Throwback Thursday: Tucker Carlson’s Epic Debate With Jon Stewart on CNN’s Crossfire


Throwback Thursday is the new Mediaite project dedicated to exploring the careers and past highlights of news figures before they became major media stars.

Last week, we took a look at Megyn Kelly‘s career from before she was a primetime anchor at Fox News. Now that she has left the network for a job at NBC, let us take a look at the Fox heavyweight who has taken over her 9 P.M. slot: Tucker Carlson.

Tucker Carlson Tonight has been already become a major fixture in Fox’s evening line-up, particularly because of the spirited debates the conservative host regularly engages in. Before heading to Fox, however, Carlson was a host on CNN’s Crossfire, where he faced off with liberal pundits every day until he parted ways with the network in 2005.

If there was one major media moment from those days, it was the time when former Daily Show host Jon Stewart came on and locked horns with Carlson in an extremely heated exchange.

During his appearance, Stewart asked Carlson and liberal host Paul Begala to “stop hurting America” because they were acting like “partisan hacks” who were encouraging political divisiveness. Stewart argued that the show’s discourse amounted to “theater” and that neither Carlson nor Begala were living up to their journalistic responsibilities in the debates.

Crossfire didn’t last much longer after that debate, and Begala had some thoughts as to why that was.

More than 10 years later, Carlson would reflect on the debate with Stewart, though Carlson said “I still don’t understand what point he was trying to make, I thought it was ridiculous.”

Watch above, via CNN.

[Image via screengrab]

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