Transcript: Jon Stewart finally weighs in on 2016, Donald Trump

Jon Stewart during the taping of the "Axe Files" in Chicago

Story highlights

  • Jon Stewart is no longer hosting a daily news satire show, but he weighed in on 2016 during a taping of the "Axe Files" podcast
  • Stewart had harsh words for the media and for candidates on both sides of the aisle

(CNN)UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And now, from the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, and CNN, the Axe files, with your host, David Axelrod.

DAVID AXELROD: Oh, can I say...
    JON STEWART: Now you can say, this is how Jews meet all the time. When people aren't paying attention, we sneak into churches and just chat.
    AXELROD: That theme song, by the way, was actually the original John D. Rockefeller theme music. So...
    STEWART: Yet, you got to be a rich (inaudible)..
    AXELROD: ...(Inaudible)...
    STEWART: ...to have your own theme music.
    AXELROD: Oh yes. So, Jon, I have to ask you? Where you been man?
    STEWART: Me?
    AXELROD: Yes, there's a lot going on out here?
    STEWART: I've been in line. I was out in line, out front.
    AXELROD: Do you wake up ever and say to yourself that this was some kind of big celestial joke on you that you announce your retirement from the Daily Show and I see when you did you said it didn't appear that there was going to be anything wildly different about this election year. You had done four others. How's that working for you now?
    STEWART: Well, I mean, I think we talk about it as though it's something incredibly different, but in truth, how different is it, really? I mean, media is, as usual, focused on the wrong things and advocating responsibility for the general filtration of toxicity. You have enormous amounts of money flowing into crazy people who are channeling populace of years past. So, I don't, you know, if you took Sarah Palin's head and jammed onto Donald Trump's body, would it make any more sense? Probably not.
    AXELROD: Look a little weird though, I think.
    STEWART: I don't know that it would look any weirder.
    AXELROD: Um, yeah, on that point, you once said, "I assume there are bad actors in society. Its inherent politicians would be disingenuous. I assume monkeys are going to throw sh--. I get angry with people who don't go 'bad monkey' or...
    STEWART: Wait, I said that?
    AXELROD: ...create a distraction that allows it to be continued unabated." How responsible is the media for Donald Trump?
    STEWART: Oh, I don't -- Look, listen. I don't necessarily believe that a full court press on his untruthinness would necessarily change it. I mean, he's not -- he was voted for, but I do think he is, generally, the conclusion to years of -- he makes sense if you view it through the prism of talk radio. I like to drive, and so I listen to talk radio and it is 24/7 of 'your country is being taken away from you.' As far as I can tell, the conservative side on the right side, they feel an ownership over America. They are the stewards of America. They are its forbearers...
    AXELROD: Was it (inaudible)?
    STEWART: Exactly. Republicans, conservatives, love America. They just hate like 50 percent of the people living in it. So, in general...
    AXELROD: Isn't part of their concern that that 50 percent is becoming, or whatever percent, is becoming a greater -- we're becoming a much more diverse country?
    STEWART: Sure. So yeah, no nativism -- look, this is -- it's not as though this is inherent only to this country as well. Globalization has created this strange pushback throughout the entire world. You see a lot of countries retreating into nativism...
    AXELROD: Mm-hmm.
    STEWART: ...into that type of really...
    Stewart, pre-beard, hosting The Daily Show in 2015