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Jon Stewart on Paula Broadwell interview: 'I'm the worst journalist'

LATE NIGHT

November 13, 2012|By Meredith Blake

In the hours after David Petraeus’ cheating scandal broke on Friday afternoon, a Jan. 25th appearance made by his biographer and alleged mistress Paula Broadwell on “The Daily Show” quickly began making the rounds online. Viewed with the benefit of hindsight, Broadwell’s gushing interview is full of inneuendo: She praises the retired general’s energy, talks about his speedy recovery after a pelvis injury and even suggests that he can “turn water into bottled water.”

But no, in case you were wondering, Jon Stewart had no idea anything was up. In fact, he was mostly just distracted by Broadwell’s toned physique. “The whole time I was just thinking how defined her arms were and trying to think of another version one of my classic I’m-an-asthmatic-old-Jew joke,” he said. “I'm the worst journalist in the world. For God’s sake the title of her book was ‘All In.’”

After scrutinizing himself, Stewart turned his critical gaze to pundits who’ve rushed to find a link – any link – between the Petraeus scandal and the Obama administration. As for the suggestion that the administration held back the news about the affair in order to boost Obama's re-election chances, Stewart pointed to the fact that Rep. Eric Cantor, the Republican House Majority Leader, reportedly knew about the relationship in October -- weeks before the president.

Then there's the idea, spouted by the indefatigable conspiracy theorists at "Fox & Friends," that Petraeus was ousted so that he wouldn't be able to testify about the attack on Benghazi. Too bad this isn’t true, because, as Stewart pointed out, “quitting is different from dying.”

As for the comparison made by conservative columnist Peggy Noonan (among many, many others) between the scandal and the Showtime drama “Homeland,” Stewart wasn’t convinced. “It's not ‘Homeland, it's ‘Melrose Place,’” he said.

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