Anyone who watched The Daily Show several years back might remember that Jon Stewart held a half-hour pay-per-view debate with longtime adversary Bill O’Reilly. It was the debate where Jon Stewart coined the term “bullshit mountain” as a takedown of the way O’Reilly constructs narratives to justify his points of view.
I watched the debate between Stewart and O’Reilly and by the time I got to the end, I couldn’t help but wonder what the point of it was. I didn’t feel like anything of substance came from the debate besides a couple of funny lines from Stewart (like “bullshit mountain”). It was just a longer form of the same old debates Stewart and O’Reilly have on each other shows all the time, except now they were asking for money to watch it (I thankfully found an upload on YouTube to watch for free). The debate wasn’t about enlightening the audience in understanding differing perspectives of points of view. All the audience was there for was to rally behind whatever side they already supported. The whole spectacle was more comparable to watching a Dallas Cowboys/Philadelphia Eagles game than a robust, intellectually stimulating debate.
Continue reading “OFF-TOPIC: The Great Debate That Will Never Take Place”
Earlier this week, Jon Stewart made his departure from The Daily Show after 16 monumental years as its host. During his tenure on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart earned the reputation as “The Most Trusted Man in News” despite being, by his own admission, “just a comedian”. The only other person I can think of that had been bestowed that honor was Walter Cronkite, who was most certainly an actual journalist. So how in the world does a man that made dick jokes on a nightly basis earn such a high honorific over actual journalists? Stewart came to become the face of the generational shift of how the public gets its news and learns about issues. Since the days of Walter Cronkite, 24-hour news channels came into development, the country’s economic model shifted, the FCC got deregulated, and our ways of accessing media became more disconnected. This turned our traditional news media into this.
Comedians tend to pride themselves as being the ones to tell the masses that the emperor is wearing no clothes, so I suppose it would have been inevitable for someone who identified as a comedian to be the one to tell it like it really is. And Jon Stewart took on the role as the leading liaison through all the fog in the dystopic worlds of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
I sit comfortably in the demographic that The Daily Show had the most viewers of. Like millions of others, I started watching it during my freshman year of college and absolutely played a role in the development in my own political ideology throughout my college years.
Continue reading “OFF-TOPIC: Jon Stewart – A Retrospective”