When Comedy Central Host Jon Stewart invites a right-leaning guest on
his show, viewers gear up for a showdown. Stewart relishes a verbal
scrap and his opponents rarely leave the show unscathed. But last
night, Stewart was the one licking his wounds. In a face-to-face with
John Yoo, the legal architect of the Bush administration's war on
terror, Stewart found himself at a loss for words. Today pundits on the
left acknowledged that both rhetorically and comedically, Stewart came up short.
- Yoo Looked Good, concedes Adam Serwer at The American Prospect: "Stewart found himself completely outmatched by a charming, tactful Yoo
who seemed far better prepared to defend granting virtually unlimited
powers to the executive branch than ever before. Put simply, Stewart
failed to make Yoo look like he had done anything wrong. In fact, he
made him look entirely reasonable."
- A Deflection Master, notes Spencer Ackerman at The Washington Independent: "Stewart has a great command of the facts and of his medium. Still,
maybe it shouldn’t disappoint us to recognize that Yoo skillfully
deflected most of Stewart’s assaults."
- Touché, Professor, writes Annie Lowrey at Foreign Policy: "Stewart couldn't catch Yoo in a lie, couldn't call his arguments what
they were, and clearly seemed frustrated. He had brushed up on Yoo's
infamous briefs. He wanted to engage Yoo. But the lawyer -- as
brilliant a legal mind as there is in the United States, some insist,
dressed in a gray wool suit, looking every bit the professor -- simply
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