This guy changed the world: We won’t see the likes of Jon Stewart again – ARTHUR CHU THURSDAY, JUL 30, 2015 04:00 PM PDT


We take Jon Stewart for granted now, and expect way too much from him. Stop and thank him for restoring our sanity

This guy changed the world: We won't see the likes of Jon Stewart again

It’s strange thinking that people my brother’s age who have just graduated from college remember Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show” always being a political institution. It’s hard to explain to them just how big a deal Stewart’s sudden rise was back during the Bush years, what a shock it was to see Craig Kilborn’s tacky random-riffs-on-the-headlines show turn into the most credible source of news for the millennial generation, why Stewart’s impending retirement feels so momentous and sad.

I’m one of the college kids who in 2003 and 2004 grabbed onto what seemed like certain cultural anchors of sanity in what felt like a world gone mad. I remember the sense of despair as the Bush administration systematically took apart the social safety net, as Serious Pundit after Serious Pundit queued up to take their turn explaining why we absolutely had to cave into the neocons’ desire for a pointless war in Iraq, as every day revealed a new headline emphasizing that America was firmly in the hands of the religious right and the establishment left was enthusiastically welcoming our wingnut overlords.

Good satire then was like water in the desert. We were thirsty for any reminder that we hadn’t gone crazy, the world had, that the policies of our leaders were in fact as monstrous and deranged as they seemed to be. That things were not OK. The Onion, “The Daily Show,” “Arrested Development” — those were the comic voices that defined my coming of age, and I remember them all coming from a stance of incredulity, of “Can you believe this shit is really happening?”

Yes, nowadays everyone is sick of clickbait headlines saying “Jon Stewart demolishes this” and “Jon Stewart annihilates that” and “Jon Stewart eviscerates this random dude and makes a jump rope from his entrails.” But those headlines are a hangover from Jon Stewart breaking onto the public scene when we all really were stunned by how regularly and how effectively he made fools of people far more respectable than he was.

The guy who played the villain in “Death to Smoochy” became the thorn in the side to the president of the United States. The guy who came on after the prank call puppets killed CNN’s “Crossfire” just by coming onto the show and telling everyone how intellectually and morally bankrupt it was. Op-Ed after Op-Ed cranked out expressing shock that young people saw a comedian as their “most trusted name in news.”

On election night in 2004 more of us tuned in to Comedy Central than to “legitimate” news sources, because none of the legitimate news sources would openly voice the one truth about the election — that the fact that the election was even close after the disasters in Fallujah and the exposé of Abu Ghraib and the lie about Saddam’s WMD proved that our country was mad.

When the results came in for Bush on the night of Nov. 2, 2004, the Serious Pundits — Democrats and Republicans — gathered together to analyze “values voters” and pontificate about how, if you thought about it from the right perspective, it made perfect sense to reelect a warmonger who’d sent thousands of American soldiers to pointless deaths just in case John Kerry might legalize gay marriage.

Jon Stewart didn’t. He tore up his index cards, slumped over in defeat, and wept.

It’s hard to think back to what it was like in a world where the mainstream media really did have the power to memory-hole stories like Bill Cosby’s lawsuit because they made advertisers uncomfortable. The pace of change is accelerating: The media landscape of only 10 years ago feels as foreign now as Walter Cronkite telling all of America “That’s the way it is” felt then.

It feels weird today, in a world of a thousand contending voices on Twitter and Tumblr and YouTube, to talk about how much it meant that there was one dude back then telling the truth. That there was someone in the mainstream media willing to kick a hole in the pusillanimous civil consensus of the respectable pundits, someone willing to call bullshit on the whole rotten circus, to reject the asinine convention that the party in power had to be given token respect simply because they were in power and to openly call them out as evil lunatics.

Jon Stewart felt like a Messiah. People told him he should run for president himself and were half-serious when they said it. (They made a movie about the concept with Robin Williams.) He felt real in a way that people who made a living talking about politics hardly ever feel.

And he kept denying the laurels we tried to heap on him. He repeatedly defaulted to saying he was “only a comedian,” that he, unlike the people he criticized, was an entertainer and not a scholar or politician or professional analyst and should not be taken seriously.

People have criticized that stance as a way to dodge accountability, to have it both ways — to get to call powerful people out while denying that he himself wielded power.

And they’re right. But Stewart was also right.

