Jon Stewart’s America

A tour guide through the degraded landscape of politics and the press.

Comments: 226

  1. Without Stewart minus Colbert
    Will anyone now be Left there?
    I know they'll be trying
    Or we will be sighing,
    Like Mother Hubbard's cupboard, bare?

  2. Please ass Larry Einseberg to my list of the writers who give pleasure to NYTimes readers. Sail on, Larry.

  3. thank you Larry

  4. Maher, Oliver, Wilmore, and others we do not know but will. There will be more.

  5. It's just not possible to put Stewart into 1500 words - he showed up in '99, just in time for the chads of 2000, was on post for the utter destruction of 8 years of GOP'er rule and then 8 years of Obama recovery.

    A shame Jon won't be on nightly to point out the truthiness (Colbert term, but still apt) of GOP'ers prancing about in 2016 pretending they have all the economic answers (same ol' same ol'), while we're still recovering from the last time they had the reins, deliberately blowing up the years of Clinton surpluses, and driving the economy into the ditch.

    We need Stewart to be nightly skewering GOP'er chutzpah and the Kochs.

  6. Yep, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was the biggest mistake that Bill Clinton ever made (yes, even including Monica!!). The resulting media consolidation has done more damage to this country than anything else -- besides the Citizens United shame that the five conservatives on SCOTUS brought us.

    Jon Stewart = GENIUS. I am so sad now.

    Jill Duncan
    Denver, CO

  7. What will we do without Jon Stewart?

  8. As Stewart reminded us last night, he is not dead.

    This column reads like an obituary.

    I am looking forward to whatever the man does after the Daily Show ends later this year. I hope he makes a few more movies. "Rosewater" was very good.

  9. So many of these items about Jon Stewart and The Daily Show emphasize the youth of the audience, which is indeed encouraging, but I'm on Medicare and I've been a Daily Show fan ever since I discovered it during the Dubya years. Now Letterman is leaving, Stewart is leaving, Stephen Colbert and Craig Ferguson are already gone--okay, I'll be watching Colbert when he replaces Dave, but he won't be the Colbert Report Colbert. I'm feeling like the occupants of Downton Abbey--things are changing too much, and not for the better!

  10. I'm in my 70's and Jon Stewart is where I go for real news!

  11. I loved your comment. I had started watching the Daily Show in '99 an episode or two after Jon took the anchor seat and was a Colbert fan before the Report. They tweaked my curiosity and caused me to look deeper into many topics and issues. Heck, my wife and I volunteered for the Rally (never saw the show, but the people were more than worth it). Hate to see them go and as Abbey fans, I know what you mean squire. Things and times change and I am thankful I got to experience The Daily Show and Colbert Report through the years. Someone will come up with something new and enjoyable, 'cause the kids are alright...

  12. Yes, I and my cohort of fellow Stewart and Colbert watchers are in our 60s and 70s and even more. They're definitely not just a youth market!

  13. I don't know how we replace this man. The horrifying thing is that the companies and people that Jon skewered so well all these years have only gotten stronger.

    Maybe it's time to take another look at FCC regulations, and how they were dismantled under Bill Clinton in order to allow concentration of power. Six companies control 90% of content. Anchors are all Brian Williams- the "talent", which mostly consists of smelling which way the wind is blowing upstairs.

    If you want to complain, where do you go? Call the head of CBS or Fox? Write a letter to the editor of USA Today? Those who are repelled by the nightly assaults on our intelligence are now just an irrelevant niche.

    Blogs and video comics need to step up their games. The people running this country- and this does not mean the politicians- think they have us all handled. Maybe not. Let's begin to describe them as the greed crazed and illegitimate predators that they are. And the higher you get, the scarier it becomes. That's where you find buzzards like Cheney and Koch.

  14. The bloated spiders, in their webs, spun to deceive us into voting against our own interest;, to watch the violence-porn circuses; to eat the bread that makes us all obese diabetics; to give up in despair of ever making a change.
    THIS is what we must fight against!
    Fall Down 9 times, Get Up 10...

  15. Agree. My only quibble is that you may be insulting buzzards.
    Buzzards clean up the rot, not cause it.

  16. Mike, we need op ed columns to trace this and its effects....how a Dem president repealed FCC regulations , so led to big media monopolies, as well as repealing bank regulations and approving Nafta sending out our jobs. Not a gop president. The cumulative effect of these has been hugely destructive, yet done by a party that once worked for the average person.

