Friday, March 6, 2015


For years, Uni and have followed The Daily Show, a satirical "news" program, hosted by comedian Jon Stewart.  When Stewart announced he was going to leave his program, we asked each other, "Where will we go for our news?"  Though there are plenty of news programs on the air, we felt that there will be a huge gap in coverage.

An article in The Week magazine (2/27/15, page 16) gave various views on the program's demise, and I suppose these comments are an honest sampling.  Though some recognized the contribution Stewart made, many seemed to be simply saying "good riddance."
Stewart was a master of satire, skewering not only politicians, but also other news coverage and commentary (and Arby's).  One of his favorite, and I believe most effective routines was to take some self-righteous pronouncement of a politician or pundit and to throw on the screen the many totally contradictory (but just as righteous) pronouncements they had made previously.  Of course, most of his attacks were on those of the right but he especially loved to attack Fox (Faux) News, whose "newspersons" seem to always have something stupid to say.  Some have even wondered if Fox News was really set up just to supply him with material.
He clearly hated pomposity and hypocrisy and loved shredding those who were masters of those arts - Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity.  And he enjoyed airing their "defenses" against him.
One commentator who claims to be "one of those liberal Millennials" quoted in The Week article said he was "glad to see Stewart go."  He said that "Stewart's sneering dismissal of all politicians was a form of 'anti-politics' in which sophisticated debate over genuine ideological differences take a back seat to snark, and the only correct response to our national dysfunction is cynicism."  Apparently this person failed to watch whole programs, every one of which always included an interview with some well-known person.  Though many movie stars and comedians had their place, as often as these, Stewart was visited by leading people of America and the world - authors, congressmen, presidents, presidential candidates, many with "genuine ideological differences."  And there was "sophisticated debate."
I don't always agree with Jon Stewart.  There are many times I that wince at his criticisms of opinions that I hold closely.  But they are usually fair, even to religious people.  And I also wince at his crude language and his 5th grade level sexual and bathroom humor.
Another complaint in the article was that Stewart's audience is small and includes mostly "young, East Coast liberals" or "Millennials."  However there are a few of us mid-American old geezers who watch.  We certainly won't get this kind of coverage on the networks or 24-hour "news" channels.
We'll miss you Jon!!!

No comments: