarded a false sense of urgency within the news and that the people who get the jobs and the people whose voices are heard are the ones who will say the most extreme things?

KING: You speak the loudest, you get on. That's right.

STEWART: That's what the bookers do.

KING: But Murrow didn't. That's what I'm just telling you.

STEWART: I will take your word for it.

KING: Just look at the Joe McCarthy special.


KING: Just get the special. It's in the archives.

STEWART: I've seen the special.

KING: OK, well.

STEWART: He seemed good then. But I don't know if right after that he did a whole steroids in baseball thing. I don't know. What the hell do I know?


KING: We'll ask Jon what he thinks of Christine O'Donnell and the First Amendment right after this.


KING: We're back with Jon Stewart. "The Daily Show." The book "Earth," we'll talk about that in a little while. Number one, "New York Times." Big rally in Washington. Day before Halloween.

What do you make of the lady in Delaware?

STEWART: The lady in Delaware?

KING: Miss O'Donnell.

STEWART: Christine O'Donnell? Like I say, this is -- it doesn't look like she's going to be victorious. But I also think, you know, the idea she said some things on television 20 years ago and that's evidence that she's somehow off balance, you know, again --

KING: You don't buy that?

STEWART: Well, I also think it's like everything else. You focus on the wrong thing. For me that should be great. Comedic fodder, witchcraft, masturbation. For god's sakes, that's my house. That's where I live. I'm nothing if not a masturbating warlock.

But in terms of the political -- to focus on -- I mean, I work -- I was on TV, I was on MTV 20 years ago. God forbid anybody find those tapes and hold that against me. I mean, it is -- it's astonishing to me where we put our focused and what we delve into.

KING: Well, it was Bill Maher who's the sophisticated, modern hip guy who brought that to the forefront.

STEWART: Well, he's -- but he's just trying to get her to come on the show so he can have a conversation with her.

KING: Yes.

STEWART: He said that. He's -- he's just -- that's bait. That's O'Donnell bait. I don't think he takes seriously -- I don't think Bill Maher -- he'd be the first person to tell you he doesn't think the masturbation thing really would preclude her from office.

KING: What do you make of the lady in Nevada?

STEWART: Every time you say it, it's all so mysterious. There's a lady in Nevada.

KING: I got it from Murrow.

STEWART: Standing on the corner wearing a trench coat. I think Sharron Angle is an example of just how desperate people must be to remove Democrats from office, that they would listen to her positions and the things that she says and go, that's for me. I think that's got more to do with them going, Harry Reid, seriously dude?

KING: Where did Harry -- he's the top Democrat in the Senate.


KING: He got a health bill passed.

STEWART: Yeah, but I think the issue is not that -- they seem to feel that legislative accomplishment in and of itself is reason for re-election. I think a lot of people feel like they are layering hit or miss reforms on top of an infrastructure that is somewhat corroded. I think people felt like this was an opportunity to root out years of rust and degradation in a system, not just layer it with all kinds of other --

KING: They were supposed to do it in two years?

STEWART: They were not supposed to do it in two years. But I think within two years, they could have laid out an illuminating path that showed that they were on the road to understanding what the issues were that people were concerned about. Also, to be fair, they have faced a relentless campaign of hyperbole that they are tyrannical socialists bent on the homosexualization of the gayness of turning this country into gay-Germany.

KING: While being Muslim.

STEWART: While being Muslim. So, again -- but with that stated, if they had given people I think a much clearer impression of what was important to them and what they thought the real issues were, rather than just this kind of -- there's an incoherence to what they say. I always say, you know, with Republicans, you never -- they never have to prove that they love this country. Democrats always seem to have to prove to America that they love America.

Republicans love America, they just seem to hate about 50 percent of the people who live in it. Democrats, you know, for their thing, it's always they love this country, they just somehow wish it were a different country. You know, Democrats are always like, you know, America's the greatest country in the world. Have you seen Finland's health care system? You get back rubs at work.

KING: I mentioned to you --

STEWART: You're surrounded by sandwiches.

KING: I saw Senator Harry Reid at Nate and Al's deli the other day. STEWART: You saw Senator Harry Reid at Nate and Al's deli, and I happened to say to you, was he applying for a job? That's all I said. All I was concerned about was, is he OK? Is he worried?

KING: Yes.

STEWART: He should be worried.

KING: He thinks he's slightly ahead.

STEWART: See, even that -- even that, Larry. How are things going, Harry? I'm slightly ahead. That's nice. Good-bye, grandpa.

KING: We'll be back with more of Jon Stewart after this.



KARL ROVE, FMR. ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BUCH: How dare the president do this?

STEWART: I mean, how dare he. I mean, I do declare, the president has given me the vapors.

These cheeks are not, in fact, chubby. He is storing up evil for the winter.

Hey, hey, take it down a notch, white-beard. You're a staff and a cloak away from getting tenure at Hogwarts, buddy.


KING: Jon Stewart. We have several Tweets to Kings Things.

STEWART: This is a problem. News people shouldn't be going, we've got some Tweets. It's like you walked out in the middle of this and said, I was in the bathroom and a guy mentioned to me, you know --

KING: These are human beings and they're Tweeting us. Do you have no respect for them?



STEWART: I don't know who they are. They could be anybody. They could be pretending to be -- who the hell knows who they are?

KING: They're asking this: what you thought about CNN, us, firing Rick Sanchez after he called you a bigot?

STEWART: Is that 140 characters, because that sounded a lot more than 140 characters. It sounded like somebody sent you a double or triple Tweet.

KING: May have been a double Tweet.

STEWART: We're on a news program and you're saying to me, so there's a Tweet. Isn't that a question you probably could have thought of yourself?

KING: We like to involve the audience. It's a gimmick.

STEWART: All right.

KING: Well, what do you think?

STEWART: Should they have fired him for that? No.

KING: You think they made a mistake?

STEWART: With the crap you guys have put on over the last ten years. What, are you kidding me? Fire somebody if you don't think they're doing a good job as a news person. This whole idea that people -- you know, they fired a woman for Tweeting something on her thing on her blog. They fired Sanchez for saying what he said.

I think it's absolute insanity. I think this idea that people have to be held to account for everything that comes out of their mouths as far as their livelihoods is concerned -- does he do a good job? Were you pleased with his job? Or was it an excuse to -- you know, to get rid of him?

KING: What did you think of the job he was doing?

STEWART: He's a ham. I mean, I wasn't crazy about the show. Do you think I want to see a newsman get tased and then get into a car and drive it into a river? It would be like, this is how you get out. What? What are you doing? But --

KING: Were you not hurt by him calling you that? Personally hurt?

STEWART: No, I was not personally hurt by him calling me a bigot. I make jokes about people for a living. If that's the least -- you should hear what people call me when I'm walking home. You have no idea the vitriol that comes my way on a daily basis. Bigot, I almost wanted to hug him and go, really, you think? That nice?

KING: Why do you pick on --

STEWART: And, again, the idea that they would have fired him for calling me a bigot. I think if that's the reason, hire him back tomorrow, because I -- you know, my feeling is, you know, when he said -- you know, there was a -- the thought that he had said that Jews control the media and that maybe that would have ruffled some feathers, that they felt that was --

KING: Maybe that was the reason.

STEWART: OK, but even that, I'm sorry, that is a nasty thing to say. I don't think he actually means that. But I don't think that's a fireable offense. Unless it's, you know -- yeah, if you criticize your bosses sometimes. But even that.

KING: Why do you pick on CNN so much?

STEWART: You're terrible!

KING: Why are you here?

STEWART: I like you.

KING: You set me apart from the network I work at?

STEWART: You're all people. It's not that -- you know -- the reason -- I didn't -- again, I became an easy excuse for people up top who wanted to get rid of a show that was sort of low ranked to do that. Believe me, if I had that kind of power in the world, we'd leave in a much different world. Cancer would be ice cream.

The idea that CNN has this infrastructure -- they have all this international reach. They have all this technology. And it sometimes feels squandered. That's all, squandered opportunity. That's all I'm saying.

KING: What do you make of Fox?

STEWART: I think brilliantly authoritative. They know what they're doing. People would take well to heed how tenacious they are, how bold they are. They express editorial authority.

I think they're wrong. But I appreciate that they're trying. And, you know, I don't think it's a right and left thing. I don't think that's what's going to be important. I think CNN has a -- an opportunity to be a real arbiter. But being a real arbiter means taking a stand, not just having people on -- you're on the left, you're on the right. That's like having people on in the cola wars. You're from Pepsi; you're from Coke. What do you think? I think we taste great. I think we taste great. That's all the time we have.

Both terrific points of view. You know? It's about being authoritative, about earning credibility. CNN, more than anybody, has the infrastructure to be able to accomplish that. And instead, they make a holographic Jessica Yellin and they just make her come up as a holograph on election night. Do you remember that?

KING: Yeah, once they did that.


KING: But Fox, you think they're fair and honest in reporting?

STEWART: What? No. God no.

KING: But that's their motto.

STEWART: What? That's their motto?

KING: Yes. STEWART: Well, that's a complete lie.


STEWART: No, I think they're tenacious. I think they are confident. And they are -- they are showing the model of how to build an organization that believes in something. I think what they -- I think it is wrong-headed for a news organization. I think they've built an incredible political organization, really effective political organization.