    Now, big money influence on elections is worse, after 2010 Citizens United. So what candidate can run for office to restore what we've lost? Who is going to pay for his/her TV campaign commercials?

  17. Failing to hold our broadcast media to a higher standard shows how hypocritical we are. We say we want them to report the news in depth, with the seriousness it deserves and without bias, but we don't.

    Just try listening to one BBC world news podcast for five minutes without becoming distracted. Couldn't do it, could you? Felt the need to check Facebook or Twitter or something else while you were "listening"? American media personalities know this, which is why they're so good at entertaining you by pushing your left-wing or right-wing buttons. Because they know you want to be satisfied, not informed, and are they the experts at it.

    So when we go after the media for not being serious, the ones we really need to go after are ourselves.

  18. Give it a rest! That's like asking the Russian people to blame themselves for the treatment they got from the Soviet government. We, too, are in a totally propagandized culture with a split between that portion which is commercial and that portion which is governmental. You're just citing those people who are one to two generations away from even being interested in the news and saying it's all Facebook's fault. Someone got the American public to the point of accepting these other mind numbers. They decided to make a country dumb through propaganda and succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Now we're just farmed animals who consume and vote and some of us go to their gulag.

  19. I listen to the BBC whenever I can (and read the Guardian). It's US "news" which, as far as I can tell, really isn't "news" anymore, that I can't tolerate listening to. It's nails on a chalk board.

  20. Although I agree, to an extent it is a chicken/egg discussion. Did the media shape us or did we shape the media? Or did political agendas shape the media which then shaped/conditioned us?

  21. Stewart knew more than others because he knew he did not have the answers while others thought they did, and demonstrated to us and every so often to them that they didnt. He used humor to unveil absurdity as well as going for laughs. He mocked technicalities and political gfgossip and used questioning to get to fundamental issues and decision points.

    Because our politics is frequently absurd, highlighting it with humor reveals the truth, while normal coverage of the news is part of the absurdity and rarely does it justice. Serious people become parodies of themselves and comedians reveal the truth. The emperor has no clothes, and in reality he never did.

  22. I don't see broadcast media, I read news; and I used to write to friends with the point of view advanced here, while seldom getting a reply, until a college kid with a television invited me to watch some important broadcast during the 2008 election. "But first I want to show you the Daily Show," of which I'd never heard. It was a revelation, it was thrilling to come face to face with my redundancy, and I didn't mind a bit. This has been very close to a necessary broadcast, which I've been glad to be able to access in online clips. I still don't understand how the prevailing horrors have withstood it, and so naturally I wish it could have continued.

  23. Thank you Jon Stewart and thank you Tim Egan. It's nice to see proof that not everyone in the world is an idiot.

  24. MG, perhaps not everyone in the world. But we have a lot of them in this country.

  25. Mr. Egan:
    Nice paean to Mr. Steart and his show. He will be missed.His positions always provoked thought and informed discussion. What passes for news elsewhere is more of a joke than any he told. That was where his brilliance lay,
    he didn't embellish the obsurdity, he knew he only had to create the proper context, the obsurdity itself would do the rest.

  26. "And “Crossfire,” the original shout-fest on CNN that tried to prove there are no 50 shades of gray in cable’s view of politics, only one dimension of wrong, was left exposed and shamefaced for what it is after Stewart told the hosts to “stop hurting America.”

    Does Egan really think his hyperpartisan rants which are frequently based on ad hominem attacks and grade school name calling are any different from those of the Crossfire pundits of that age? The utter lack of self awareness is staggering.

  27. Hyperpartisan rants? More like calling it like he sees it.

    The Crossfire learned sages, as with quite a lot of the so called political "experts" are pretty full of themselves and pointing that out is necessary from time to time. Sad that there appears to be a conservative bias (not exclusive to them however) toward the absurdly stupid end of the spectrum but you are free to see it as you want.

  28. The utter lack of understanding of comedy vs. news is also staggering. If you couldn't see beyond the surface, that's not Stewart's fault.

  29. Fortunately, thankfully, there's money to be made mocking politicians and the press (e.g., The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Last Week Tonight). The faces may change, but the mockery will continue and it can't help but be funny......there's just so much material.

  30. Tim Egan nailed it and President Clinton's tweet was right on -- where will we get the news after Stewart leaves the airwaves?

    He's always been willing to say "the emperor has no clothes" without regard to who that "emperor" is -- politician, celebrity, president, Fox Noise, etc. and now we face the 2016 election minus the one person on TV we could really trust to tell it like it is.

  31. The recent departure of Colbert and the pending one of Stewart should compel us to demand more from our "real news" and "real politics" programs, as we know that it's both unrealistic and unfair to expect John Oliver to carry such an enormous responsibility largely by himself. Fox News not only provides the fish, it seems to provide the barrel and (of course) the firearm as well. Stewart was spot on per usual about Ailes and his network, which had it existed in the early 1970s may have tried to save Nixon and his criminal operation by distracting us with their hot air and counter-narrative. Some of us lament the fact that Stewart and his brilliant team were far less successful than Tina Fey in driving an odious presence off the meaningful political stage. Fox News and its ilk have been wounded by the Colbert Report and the Daily Show, but those outlets are a much tougher adversary than one failed Alaska politician.

  32. You forgot Bill Maher. Oliver is much more "anti-corporate" and doesn't tread into politics with the frequency and ferocity Maher does.

  33. We cannot demand more of our "real" news programs because they no longer exist. When we're in a situation in which the "managing editor" of the most popular nightly news program is so insecure about his lack of experience as an actual reporter that he feels an emotional need to embellish his legend, we're in deep trouble. There are news readers and journalist/reporters, and "never the twain shall meet".

  34. "Compel us to demand..." Switch off. It's called the free-market. Dollars get a response; moans don't. Start a movement. I'll join.

  35. This is what so many conservatives who bash - or instantly disregard - The Daily Show miss. It's main targets aren't conservatives *because* they're conservatives. Its main target is, and always has been, the media, which makes a horse race of everything and acts as though "balance" is more important than "facts". Sure, political hypocrisy and shameful opportunism also comes in for a fair amount of mockery (and yes, he does hit both sides), but even then, it's often really a critique of the media that never calls out anyone for it, because they're afraid of losing "access".

    Anyone familiar with them may know that while Fox is ridiculed for its blatant partisan distortion, no news outlet comes in for more abuse than CNN, which doesn't even have the excuse of an ideological agenda to explain its utter abandonment of reporting in favor of wild speculation, social media cluelessness, and inexplicable holographic gimmicks.

  36. I recently stumbled upon CNN while channel surfing. I had forgotten it existed. Maybe I thought it had disappeared in some media takeover. No, it's still there. I was surprised. I hadn't heard it mentioned in years. Does Anderson Cooper still work there?

  37. SO, SO true and well said. Wolf and CNN's "Situation Room" are far more indicative of the problem with media than FOX, which is just an embarrassment to itself in the eyes of any person with a modicum of intelligence. Alarmist, shallow, talking head, "neutral" pablum for the masses, unfortunately is what sells as "News" in our society. But the sadder part is that this is, at the end of the day, actually a telling reflection of the vast majority of the viewing public, who have neither the attention span nor the desire for any meaningful critical analysis necessary to reach informed decisions on what is the actual "truth" of world events, which are often very challengingly complex.

  38. Dave, to buy your premise one would have to believe that it is a coincidence that the folks who do not share Stewart's partisan views are also more prone to "hypocrisy and shameful opportunism". How convenient.

    Stewart is a very talented person, but he is also a rigid partisan. His partisanship is what make the folks commenting here passionate, not his talent. The comments speak for themselves. They are pretty much the same: kind of silly lionization of a comedian, a gross overstatement of his influence and then a string of complaints about Fox News and ad hominem attacks against Republicans who have been out of office nearly ten years.

    If Stewart were a conservative, the folks here would hate him. If Limbaugh was a liberal, the folks here would love him. It is all about partisanship and Stewart's talent is the side attraction.

  39. I see how Jon Stewart became Americans' news source; he drove home the absurdities we all sensed under the more somber or contentious presentations. We can't scream or cry all the time, we need some levity, too.

  40. Bill Moyers, Colbert, and now Jon Stewart. I'm devastated. Will Bill Maher be next?

  41. I just learned Bill Moyers is retiring. His was THE show for the non commercial truth. He brought a perspective from a past age, before commercial interests started to totally dominate both politics and media. PBS is under commercial pressure too, but at least kept up some of it's standards to give us his program. They should just replay all his shows from the past, in a continuous rerun, to educate new generations.

