The liberal “Daily Show” host turned down the gig, even though the Peacock Network thought it could keep throwing money at him until he said yes.
What a shame it didn’t work out. Here are five reasons why this was a match made in broadcast TV heaven.
- Funny Is Funny: Even conservatives will admit Stewart brings excellent comic timing to his faux news desk. “Meet the Press” can be a howler sometimes, too. Consider when recent host David Gregory wondered if today’s Republicans would elect Ronald Reagan. Or when current host Chuck Todd described exiting Attorney General Eric Holder as non-political in nature. Bet “The Daily Show” staffers wished they wrote those gems.
- New Host, Same Low Ratings: “Meet the Press” hasn’t been the same since Tim Russert’s passing. The show recently returned to its third place slot in the ratings after a brief uptick. Stewart knows a thing or two about modest ratings. The press hails his show as a cultural game changer, and yet it draws a fraction of the crowd shows like “Duck Dynasty” receive.
- Creative Editing 101: “The Daily Show” loves belittling people’s arguments via selective editing. NBC News famously edited a 911 tape to portray George Zimmerman as a racist. Stewart would feel right at home.
- No Experience Required: Stewart is a seasoned comic, but he has no experience sharing real news with the masses. NBC doesn’t care about things like “experience.” They signed Chelsea Clinton for a cool $600,000 even though her background lacked a single journalism gig. By that standard, Stewart was overqualified.
- What’s More Distrust in the Long Run?: The American public is fed up with the mainstream news. Consider a September Gallup poll which found trust in news media outlets back to a record low. Hiring a partisan comedian to host a signature Sunday news show couldn’t do much more damage to journalism, could it?