If you think Jon Stewart should run for president, you should go to a mental asylum
Not a nice one, either! A really bad one!
There is an article in Politico.
Here is how it begins:
Joe Biden should run for president in 2024.
So far, so good.
But if he decides against it for whatever reason, and the Democrats want a serious shot at retaining the White House, Jon Stewart should run on the Democratic ticket instead.
Yes, that’s right: Jon Stewart, the TV personality, podcaster, comedian. The 5’ 7” former host of The Daily Show.
I’m not sure what his height has to do with anything but still: kill me.
To get the "seriousness" question out of the way right off the top: Stewart's definition of being an entertainer has him wrestling with the kind of big, serious topics that actual politicians specialize in avoiding.
What the fuck are you talking about?
He spends his time recording an AppleTV show and podcast interview show on policy issues such as abortion, climate change, gun control, misinformation, modern monetary theory and other wonky-current topics, with the occasional Judd Apatow and Mark Cuban appearance thrown in for gloss.
Have you seen this AppleTV+ show this writer is saying qualifies Jon Stewart to be president? A few months ago, The Atlantic published a blistering takedown that was so brutal it inspired me to check it out and, man, this show is the worst shit I ever seen. I loved The Daily Show with Jon Stewart but it turns out that without the acclaimed collection of writers writing his material for him, Jon Stewart is just a random unfunny, uninformed lunatic on the street. The whole show has a weird “I’m Wayne, this is Garth” vibe to it. The fact that someone could watch this show and think to themselves “yeah, this guy, this is the guy I think should be president” is baffling.
Even in the promotional photo for the show, Stewart looks like the type of man who is willing to buy a 13 year old beer as long as they listen to his homoerotic interpretations of the New Testament.
When this show is on people with legs run out the door, people without legs crawl out the door. It’s the type thing they would subject detainees to after 9/11. Keep them up for 96 hours watching Jon Stewart’s Apple TV+ show. They’ll tell you whatever you want to hear!
The 2024 presidential race is guaranteed to be a carnival.
This is the whole “it takes a thief to catch a thief” thing. But actually it doesn’t. It takes a cop. Hollywood lied to you. Just because Donald Trump is a dumb reality star doesn’t mean Democrats should match him with one of their own.
Is this a real possibility?
No, it’s definitely not. There is no “maybe” about it.
But it’s certainly on people’s minds.
Right, because you’ve written a column in Politico about it that I am reading because I have deep seated emotional problem!!!!
You could tell something was in the water at the recent Mark Twain Awards show on PBS.
Nothing says “pulse of the nation” like PBS.
Steve Colbert1, Dave Chappelle and Pete Davidson all raised the prospect of Stewart running for the White House in their tributes to Stewart, this year’s winner of Twain Prize for American Humor. All did so with a requisite punch line, but in watching it you can’t help but think they know something the rest of us aren’t yet in on.
No, you don’t. It’s a joke. They’re just joking and being nice at an honorary dinner. They’re comedians being humorous and complimentary about a friend. You don’t need a decoder ring and the code breakers at Bletchley Park to figure out their meaning.
Stewart's superpower isn’t really his anxiety. It’s his internationally renowned sense of humor, and his ability to create a sense of direct connection with the people he's talking to. It’s the shared sense of collective outrage among the non-insurrectionist-supporting America. We know this is absurd, he conveys when he talks about current events. But his true message isn't just the absurdity. It's the "we" — the sense of shared values. That's the heart of any successful run.
I just hate the way this person writes so much but setting that aside for a moment, I don’t even really disagree with this description of Jon Stewart’s skill. He is good at making us think “wow this shit is crazy and this motherfucker on the TV gets it too.” The thing about presidents and politicians and leaders is that they’re supposed to say something after that. They’re supposed to reduce the craziness, the surreal circus nonsense.
Jon Stewart is very good at going “isn’t it bizarre that that man is fucking that chicken?” But he has no track record of getting people to stop fucking chickens. Indeed, the number of chickens getting fucked has risen steadily since he began pointing it out.
Trump turned an entertainment career into a political one not by growing into the moment, but by dragging politics further into the zone of entertainment.
Yes, indeed. A very terrible thing that happened and everyone should be upset about.
Since then, if anything, he's been one-upped by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a professional comedian and television star who played a president on TV, and, in face of the brutal Russian onslaught, has parlayed that deftly into a real-life role as one of the world’s most admired and effective leaders.
BECAUSE HE GREW INTO THE MOMENT, WHICH YOU JUST ACKNOWLEDGED TRUMP NEVER DID.