  42. Yes, Bill Moyers gave us depth, understanding and let his guests develop their issues to educate us all. Who is the successor for Bill Moyers? This is a serious question because that younger person should have emerged by now. I saw a few come on PBS on various news shows, but they did not stick.....
    Was is Bill's gentle style and the personal way he treated his guests during an interview? Who will lead the quest for real information and discussion?

  43. He skewered Fox News but left MSNBC alone. Fox News at least has a constant stream of liberal guests. MSNBC hardly has any conservative guests.

    And the man that deserved to be skewered and ridiculed on a weekly basis, Al Sharpton, was never skewered. Instead, he was a guest on the show.

    That alone, in my mind, made Stewart both a phony and a coward.

  44. I cannot believe the Times, in its never-ending quest for "balance", gave your comment a pick.

    Of course Stewart mocked MSNBC.

    In fact, just a few weeks ago, there was a bit mocking Chris Hayes and the blizzard.

    And MSNBC has a former RNC leader as an analyst, as well as Joe Scarborough, a former Republican Congressman, with his own show.

    And I am sure if you checked the archives, you would have found something poking fun at Sharpton.

    Stewart also had conservative guests on his show.

    As Sharpton has said: "Nice try, but we gotcha".

  45. Left MSNBC alone? You can't be serious. He did tons of pieces on MSNBC. They might not have been as pointed or as hard handed as his bits on Fox, but even that is very subjective.

    Phony and a coward? He's a political satirist. Aren't phoniness and cowardice part of his job description:)

  46. He had John McCain on the show several times, treating him very respectfully each time. And yes, he did criticize CNN. If he didn't land on Sharpton with more force (he did at one point interview "Al" who was really Stephen Colbert and make fun of both his weight and bring up the tax charges), perhaps it's because he was smart enough to recognize that while Sharpton is an opportunist, he was brought up in the Ferguson case to deflect attention from the questions that needed to be asked. I didn't agree with him on everything. But whenever someone, liberal or conservative, says "that alone" it's clear that he will be missed in our polarized and utterly shallow conversations about politics and public issues.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/10/12/jon_stewart_makes_fun_...

  47. I was (fill in the blank -- saddened, horrified, sick at heart) to learn that Jon is leaving us in the lurch. Who, if anyone, will replace him? Where, if anywhere, will we get an actual picture of what's going on in this madhouse of a country, AND get to laugh through our tears instead of tear out our hair?

    In addition, it seems odd (scary?) that in this month we have major news media people leaving their posts (Jon), getting fired (Brian Williams), getting killed in car accidents (Bob Simon), and just now we learn that David Carr of the Times essentially died at his desk. Who or what is next?

  48. Diana.....You sound hysterical. Supernatural forces maybe?Please consider some therapy or some deep breathing and restoration of perspective. Maybe turn off your TV for a while, and read a good book. Or jog. Who or what next? The media will provide the next update of sad, horrific events.

  49. Where will we get our news?

  50. The beauty of Jon Stewart's "fake news" is that is the news he presents isn't fake at all--he tells it like it is, and has us shaking our heads at the stupidity of much of it. He is, in a sense, America's court jester who can tell anyone the truth-as-humor and get away with it.

  51. Who will take on Roger Ailes (aka two ton man) clowns and bouffant bimbos who rant and rave on fix news every night pretending to be legitimate reporters? Who will poke fun of the never ending clown show called CNN pretend news driving around in their blizzard car relating their inept version of high school reporting? Jon we will miss you.

  52. Jon Stewart's contribution was not just his comedic genius, but that he exposed the tabloid nature of what most broadcast media present as news. With the exception of PBS and NPR, commercial broadcast news has become a product that is sold to the public, just like headache pills and pet food. These news outlets have to make money. They have to attract sponsors and viewers who will buy the sponsor's products.

    Consequently, the news is filled with coverage of pundits and politicians that have no business teaching second graders how to color and stay within the lines. But revenue seeking media pushes these clowns into the public spotlight. That exposure helps the stars of the freak show attain high public office.

    The freakshow players gave him plenty of daily material. It is so sad that the carnival crowd actually takes themselves seriously. Stewart showed us that we should not.

