In Which I “Interview” Jon Stewart

Good morning, Jon. Thank you for being here this morning.

Thank you for having me.

I didn’t know you also did morning programs.

Actually, I think I just stayed up too late. What time is it?

jon stewart_rect

Let’s get right to it, shall we? After 17 years of attacking the schmucks in the media and in government, there are still so many schmucks in the media and in government. That must feel pretty discouraging.

You don’t know the half of it.

I mean, how’s it feel to wake up every morning, having spent the previous day stropping your razor against the neck of stupidity, only to find that the damn thing just won’t die? That the stupidity just won’t go away? That it just gets bigger, dumber, louder than ever… How’s that feel?

You’re talking about Fox News?

Pretty much. Of course, there are others.

CNN? All of Congress?

Right.

It feels lousy. The shouters are still out there. The thoughtlessness. The crudity. I could go on. And, so yeah, after 17 years, waking up every morning to find the media and political landscape is still so completely rotten, that doesn’t feel too nice. I mean, look at how we’ve started the year. You’ve got Brian Williams and Bill O’Reilly caught grandstanding instead of reporting. You’ve got intoxicated Secret Service supervisors driving cars into their own White House ‘suspicious package’ investigation. You’ve got, you’ve got, you’ve got this latest congressional scandal with Aaron Schock–the narcissist!

Well, but isn’t his resignation a good news story?

A very good news story. Good reporting by the Washington Post and the AP outed this guy for his horrible taste in decor and for fraudulently billing his constituents to drive around town in his constituent-paid Chevy Tahoe. I have to admit, that’s pretty awesome. They’ve removed a cancer at a very early age.

The youngest ever to resign! How proud! You see, the media still has a role to play in our Republic.

Yeah, but for every story like that, there’s another story like CNN’s coverage of the 50th anniversary of Selma. They droned on and on about their drones. Their coverage was coverage of coverage. For a news organization that calls itself the first draft of history, they aren’t very good at history.

drone

Tell me, how do you know if your program’s been worth doing all these years?

Continued stupidity notwithstanding?

Continued stupidity notwithstanding.

It’s when I see clips of my show on Eric Wemple’s blog, or catch a comment here and there from fans. You know what they tell me? They say the show’s given voice to their rebuttals, a sort of daily rebuttal.

Daily?

Ok, you got me there. I could have done more, been a little more diligent over the years. But what did you expect of the guy who made his living by basically televising the role of the class clown?

I didn’t expect much, to be honest. But you pulled it of, Jon. You pulled it off every time.

Thank you. So it’s all about the rebuttal. That, I think, helped so many people to feel like they weren’t alone in their disgust and contempt for what they’ve seen the media and the politicians do. In exposing media manipulation, in sharing our vulnerability to political abuses, in articulating our disgust, I think I’ve allowed a lot of people to sleep better at night so they could wake up with a fresh start to their day.

You vented their spleen.

(Pause). Yeah. I guess. I guess I’m just some kind of medieval surgeon with a rusty scalpel and a sense of how to keep the humors in balance.

I didn’t mean literally, Jon. I didn’t mean that you went in and cut people up. But, honestly, you really cut us up. You cut us all up to pieces. It was great. Thank you.

You’re welcome.

You know what, this was fun. I’ve delayed putting it up here since you announced your impending departure because I feel like there’s so much more to say.

There is. There certainly is more to be done.

So maybe I’ll have you back some time.

jon stewart_daily_show_16x9_992

Any time, Ben. Any time.

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