Thursday, October 14, 2004

Jon Stewart Endorses Kerry

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Comedian Jon Stewart, whose nightly cable television show is popular with the young voters considered key in the upcoming presidential election, said on Thursday he prefers Democrat John Kerry over Republican President Bush.

"It looks like Kerry," said Stewart, host of "The Daily Show," a satirical late-night review of politics on Viacom Inc.-owned cable channel Comedy Central. "I would be stunned if something happened to change my mind."

He called the U.S.-led war in Iraq a "mistake" and said he failed to understand the "Bush doctrine" of preemptive strikes against perceived security threats.

"If one guy drove me into a ditch and said, 'Don't worry, I know how to get us out of this,' I'd give the keys to a 7-year-old," Stewart said during a media event sponsored by Syracuse University's Newhouse School.

Stewart's no-holds-barred lambasting of the U.S. political scene has won him a strong following, particularly among young male voters coveted by both parties in the tight presidential race.

The Emmy-award winning "Daily Show" is a regular stop for politicians on the campaign trail, including Kerry, and its "Indecision 2004" coverage of the presidential race has become a must-see for twenty- and thirty-something voters.

Stewart roasted both candidates for their repetitive stumping during their final public debate.

"I thought both men took rhetoric to another level," he said, adding that Bush appeared "well coached."

"He wasn't the angry Bush of the second debate or the retarded Bush from the first," Stewart said.

Stewart also took aim at the mainstream U.S. media -- which he mocks regularly -- and said it fails to take politicians or big business to task.

"The press has bravely and nobly eroded the public trust," he said. "What I'm advocating is the media come back and work for us again. ... The bias of the media is not liberal. It's lazy and sensationalist."

Oct 14 2004 7:40PM

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