Article continues:

http://www.salon.com/2015/07/30/this_guy_changed_the_world_we_wont_see_the_likes_of_jon_stewart_again/

 

Jon Stewart: why I quit The Daily Show – Hadley Freeman Saturday 18 April 2015 06.30 EDT


There was no one moment when Jon Stewart knew it was time for him to leave what he describes as “the most perfect job in the world”; no epiphany, no flashpoint. “Life,” he says, in the lightly self-mocking tone he uses when talking about himself, “doesn’t really work that way, with a finger pointing at you out of the sky, saying, ‘Leave now!’ That only happens when you’re fired, and trust me, I know about that.”Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at Apr 19, 2015 4.21

Instead, he describes his decision to quit The Daily Show, the American satirical news programme he has hosted for 16 years, as something closer to the end of a long-term relationship. “It’s not like I thought the show wasn’t working any more, or that I didn’t know how to do it. It was more, ‘Yup, it’s working. But I’m not getting the same satisfaction.’” He slaps his hands on his desk, conclusively.

“These things are cyclical. You have moments of dissatisfaction, and then you come out of it and it’s OK. But the cycles become longer and maybe more entrenched, and that’s when you realise, ‘OK, I’m on the back side of it now.’”

Stewart announces he is to leave The Daily Show

Stewart and I speak twice in the space of a few months. The first time last October, when he flew from New York to London with his family for the premiere of his directorial debut at the London Film Festival. Rosewater is an engrossing and pacy film that tells the true story of Iranian-born journalist Maziar Bahari, who was arrested and tortured in Iran in 2009, after sending footage of street riots to the BBC.

The second time, we speak soon after Stewart announces his retirement from The Daily Show. He is in his office in New York, preparing to shoot a Friday-night episode, and the difference in his mood is striking. His voice is about an octave lower, and he sounds weary, weighed down.

But talking about his film in London, he is animated to the point of hyperactivity, gleefully pointing out the pretentious decor in the hotel room where we meet (“A photo of a submissive woman with a cigar in her mouth! Just what every room needs!”). He notes, in a tone that is both sincere and satirical, and that will be familiar to fans of The Daily Show, the lavishness of the food: “My compliments to the prop master, because that really is a beautiful tomato and mozzarella salad,” he intones solemnly to a bemused waiter.

Jon Stewart’s Book Club – By Helaine Olen FEB. 11 2015 4:45 PM


The Daily Show wasn’t just important for our collective sanity. For nonfiction authors, it was a lifeline.

David Sedaris appears on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Nov. 4, 2010. Screenshot via Comedy Central

David Sedaris appears on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Nov. 4, 2010.
Screenshot via Comedy Central

Jon Stewart announced plans Tuesday night to leave his perch on The Daily Show later this year. The shrieks and cries you heard coming from Manhattan and Brooklyn? That was the sound of publishing and media insiders realizing that their best avenue for jump-starting book sales and making best-sellers is about to shut down.

After Oprah Winfrey ended her daily TV show in 2011, The Daily Showbecame it for book placement, the most desirable media platform on which an author could land. Ask industry insiders, and they’ll tell you almost every author asked about it, the same way they once begged for Oprah’s imprimatur. And unlike Oprah, who specialized in popular self-help, light spirituality, and easily accessible fiction, Stewart often took on serious societal and scientific nonfiction, issue books that all too frequently came with unhappy endings and no easy answers.

Jon Stewart realized that Koch Industries was running ads during his show. So he trolled them. – By Jaime Fuller October 30 at 9:12 AM


Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at Oct 31, 2014 3.14

Jon Stewart realized that Koch Industries (of David and Charles Koch fame/infamy) had been running ads during the Daily Show, and, unsurprisingly, decided to address it. The ad isn’t political,  it highlights the company’s work and the people working there. Many wondered if the ads were designed to counter negative reactions to the Kochs’ political activity when they debuted in June. An executive at Koch Industries denied that in a Washington Post story last month.

Holden disputed that notion, saying the ads are aimed at spotlighting jobs available because of Koch’s continued growth. “We have not been impacted by the political attacks in our recruiting, hiring or retention, nor have our businesses been impacted,” he said.

Where the toll has been felt, Holden said, is personally by the Kochs, who have faced harassment from opponents, including death threats.

The vitriol has affected Koch Industries employees as well, Cohlmia said.

“The collateral damage is something important that should be spoken about,” she said, adding: “We know the family. We know the businesses. And they are very good people. So the effect of that on us as employees, it’s very hard.”

Those buying ad time for the commercial likely saw the Daily Show’s young audience as a perfect one to reach out to. However, it was also inevitable that Stewart would address the ad at some point. He didn’t just point it out on Wednesday, though — he offered ideas on how he thought the ad could be improved.

The lesson: Make sure that the content surrounding your ad buy doesn’t disagree with you and have the ability to try and neutralize the effectiveness of your ad. Because they probably will.

Watch it above.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/10/30/jon-stewart-realized-that-koch-industries-was-running-ads-during-his-show-so-he-trolled-them/?hpid=z5