Energy Secretary proud to be a “Nerd” on The Daily Show

July 22, 2009

Following the launch of his Facebook and Youtube accounts, Energy Secretary Steven Chu made another attempt to reach the young, hip, in-crowd Tuesday night by appearing on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.

Chu,  a Nobel Prize winning scientist and self-described nerd, began his appearance by  offering a t-shirt to the show’s host comedian Jon Stewart, proclaiming him an honorary member of the “Nerds of America Society.”

“You know I have been an unofficial member for years,” Stewart quipped in response.

The rest of the chat mostly dealt with the climate change legislation ENERGY/before Congress. 

Earlier in the show, Stewart jokingly fell asleep into a cream pie as he described the cap-and- trade system that Democrats hope to put in place to limit carbon dioxide emissions. He also suggested the bill has been watered down by the political process.

When asked whether the bill that recently passed the House of Representatives went far enough to address global warming, Chu said “if you go to the left or the right, people are not happy with it. But the  bottom line is it puts a cap on carbon emissions.”

Stewart pointed out that Chu has to deal with lawmakers who believe global warming is a hoax and argue that carbon occurs in nature so it can’t be bad for the planet.

“That is true, but on the other hand, water is generally very good. Water in great deluges is not good,” Chu responded.

Stewart gave Chu the ultimate compliment.

“Can I tell you something? You are the first Cabinet member I’ve met from the Obama administration that seems alive. You are the first one,” Stewart said.

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Photo credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (Chu during Reutes Energy Summit June 1)


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steve chu is a great mind and a great man. the interview was fantastic.

Posted by bdoll | Report as abusive

I couldn’t agree more with Jon Stewarts comment (“Can I tell you something? You are the first Cabinet member I’ve met from the Obama administration that seems alive. You are the first one,”).

ut then again I have soft spot for nerds. Let’s be honest can you think of anyone more interesting alive today than Stephen William Hawking? He always tops my list of people I would like to meet.

Posted by Tweak | Report as abusive

Sec. Chu is making Energy “relevant” and this is why he is real and why his agency will make a difference in people’s lives. He combines brilliance with a great deal of humanity – and that is waht sets him apart. How many Nobels are you on Facebook with?

Posted by Diane | Report as abusive

Some people may brush off the daily show because it’s on Comedy Central but…..

44 percent of those viewers who responded to the poll picked Stewart as the most trusted newsman. Brian Williams of NBC News came in second with 29 percent of the vote, followed by ABC News’ Charlie Gibson with 19 percent of the vote, and Katie Couric rounded out the list with 7 percent of the vote.

This is from a Time Magazine poll.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive