TV

Jon Stewart Bashes CNN, Praises Stephen Colbert, And Compares Himself To A ‘Dildo Wrapped In Glitter’

This week in NY Magazine in an interview that mostly centered around his directorial debut, Rosewater, Jon Stewart spoke candidly about scads of other topics ranging from the prospect of Mitt Romney running again in 2016 (he’s not excited about that), Hilary Clinton running (“she’s competent”), Ebola (“it’s f**king crazy how overwhelming the coverage has been”), and the “offer” he got to take over Meet the Press (“I did not think it was appropriate either for me or for them”). Two answers in the interview, however, stuck out for me.

The first was on Stephen Colbert, and Stewart’s remarkable fondness for the guy who will soon take over for David Letterman on The Late Show:

Stephen’s talent is very apparent to everybody, but if you’d been to his 50th-birthday party and you saw the love bomb he was surrounded in — I said to my wife, “I will guarantee you this party spawns a thousand arguments on the drive home.” Everybody got in the car that night with their spouse and it was, “Why don’t you love me like people love Stephen?!” Or, “Why can’t you be a kindhearted and good individual like Stephen Colbert!?” It was one of those magical nights, filled with the warmth and affection of friends and family. I just think viewers are really going to enjoy getting to know Stephen.

He also spoke fondly of John Oliver’s new show, but the best bit, I thought, was in how Jon Stewart compared the ascent of the The Daily Show format to the descent of networks like CNN:

I do think that the general sense of our show as somehow being more authentic or having integrity is based almost purely on a dissatisfaction with traditional journalism. We are, in some ways, the cheap protest vote. I remember people said I was voted the fourth most trusted. But my name being in there was a f**k-you to everybody else. A dildo rolled in glitter would serve the same purpose as my name in that conversation. I still think there is room for the type of network that would be purely based on the functioning of government as opposed to the drama and the daily dalliances and story lines. Rooting out corruption could be a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week business. I think that could be interesting. It does not exist. That’s why we make fun of CNN, because they are an opportunity squandered. You just think, boy, what you could do with all those wonderful toys.

And that folks is why, when Jon Stewart retires from The Daily Show (bite your tongue!), he shouldn’t take a gig like Meet the Press, he should take a job as the president of a cable news network. I’d like to see if he could actually utilize those tools, if he could turn a profit while rooting out corruption, if he could mix levity and seriousness, and maintain level of entertainment and insight for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Jon Stewart has spent the last 15 years of his life highlighting what is wrong with cable news; I’d like to see if he could fix it himself.

Source: NY Magazine

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