Why the Media Will Miss Jon Stewart
I’m of a generation that grew up with Stewart’s Daily Show, one that appreciates both a well-timed dick joke and in-your-face logic. The rigid presentation of traditional TV news feels dated and outlandish to us, and our ranks will only swell as more children grow up with the internet. Out-of-touch hosts with partisan blinders, meanwhile, often preach as if they live in a parallel universe.
This isn’t to say broadcast journalists are unusually inept or Machiavellian, but rather that the medium, business model, and present-day political environment create a mixture that comes off to young people as particularly toxic and unbelievable. Stewart is a master of capturing this disconnect, and he’s provided fodder for billions of laughs in the process.
Regardless of who replaces him behind the Daily Show’s faux-anchor desk, it’s hard to fathom that he or she will be able to tap into that widespread sense of frustration, especially among younger generations. His self-deprecating demeanor and comedic chops not only allow him to denounce politicians’ bravado and media’s voice-of-god proclamations, but also distance himself from both camps. HBO’s Oliver and Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore practice different forms of satire, and they will only partly fill the void left in Stewart’s wake.