Stewart appeared on the CNN talk show Friday, criticizing Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala for "doing theater, when you should be doing debate," an exchange that grew tense and included the comedian calling Carlson "a big (expletive)."
The "Crossfire" segment reportedly struck a nerve as a hot Internet topic during the weekend and transcripts of the interview and clips from the show were all over the Web, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.
One site, ifilm.com, said the interview segment was its most viewed clip Monday.
Comedy Central, where Stewart hosts "The Daily Show," reportedly received more than 1,000 supportive e-mails after the program aired, the Tribune said.
Carlson and Begala defended their show Monday, but played down Stewart's outburst.
"I didn't care. That's not the worst thing I've been called," Carlson said, adding Stewart was an intelligent, bright person who was "having this cathartic experience."
Begala said he enjoyed Stewart's show.
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