Jon Stewart just gave an 8-minute masterclass in highlighting gun politics hypocrisy
Stewart used an Oklahoma lawmaker's own arguments to show why his anti-gun-regulation stance doesn't make sense.
Jon Stewart is a unicorn among interviewers, masterfully striking a balance between calm questioning and insisting on interviewees providing answers. Not deflections. Not pivots or side steps. Actual, direct answers to the questions he's asking.
Anyone who has interviewed a politician knows how hard striking that balance can be. Politicians are rhetorical magicians, saying lots of words that seem like an answer to a question, without actually answering it at all. Sometimes their avoidance methods are obvious, but usually, they know how to manipulate and control a conversation, deftly steering it in the direction they want it to go. If allowed to, they will not only avoid directly answering a question, but they will manhandle the entire interview, filling the air time with their own messaging. Politely letting them talk allows them to pull all of their favorite tricks.
As such, if you want to make a politician actually answer a question, interrupting them is unfortunately necessary. While interrupting can seem rude sometimes, when it's done to bring a lawmaker back to a question they haven't actually answered or to point out a flaw in their argument before they move on to something else, it's simply calling them on their b.s.
And few do that more effectively than Jon Stewart. One reason is that he is simply unfazed by politicians. He knows their game and looks at them like a parent whose child is clearly trying to pull a fast one. Another reason is that he thoroughly does his homework before the interview and can predict how they're going to respond, so he's able to catch them in their own web of illogic or hypocrisy in real time.
Such was the case in an interview with Oklahoma lawmaker Nathan Dahm on Stewart's show, "The Problem With Jon Stewart."
“State Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-OK) has penned several bills loosening gun restrictions, including the nation’s first anti-red flag law," the caption of the clip reads on Twitter. "He thinks these bills protect the Second Amendment—and that they make us safer. We think it's probably one or the other."
The main premise of Sen. Dahm's argument is "More guns make us safer." Stewart challenges him to defend that point, given the basic facts about gun violence statistics.
Stewart points out that "More guns make us safer" flies in the face of what law enforcement officials have claimed. "When the police go to a house filled with guns, why don't they breathe a sigh of relief knowing that this Second Amendment that shall not be infringed is being exercised so fruitfully in this home?" Stewart asks. Good question.
Stewart also shows Dahm how his argument about people, not guns, being the problem doesn't make sense considering the fact that he shoots down all attempts at regulations that would help ensure those problematic people don't have easy access to guns.
Finally, Stewart highlights the hypocrisy of using government regulation to protect children from all kinds of things except the leading cause of death in children, which is guns.
Can we have Jon Stewart interview all politicians on all issues, please?