I think it is time for fans of Jon Stewart to start worrying about him. He has not been right since the day CNN confronted his friend, Anthony Weiner, outside the then-congressman's office -- and Stewart attacked CNN for doing its job.
Stewart has been in a real tailspin since Weiner admitted his lies a week after that. But the event that seems to have really pushed Stewart off the rails is the interview he did with Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" June 19.
In that interview, he lied about Fox News viewers being the "most consistently misinformed" of news consumers and then he compounded the false charge by saying "every poll" shows this to be true. And if you look at the video tape, you will see he makes the claim not once but twice - almost spitting the words "consistently misinformed" in Wallace's face. PolitiFact, the Pulitzer-Prize-winning fact checking operation, labeled Stewart's statements false.
I have been all over this story since his attack on CNN. Writing five pieces and appearing on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday to discuss it with other critics and editors. You can read some of what I have written and see the most recent videos here and here.
And I was willing to let it rest after Sunday's "Reliable Sources." But, remarkably, Stewart went back to the Wallace interview Monday night for a full segment on his "Daliy Show" -- more than eight days after it happened.
And he really was obsessing and parsing and sounding like a graduate student whose first draft of a dissertation just got shredded by his or her Ph.D. committee -- and he or she can't accept being corrected.
Honestly, what happened Monday night on "The Daily Show" in the Fox interview re-play isn't comedy, it feels more like neurosis. And its time for the adults at Comedy Central to call Little Mister Can't Be Wrong into the glass office and tell him it is time to admit his mistake, turn the page and move on without whining -- the way most of the journalists he so likes to mock do every day.
For a near line-by-line analysis of Stewart's Monday night exercise in obsession, I suggest you check out Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters here.
After the Fox interview, Stewart whined that Fox edited him to look like "a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown." You don't need any Fox editing to see him heading in that direction all by himself in this segment from last night.
Take a look: