Jacob asks whether Jon Stewart is becoming less funny and more partisan, citing his ass-kissing interview last night with John Kerry. I'd say that Stewart lost his edge as an interviewer a year or two ago, when he started rolling out that fake laugh whenever he wants to reassure a guest. The problem isn't partisanship (though there's no question who he's going to vote for): He sucks up not just to Kerry and Clinton but to Dole and McCain, and for that matter to Tom Cruise. The problem is the fact that—in the interview segments—he's become yet another witty but amiable late-night host a la David Letterman or Conan O'Brien. Which is fine as far as it goes, but the boy is not, as my teachers used to say, reaching his full potential.
He still sometimes shows the old fire, as when he ripped apart Rep. Harry Bonilla. But the interviews just aren't a high point of the program anymore. Fortunately, the rest of the show remains brilliant.
Update: A reader points me to Stewart's terrific, scathing interview with The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes. In exchanges like this one—and the confrontation with Bonilla—the host is at his best. I only wish, perhaps a little selfishly, that he'd give us such gems more often.