KING: So it's a political organization?

STEWART: Yes, that's right. But you could do with it the thing. But instead, you have to throw it to "Parker/Spitzer."

KING: "Parker/Spitzer" airs at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, right now before this show. Take a look at what Kathleen and Elliot discussed today. And then Jon Stewart and I --

STEWART: And they had a Danish.

KING: We'll be right back.


RALPH REED, CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL ACTIVIST: I think midterm turnout is so hard to call.


REED: That I think it's -- let me put it to you this way. I think both chambers are in play. And I think it's entirely possible that you're going to have a Republican House and a Republican Senate.

PARKER: If you were a betting man --



KING: Jon Stewart is the host of "A Night of Too Many Stars." It's an overbooked concert for autism education. It airs tomorrow night on Comedy Central. Here is a sneak peek.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three thousand, 4,000.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see only men so far. Are there any women?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- 8,000, 9,000. There's two of you now. It is at 10,000 dollars.

:UNIDENTIFIED MALE Who here thinks this is a great cause tonight. Raise your hand. Eleven thousand. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten thousand dollars. It's against you two ladies. You could go together.

STEWART: Can I tell you something, what about that? What about a joint -- if I may offer a menage a trois experience on stage. Two people. Because he has two hands.


STEWART: He does -- you do have two hands.

STEVE CARRELL, COMEDIAN: I do. I could make it work.


KING: Now, half of it's on tape, half of it's live. You're here do the live part tomorrow.

STEWART: We're here to do the live part tomorrow. The live part tomorrow is with a phone bank and a lot of payoff some of the bits we did. The theater event, we did that in New York a couple of weeks ago. I'm telling you, there's some --

KING: Why autism for you?

STEWART: A friend of ours, their son is -- well, really, the heart and soul behind "The Night of Too Many Stars" is Robert and Michelle Shmigle (ph), and their son Daniel is suffering, you know, terribly from it. What we do with the "Night of Too Many Stars" benefit is not about -- there are people out there that are working on cures and doing all that, and doing great work. This is about services for the families that are dealing with having an autistic child.

KING: There are many more than we think, right?

STEWART: Man, I got into this, you know, eight or nine years ago. And the tentacles, the roots of it that spread out, it's incredible. Everywhere you go -- on the plane out here today, the gentleman who was -- serving -- the flight attendant. Oh, my nephew, Charlie, has autism. You know, it's just, the families, they do all they can. But they need help.

KING: So it's tomorrow night. And you can call in.

STEWART: You call in and you pledge. I'm telling you, Robert Shmigle is the guy behind Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and SNL. He is the heart and soul of the content of this thing. And it's really funny. It's really smart. It's really funny. He does amazing -- and then his wife Michelle is just like the heart and soul of the operation.

KING: That was a great bit, if you support this cause, raise your hand, so now you're bidding.

STEWART: That was Carrell. You know what Carrell was doing? We were auctioning off that he would hold hands with a woman and he would say her name while simulating an orgasm. That was her bit. Chris Rock was up there. We were auctioning off an experience where Chris Rock would tell someone -- your ex, he would curse them out on the phone for you. And that pays off on the show. And it's really something.

The money that they've raised has done real things. They set up a school at Hunter College for teachers to learn how to teach kids with autism. They've done -- Robert and Michelle have done amazing work.

KING: I salute you for that.


KING: I salute you.

STEWART: I am not in any way an officer.

KING: It's a phrase.

STEWART: OK. Because charity does not make you in any way an officer. That's not how you get into the Army.

KING: We'll talk about "Earth." I'm in this book, but we're not going to show you where.

STEWART: Show them where.

KING: No, I'm not.

STEWART: That's why Walmart won't sell it.

KING: They won't?


KING: Because of my page?

STEWART: Yes. Isn't that sad? They will sell like Grand Theft Auto four. They will sell an animated character raping and pillaging the city of Miami. They will not sell my book because of the picture of you.

KING: We'll be back. The book is "Earth." It's number one. Don't go away.


KING: Anderson Cooper hosts "AC 360" at the top of the hour. He has a big fan who wishes --

STEWART: Coop! Coop! What's up, Coop? Coop!

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, how's it going. STEWART: Can I tell you something? Anderson Cooper does a hell of a job on this network. He's your chance. You got to turn this baby over to him.

KING: Turn it over to him.

STEWART: You got to turn this baby over to him.

KING: Twenty four hours.

STEWART: Yes. Him and --

KING: Twenty three hours. Let me do an hour.

STEWART: Who do you think -- what country do you think the guy's going to come from to replace him? Do you think they're going to grab a guy, we've got a Romanian that does a -- he does a column. I'm telling you, A.C. throws down, baby. You've been doing a great job. I've been watching.

