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Jon Stewart: Democratic 'product launch'


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Jon Stewart
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Jon Stewart

BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Thousands of media members are covering the Democratic convention, and among them are the quasi-reporters from Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," who take a little more liberty than most journalists covering the event.

CNN anchor Bill Hemmer spoke Thursday with "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart at the FleetCenter, about the funny and serious aspects of the convention.

HEMMER: What are you chasing this week?

STEWART: We're chasing the hard news. We're chasing the stories. I'm out there every day. I'm in a tank. I'm wearing a helmet ...

HEMMER: Well, hang on here ...

STEWART: I'm making it happen.

HEMMER: Do you find the satire here? Do you find the irony at this convention? Because the headline ...

STEWART: Well, this is ...

HEMMER: ... to this point has been ...

STEWART: I mean ...

HEMMER: ... Democrats are unified. This is unified.

STEWART: Well, this is -- of course they're unified. This is their sales convention. This is, you know, when Amway holds its annual convention, their salespeople are unified, as well.

This is their product launch. This is their coming out with John Kerry and not with lemon. So it's, that is what they're going to portray. And as well they should.

This is their four days to convince their base to get excited, get out the message they want to get out. This is their event. And to expect that it would be anything different, I can't imagine that people thought, you know, Howard Dean would go up on stage and go, "I was robbed! I'm not crazy. I'm very pleasant."

HEMMER: Do you think in that, then, there's a risk that they're taken to come off as too boring, that does not attract people to what they're trying to do here in Boston? And does that ultimately detract from the democratic process?

STEWART: This isn't what it was. I think everybody seems to long for the day when a bunch of guys would go back, you know, in a room in stogies and go, "It's got to be Humphrey. If it's Stevenson, I'm walking out." You know, I don't think they do that anymore and probably because they know you guys are here.

HEMMER: You're suggesting, then, if we don't come here and take this spoon-fed message from the party, the Democrat ...

STEWART: No, it's not so much that if you don't take the spoon-fed message. It's that if they know you're here, they know that, oh, man, we should shower and maybe put some pants on. You know, no one wants to get caught naked in the house, you know, vacuuming. And that's what I think is here.

They know you're here. They've prepared meticulously. The guy who's producing it is the guy who produced the Emmys.

So they've prepared a show knowing that 15,000 people are here waiting for Teresa Heinz Kerry to say, 'Shove it.'

HEMMER: The networks this year on the broadcast side have cut back tremendously.

STEWART: Yes.

HEMMER: On Tuesday night, not a single minute in prime time.

STEWART: Tuesday night was potluck goulash. It was -- Monday night was the entrees. You're bringing in Clinton, you're bringing in -- last night it was let's throw the kid from 'The O.C.' on with Maya Angelou. They didn't even know what they were doing.


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