Conservatives may not agree with Jon Stewart on many issues, but they’re not quick to dismiss him.
It’s about respect.
They remember Stewart’s early run at “The Daily Show,” the faux news show that made him a star. Yes, the Comedy Central showcase leaned to the Left, but it occasionally poked progressives when the situation called for it.
More recently, Stewart spoke common sense about the Wuhan lab leak theory, drawing kudos from conservatives and independents alike.
That version of Stewart, the kind boasting bipartisan appeal, appears to have gone the way of the 8-track tape. What’s worse, he’s swallowed the far Left’s woke rulebook and may have let his staff lie with impunity on his behalf.
That’s the claim made by journalist Andrew Sullivan, recently featured on Apple TV+’s “The Problem with Jon Stewart.”
Or, more accurately, bludgeoned.
The segment in question drilled down on race, so-called “white privilege” and issues tied to Critical Race Theory. Stewart tag-teamed with guest Lisa Bond of Race2Dinner to not just unfairly pummel Sullivan but imply he’s a racist.
That’s no way to treat a guest.
The booker who snagged Sullivan for the show allegedly told Sullivan he would chat one-on-one with Stewart, not a panel of far-Left radicals.
Sullivan, called on to appear at the last minute, initially declined the offer. He had deadlines to meet, and he feared (correctly, as it turned out) he might be slammed as a racist.
Here’s what happened next, according to Sullivan.
“No, no, no,” [the show booker] replied. “Nothing like that would happen. This is not a debate. It’s just you talking one-on-one with Jon, and he’d never do that.”
She lied, according to Sullivan’s account.
The journalist also didn’t feel comfortable appearing on a show subtitled, “The Problem with White People,” another fact he says he didn’t learn until he arrived on the set.
I wouldn’t go on a show called “The Problem With Jews” or “The Problem With Black People” either, he wrote.
Sullivan says he protested the conditions prior to filming and admits the producers allowed him to back out at the very last minute. He decided against it, figuring Stewart’s presence would ensure a modicum of fairness.
After all, this was the man who had lacerated Crossfire for bringing too much heat and not enough light. He believed in sane discourse. He was a liberal, right?
How wrong he was.
Sullivan used his Substack platform to describe the entire ordeal and better articulate why he disagreed with virtually everything said during the so-called debate.
It shouldn’t surprise Sullivan that Stewart is now beholden to the radical Left. The comedian recently suggested Cancel Culture doesn’t exist, despite all the facts to the contrary. Plus, Stewart knows he wouldn’t be accepted among today’s progressives if he clung to his old self, a classic liberal who believed in free speech, tolerance and the free exchange of ideas.
Those views are no longer mainstream on the modern Left. If he wants to stay relevant (and employed) he has to change with the times.
Plus, he’s come under fire for not having a diverse writer’s staff during his “Daily Show” days, so he realizes he could be canceled if he doesn’t change his ways.
Sullivan, a gay journalist who leans to the right on some issues but loathes populist figures like Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, learned all about the new, not-so-improved Jon Stewart the hard way.
Hollywood in Toto has reached out to Apple TV+ for a response to Sullivan’s allegations. This article will be updated as needed.
UPDATE: Stewart himself responded to some of Sullivan’s claims via Twitter:
Nonsense @sullydish. Our booker handled this last minute ask impeccably. Mr Sullivan was told, texted and emailed a detailed account of who was on the program, the content and intent of the discussion. https://t.co/SfHeK4unNY
— Jon Stewart (@jonstewart) April 2, 2022
If it’s true that Team “Problem” texted and emailed precise details ahead of the interview there must be proof of such missives. If AppleTV+ can’t produce them, it’s a problem.
If the service can, though, it will significantly dent Sullivan’s journalistic reputation.
Either way, the show’s race-based attack on Sullivan remains reprehensible.