COOPER: Well, thank you very much. Appreciate it. There's a lot of good Romanian columnists out there, though.

KING: What's your topic?

STEWART: See, he's balanced.


STEWART: I can answer that last one for him, the NCAA report on the Tea Party. Not fair. That's my guess.

KING: You know that.

STEWART: That's my guess.

KING: You said something -- before we go to break --

STEWART: They're not going to mess with Cooper, by the way. When he wants questions answered, they answer. They're not going to arrest him. You know why?

KING: Why?

STEWART: Because he brings the boys with him, A.C. and 360.

KING: OK. You said to me before that if you ran this network, you would not have pundits. You would have analysts. What's the difference between a pundit and analyst?

STEWART: A pundit has a particular agenda that is typically more partisan in nature. They're working --


STEWART: Not fairness, I just want people that can help squeeze through all the crap.

KING: Don't you think David Gergen does a good job.

STEWART: Gergen is kind of good.

KING: Thanks. He's very good.

STEWART: Yes, but he sits in a room with 18 other people. Have you ever seen when they do David Gergen on election night? You're literally looking at like -- what is this, the cafeteria at the YMCA? You look down there, there's 800 people in the room. Let's talk to this guy; he's from Crazy People United.

By the time they get to Gergen, you're like, my eyes are bleeding. I'm coughing up. Gergen will say something that sounds sort of reasonable, but at that point, you know --

KING: Good point.

STEWART: You're peeing in the ocean. Why did I have to ruin everything? Everything was going so well and I had to go blue. Why did I have to go blue? I shouldn't have gone blue.

KING: It's your nature. We'll be back with our remaining moments. Watch him tomorrow night with the autism special. The rally is the 30th and the book. We'll talk about it right after this.



TINA FEY, COMEDIAN: 2011 Tina Fey swimsuit calendar.


FEY: Obviously this was kind of geared for the guys. But we also have for the ladies.

STEWART: That is interesting. That will be --


KING: The book is "Earth," It's number one on the "New York Times" list. My picture, which is banned because it's -- what? It's number one on "the New York Times" list. Page 39.

STEWART: Settle down.

KING: OK. You always put one picture in so Walmart will ban it.

STEWART: Yes, that's right.

KING: This is your picture in this book.

STEWART: Yes, that's right.

KING: Nude Supreme Court in the earlier book.

STEWART: By the way, in that one, Scalia was the one swinging the pipe in that one. So you're in good company.

KING: What's the concept of "Earth"?

STEWART: You mean the book?

KING: What's the concept.

STEWART: The concept is basically it's a guide. A history and complex history, how we got here, what we accomplished while we were here, and how we left, why we left.

KING: What led you to this? You're not a historian.

STEWART: What? How dare you, sir.

KING: You're not an anthropologist. What -- what are you? You're a host of a show.

STEWART: Well, if you read the book --

KING: This is a major book.

STEWART: Yes, you'll see that it's mostly false. But there are a lot of very funny pictures. And isn't that the important thing?

KING: It's a very funny book.

STEWART: Thank you very much, my friend.

KING: You're not shocked it's number one, are you? You're an American fixture.

STEWART: Make me sound like a toilet. You're an American fixture. You're like a porcelain monument that stands alone.

KING: I'm not supposed to say this, but a lot of people have Tweeted us about how long are you going to do this show.

STEWART: This show?

KING: Your show.

STEWART: Why? What do they know? Who's Twittering? Is that how I get fired? Twitter, is that how it happens?

KING: An Irish guy wants it.

STEWART: You know what? I love it. I feel it's the one job I've ever had that feels like I'm able to completely immerse myself into. But it's exhausting. And sometimes, as you know, you just want to spend a little more time with people that love you at home. So -- but right now, I'm -- you know, we're just trying to keep our heads down and get through all the next -- KING: Going to host the Academy Awards again?

STEWART: God, I'd do it again.

KING: They don't call on you?

STEWART: They call and we talk but not about that. They just call. It's the Academy. How you feeling? Listen, I have a ball when I do that.

KING: Thank you, Jon.

STEWART: Thank you. And it's been a pleasure and honor and congratulations on all this.

KING: Thank you, babe. "Earth" is the book. Tomorrow night is the special on autism, half of it taped in New York, very funny, and the other half is live from here with him hosting tomorrow night. And don't forget the big rally October 30th.

Want to sit here for an interview, you can. Go to, enter our contest. Be the King. The winner will come to this set and turn the tables on yours truly.

STEWART: I'm totally entering.

KING: Friday night, the cast of "Modern Family" will be here. Now, Anderson Cooper and AC...


KING: ... 360.