The Daily Show is welcoming back some high profile guests who all want to get in one more appearance before long-time host Jon Stewart retires later this year. Perhaps highest among them is President Barack Obama, who appeared on the Daily Show Tuesday.
Obama is no stranger to the the Daily Show, having made a total of seven appearances over the years. CNN reports that the president is among those who are sad to see Stewart step down as the anchor of the Daily Show.
“I can’t believe that you’re leaving before me,” Obama told Stewart, who has hosted the Daily Show since 1999. “In fact, I’m issuing a new executive order that Jon Stewart cannot leave the show. It’s being challenged in the courts.”
As evidenced by this and other Daily Show appearances, Obama and Stewart have a cordial relationship. Not every news program is as friendly to the president as the Daily Show, however, and Stewart took time Tuesday to ask Obama about his relationship with other members of the press.
“The media is a bunch of different medias. There are some that get on my nerves more than others,” Obama said. “I think it gets distracted by shiny objects and doesn’t always focus on the big, tough choices and decisions that need to be made.”
The Christian Science Monitor reports that Obama also took time on Tuesday’s Daily Show to lament the country’s inability to come together and discuss complicated issues.
“You’ve got folks who are constantly looking for facts that reinforce their existing point of view as opposed to having a common conversation,” Obama said. “I think one of the things that we have to think about, not just the president but all of us, is how do we join together in a common conversation about something other than the Super Bowl.”
Obama went on to tell the Daily Show audience the problem isn’t that people don’t have good ideas or a desire to make things better, but the process of implementing those ideas faces challenges.
“The one thing I know as I enter my last year as president is the country is full of good and decent people and there is a sense of common purpose at the neighborhood level and at the school and in the workplace,” Obama said. “And that dissipates the further up it goes because of the money and all the filters and all the polarizing that takes place in how politics are shaped.”
According to Entertainment Weekly, Obama also expressed optimism for the future during his Daily Show appearance. He said that young people can and will contribute if given the opportunity.
“This notion that young people have lost their idealism or are too cynical or ironic — it’s not true. But we have to give them pathways to get them involved and we’ve tried to expand things like AmeriCorps as much as possible,” Obama said, adding that if people are dedicated, the system can work. “If people are engaged, eventually the political system responds. Despite the money, despite the lobbyists, it still responds.”
Comedy Central made an extended cut of the president’s Daily Show interview available via its YouTube channel Wednesday.
[Image via Comedy Central]