Jon Stewart's new persona, the "can't we all get along" guy, isn't passing the smell test.
Jon Stewart doesn’t sound like himself these days.
The liberal comic isn’t “destroying” Donald Trump or hammering Fox News like before. Instead, he’s talking about why we shouldn’t label all Trump voters as racist. That’s not the most shocking part.
Stewart also is heaping criticism against the Obama administration in some key areas.
A wobbly middle class.
Let him share more about it in his promotional efforts on behalf of “The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests.”
“And there’s a lot of s*** that I didn’t agree with [in the Obama administration]. I thought they were terrible for press freedom … I still am not quite sure I understand a centralized policy of spying and droning. Like, I don’t know.”
Heck, it’s as if the last eight years weren’t the Nirvana liberals told us it would be.
Stewart 2.0 is a welcome transition. We’re currently swamped with late night hosts who spend every waking moment trashing Donald Trump. There’s nothing wrong with that on paper, save two things. Trump isn’t even president yet. And, by the time Trump actually does something that’s potentially dangerous/frightening, Colbert and co. may have exhausted all available outrage.
Stewart offers a fresh take on Trump and the country as a whole.
“But the only thing I would tell everybody to hearten is we’re still the same country … Obama didn’t change and fix everything and Trump can’t ruin everything. If we’re that vulnerable to one guy, that guy — that’s how we’re going out? This incredible experiment in liberty and democracy that we fought and died for is going to go out ― with that guy?”
We will survive. That’s downright patriotic. Did the comic find an Uncle Sam suit stuffed away in his attic? Of course, this comes mere months after Stewart wondered whether America was ever great in the first place. Remember these comments?
“When was America great? What is this time that he speaks of? ‘81 to ‘82? Like, what are we talking about? And who took your country away from you?” Stewart asked. “Who’s country – Who’s country is it? Take up the argument with the Founders. Take it up with the Age of Reason. That’s — All men are created equal. That’s f***ed the whole thing up.”
Here’s the new, improved Stewart telling us why it’s wrong to call Trump supporters racist.
“And I’ll say this, I know a lot of first responders. I spent a lot of time in that community. A shitload of them voted for Trump … the same people that voted for Trump ran into burning buildings and saved whoever the fuck they could no matter what color they were, no matter what religion and they would do it again tomorrow.”
“So, if you want to sit and tell me that those people are giving tacit approval to an exploitative system ― I say, ‘OK, and would you put your life on the line for people who aren’t like you? Because they did.’”
Except … not so long ago Stewart was branding and/or insinuating Fox News and its viewers were racist.
Once again, consider his latest comments about our current political divide.
“This has to stop. This idea that we’re all … that our team is perfect and the other team is demons … there will be real victims of the policies over the next four years, but there were real victims, like Barack Obama’s administration deported more people than any in history … that was real and whether we took comfort in the fact that he was one of the good guys that did that, real people paid a price for that. And you have to care about that, even if it’s one of your guys that did that.”
That leaves us wondering about Stewart’s new line of thinking. Frankly, it’s in direct contrast to all the work he did during his 16 years on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”
Sure, he’d occasionally ding the Obama administration for its transparency follies. Those were the exceptions that proved the rule. His running themes were simply: pound, pound pound the GOP and anyone who supports the party. Edit videos together to make Republicans look foolish.
Sounds pretty divisive, no? His brand of political satire, hopelessly one-sided and brimming with vulgarity, paved the way for Samantha Been and her peers.
Shouldn’t the new Stewart at least apologize for that legacy?
One has to wonder if this is an intentional pivot on Stewart’s part. Media outlets always treats him like a sage, ignoring his partisan broadsides. To your average reporter, everything he says is political gospel, now more than ever.
In the process, his brand is getting a spit shine – at least for those who still trust the mainstream media.
Could the new, improved Stewart be prepping his next HBO project? Will he use the good will generated in recent days as a springboard to that effort? And who doesn’t think he’ll revert to form sooner than later, using divisive rhetoric, the occasional bleeped word and other tools of his former trade?
Sorry, Jon, we’re not buying your new persona. And if that’s hateful and divisive, so be it.