Increasingly, being TV-savvy isn't just a bonus for a world leader. It's a core requirement.
Cool keen observation from 1961.
A recent very popular Reddit thread
Can’t wait to see where this is going.
also speculated on who should run for president in 2024 and Stewart was widely mentioned.
He's also great at political rallies, as evidenced by his eminently viewable and hilarious “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” held on the National Mall in 2010. An estimated 215,000 “people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat” (according to the rally website) turned up to watch Colbert and a range of musicians in what was intended to be a spoof of Glenn Beck’s “Rally to Restore Honor” but morphed into a heartfelt call for a more constructive and less vitriolic political dialogue.
Everyone hated that! It was the dumbest thing in the world!
But perhaps the most important reason for the Democrats to consider Stewart is who he'd be running against.
No, this is an argument for Joe Biden to run again. Not anyone else.
Trump may run; Stewart has far more TV experience and is plainly much smarter, with more agility before crowds. Trump’ go-to show of strength has been his ability to pull thousands for his political rallies because they are viewed as entertainment by his supporters. A Stewart rally would be a road show of the most hilarious and civic-minded entertainers known today. And on a debate stage? Stewart would never let Trump get away with his vague policy-thin repetitious platitudes and harangues. Game, set, match.
This person has never watched the Apple TV+ show! It’s astounding. You should watch one episode. There is something amazing about it. Jon Stewart has earned a reputation as a liberal smart funny icon and all of these experts come on his show and he’s Jon Stewart so they are being very nice to him and then he says stuff that is so stupid that they have to figure out how to delicately sidestep the fact that he sounds like a college freshman. There is one episode with Janet Yellin where she politely starts to explain how capitalism works.
And as The Problem With Jon Stewart makes clear, funny one-liners and five-minute chats with pliant celebrities aren’t particularly good practice for roundtable conversations with policy experts and extended interrogations of polished CEOs. An early episode that described the U.S. armed services’ continued use of toxic burn pits near military bases culminated in a tense, misbegotten interview with President Biden’s VA secretary, Denis McDonough. Stewart spent 10 minutes repeating himself, grandstanding in circles, arguing with a broken system, and blaming it on the guy who was mere months into the job and was patiently trying to explain the obstacles in his path. If Stewart’s goal was to make his audience feel sympathy for a federal bureaucrat, he nailed it.
There's a very good chance that the most popular, and most dangerous Republican candidate would be Tucker Carlson. Carlson helms the most widely watched primetime show and news reports over the years continue to raise his candidacy as a real possibility.
Carlson and Stewart famously tangled on a 2004 “Crossfire” episode where Stewart was invited on to talk about a book he wrote and ended up hilariously castigating Carlson and Paul Begala, the other “Crossfire” host, on the damage their fake oppositionality and incessant fire-starting was doing to America. It wasn’t just great TV, it was a snapshot of what the future could hold: a presidential race where America’s most watchable and admired television personalities, albeit with polar opposite audiences, battle it out over the future of the world.
This is essentially the writer’s thesis. If Tucker Carlson runs (which seems incredibly unlikely) then Jon Stewart must run so we can get a sequel to the Crossfire exchange from 2004.
The Crossfire exchange is this triumphant moment in people’s minds, but of course what happened is not that Tucker Carlson and media changed their ways. They got worse. Crossfire was a show where a democrat and a republican debated political issues in a friendly way. It was cancelled. 18 years later we have competing media ecosystems where Republicans rant to Republicans about how Democrats are the devil and Democrats rant to Democrats about how Republicans are the devil. What I would give for a bit of friendly “actually lets lower the temperature friendly disagreement”!
But here is Gordon with the kill-shot:
If Tucker Carlson is what you get when you detach truth from reality, The Problem With Jon Stewart is what happens when you don’t sew them back together well enough. You can pollute conversations with the best of intentions. You can mislead millions of people while you’re trying to bring some clarity to the conversation. Just ask Joe Rogan. Even Stewart doesn’t use that dumb-comedian line anymore. He knows he needs to do his Jon Stewart thing in order to get our attention, but he doesn’t have much faith in his own shtick anymore against the likes of Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson. He may have won the Twain Prize, but go ask Jon Stewart who he thinks won the fight.
Jon Stewart should not run for president for many reasons. One of those reasons is that he would be a bad president, but another reason is that he’ll lose.
“Steve Colbert”? Why is the writer calling him Steve? Did they go to college together? Are they best friends? It’s strange when people use first names to discuss celebrities but it’s even stranger when people use shortened nicknames for celebrities.