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‘That’s An Incredibly Made-Up Figure’: Jon Stewart Torched Arizona’s Attorney General Over Her State’s Anti-Trans Policy

Jon Stewart is very good at grilling people the way few serious journalists do. He famously took down Tucker Carlson during the Bush II era, effectively banishing him to the wilderness for over a decade (only for him to rise again). After the economic crash of 2008, he eviscerated Jim Cramer with surgical precision. Now he’s taking on a political leader partly responsible for anti-trans policies.

Stewart talked to Leslie Rutledge, attorney general of Arizona, whose state enacted a ban on gender-affirming health care for children in 2021. In a six-minute excerpt from the interview, aired on the most recent episode of The Problem with Jon Stewart, the former Daily Show host calmly dismantled Rutledge’s arguments. For one thing, he points out that the decision “overrides” guidelines laid out by health care professionals. Rutledge, meanwhile, simply claims that some experts thought otherwise, though she couldn’t even name the groups that said so.

At one point, Rutledge mentions that the doctors that supported the ban claimed that “98 percent of young people” who have gender dysphoria “are able to move past” it once they “have the help that they need.”

“Wow,” Stewart replied. “That’s an incredibly made-up figure.” He added, “That doesn’t comport with any of the studies or documentation that exist from these medical organizations.”

Stewart has a history of preparing for hard-hitting interviews, and his expertise was met with praise.

Others, however, argued that this kind of interviewing — calmly and forcefully questioning those in power, exposing the weakness of their arguments — should be the norm, not the exception.

But it’s just another example of Stewart using his clout — and his relentlessness — to do what those in power won’t.

You can watch The Problem with Jon Stewart on Apple TV+.