I know that Jon Stewart isn’t going to like this, but in this sketch he picks up Charlie Rangel by the ankles and uses him as a baseball bat to knock one out of the park. Just as he did when he used Keith Olbermann’s ginormous head as a bowling ball to throw a perfect strike (yes, I know I’m mixing sports metaphors), Stewart proves once again that he’s a savvy guy. Yes, his intelligence has its limits – as has been displayed often – but surgical dissections like this (Cheney-eque, if you will) demonstrate why he’s successful.

My big problem with Jon Stewart has always been the little game he plays where, when he says something dumb, his retort is essentially, “Why would you take me seriously? I’m just a court jester…” But he’s a court jester who very much wants to be taken seriously. True, he was in Robert Rodriguez’s movie The Faculty playing Professor Edward Furlong, but trust me on this one…

While the rest of the media seems to serve as Robert Gibbs’ belly button lint licker (did I go too far?), Jon Stewart seems to know it’s hard to be taken seriously if you refuse to point out the losers on your own team. Can a skit on this be far behind?

Can you ever imagine Keith Olbermann sitting down and having a fairly normal conversation with Bill O’Reilly? I may think that Jon Stewart is flirting with the “bitter liberal funny guy who lost it because he’s always angry like Dave Letterman” designation, but he’s not there yet. And I respect him, at least for now, for eying that line and making a conscious decision not to cross it.

The real Edward Furlong? Let’s not talk about the lines he’s crossed.

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