Jon Stewart and the Politics of Contempt

While Republicans are focused on the presidential debates tonight in Cleveland, liberals will be gathering around their televisions this evening to say goodbye to Jon Stewart. This will be the last edition of The Daily Show, and Stewart’s exit is equivalent to past television farewells of icons such as Johnny Carson. But while Carson was a seminal figure in American popular culture for decades, Stewart’s importance transcends television or even comedy. While the tributes to his supposed brilliance are, at best, overbaked, there should be no doubt that he has influenced our political culture profoundly during his tenure. Indeed, rather than giving him a hard time for his private meetings with the president in the White House that seemed to point toward him being given his marching orders by his political master, what we should be doing is examining the way Stewart influenced Obama.

  • juan epstein

    you mean Jon Lebowitz? Sorry- don’t find condescending jew humor funny

  • Minicapt

    Isn’t this where he says “Not necessarily aliens, but … Aliens”?


  • Clausewitz

    Just never found him funny except for the one time he took Nancy Grace to task for running away from her show for a week after the Duke Lacrosse team was exonerated after Grace had literally tried them and asked for their execution.

  • BillyHW

    There are few hypocrites bigger than Jon Stewart. And he wasn’t even funny. Colbert has more talent in his pinky finger than that guy.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    I never watched Stewart and missed nothing.

  • Jon Stewart – an evil man.

  • Hard Little Machine

    I suspect the real reason he’s leaving is because his titanic ego doesn’t permit him to sit on the sidelines throwing darts at people who increasingly don’t care. JS was pretty good years ago when you could count on him to be less than 100% partisan. But as he increasingly became MSNBC’s comedy wing with 100% predictability the only people who still had any interest were the people who were already demanding to be spoon fed every word they wanted to hear.