Daily Show host Trevor Noah gave voice to Bernie Sanders supporters skeptical of the Democratic National Committee on Monday night during his interview of Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, asking, among other things, whether Sanders is "being cock-blocked by the DNC."
"A lot of people feel that Bernie Sanders—I’m going to paraphrase—that Bernie’s being cock-blocked by the DNC," Noah asked. "Is there any merit to this?"
The audience cheered.
"You know, as powerful as that makes me feel, I’m not doing a very good job of rigging the outcome, or...blocking anyone from being able to get their message out,” Wasserman-Schultz said. "The reality is, is I have a job as national party chair that is one that requires a thick skin, it requires me to be able to absorb the body blows so our candidates can stay above the fray. And if I have to take a few punches for them to be able to get their message out, then so be it."
In the interview that followed, Noah did his best to keep Wasserman-Schultz on topic as she tried to steer questions about the DNC's role in determining the nomination to the "clown car" of the Republican party race. In another exchange, Noah pressed the Democratic Party boss on the undemocratic nature of super-delegates, many of whom have pledged their support for Hillary Clinton without input from voters.
"Doesn't the idea of a super-delegate go against the very fact that people should be voting for the people who represent them at the convention?" Noah asked.
Wasserman-Schultz replied that voters have always "determined the outcome," but that there are "activists who are also a part of that process."
Wasserman-Schultz: But if you look at what's going on on the other side, I bet my [GOP] counterpart is wishing for some kind of magic pill or some—
Wasserman-Schultz: —some Harry Potter—
Noah: —yeah, super-delegates.
Wasserman-Schultz: —invisible cloak that he could use to make his problems go away. Because, at the end of the day, we're going to come together, I'm confident. We're going to have our primary process unfold, and a nominee will be chosen by the people who have cast votes, well before we get to the convention, and you'll watch the chaos unfold on the other side.
The Florida congresswoman has backed off of her earlier limiting of debates, which in December she said was an important part of "preserving [candidates'] ability to be out on the campaign trail, so that they can get up close and personal with voters." After sustained pressure from the Sanders camp, Clinton and Sanders are set to debate at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on April 14th. The debate will air on CNN and NY1.
For a differently awkward example of a comedian using the term "cock-block" to discuss a serious topic, here's Gothamist pal Jena Friedman talking to disgraced former prosecutor Ken Kratz of Making a Murder fame.