The rightwing attacked Stewart for his cool and well-thought-out position that Truman was a war criminal for his atomic bombings.
So here Stewart is, cravenly retracting his wonderful moment of truth and logical consistency. He bends over backwards to make himself look respectable, to laugh off his "stupid" condemnation of Truman's murderous actions.
Of course Truman was a war criminal. Beyond Hiroshima and Nagasaki was Operation Keelhaul, whereby Truman helped Stalin round up millions of expatriates and subject them to Soviet slavery (and in many cases death). Then there was his undeclared war of aggression in Korea, where he targeted civilians with napalm and deliberately destroyed dams to flood villages filled with helpless people.
Truman is one of my litmus tests for the left. For all their problems, leftists who at least are antiwar enough, and nonpartisan enough, to recognize that Truman, domestic dictator, architect of the Cold War and butcher of millions and destroyer of cities, is not any more admirable than the relatively less criminal George W. Bush, tend to get my respect. Those who defend Truman's acts of mass barbarism represent all the worst "liberal" ideals of the 20th century. On the other hand, those, like Stewart, who seem to have the instinctual desire to speak the truth, only to backtrack and defend one of history's greatest murderers, are perhaps even more obnoxious than the latter group.