  53. The Senate for John Stewart? Not big enough. Look for him to form an exploratory committee in August, declare for the presidency in October, and win in Iowa next January!

  54. I, like just about every progressive in the US, hate to see Jon and Stephen leave the arena. They have both set standards that will be hard to surpass, and we are all the better for it.

    Jon must be exhausted after sixteen years. He deserves the chance to refresh and regenerate.

    Jon will surprise us all with a new way of looking at this world and this country. I sense a restless curiosity in him; he will find a new path.

    Thanks, Jon!

  55. I'm sorry to see Stewart go too, but there's a positive way of looking at his departure. Now that he won't be there anymore to make us laugh at the people destroying our country, we'll have to take it more seriously, and do something.

  56. The best way to unmask the lies and exaggerations and other stupid things that politicians routinely say, is by way of the Comics 'telling the truth', unmasking the charlatans by irony, innuendo, and cutting them to size. In other words, Comics are essential to keep our democratic fabric from becoming too stiff and self-satisfied, too complacent for their own good, too entitled to care.

  57. I love Jon Stewart. He, along with Stephen Colbert, have injected TV with much-needed shots of honesty and hilarity over the past decade-and-a-half. But let's face it: Jon's show has felt tired lately, and he has seemed more than a little restless and even bored with it all. He can still skewer vapid media personalities and hypocritical politicians with the best of them, but too often the shows fall flat. He's one of TV's all-time greats, and he's leaving at the right time.

  58. I despair of getting through the upcoming election cycle without Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert

  59. "Nancy Pelosi will demonstrate that humor impairment is bipartisan."

    I stopped reading when I got to this line. As a woman, in the past I found it so annoying that Rep. Pelosi seemed to always have a smile plastered on her face. (I even made a comment about that in a comment to the Times where I said she should run for president.) Why? Because I believe that women shouldn't need to have to smile to be taken seriously in politics.

    But, well, apparently Mr. Egan you think Ms. Pelosi DOES need to put a smile on her face to be taken seriously . Would you EVER say a male politician was "humorless?" Heck no! Does Ms. Pelosi need to keep a silly smile on her face to humor men like you who just can't *bear* to listen to a woman? I have a feeling that you can't bear to listen to a woman. Period.

    Well, I just can't bear to read a man who can't bear to listen to "humorless" women. Whatever that means! (I'd love to know.)

  60. Tim Egan and others have commented numerous times on the humor impairment of Mitch McConnell and other male politicians.

  61. I agree. I've seen Nancy Pelosi on TV several times, and she comes across as intelligent, articulate and always a good sport. I didn't get this bit either.

  62. This column is fiercely critical of a dozen men and one woman. I'm not sure that's good evidence that the columnist is biased against women.

  63. The problem, as Mr. Egan points out, is that network TV news has become puerile, insipid, pablum for the masses. ABC shills for Disney, NBC for Viacom and CBS for Sony. They are shameless hucksters for the mediocre entertainment products of their parent companies--or in the case of FOX just a mouthpiece for cynical billionaires who are trying to get all the marbles. I am disgusted beyond words by the lack of integrity of network news--it's like everyone just stopped caring.

  64. NBC shills for Comcast..worse

  65. Jon Stewart?

    I never watched him. But not that I dislike him--I just never watch television. But you always hear about him and I certainly appreciate what he does. I don't think people realize how difficult it is just to do something right for once. I don't think I really appreciated it. But I sort of understand tonight, writing this...I got into a fistfight with one of my roommates where I live (house with bunch of people renting); I just got tired of the way he treats his ex-girlfriend's dogs (she owns house). I caught him hitting one dog tonight and things resulted in a comedy of two over 50 guys swinging away. I can tell you it's not recommended to get in a fistfight at age 50.

    The point is standing up for something can cost you. I have to move now from where I live and don't even know if in meantime my possessions are safe not to mention if I'm safe. It's easy to understand if the average person just goes along with so much of the nonsense in society because one person is just one person and you can pay a real price for sticking your nose into things. So it really is nice when a person such as Stewart can rise up to stick his nose into things and have a laugh about things. There are always things in society which are truly horrible to contemplate. I have to live knowing that my moving from where I live now results in the guy I fought still living in the same house with the dogs that I tried to defend. We need more people to make us laugh, address things at same time.

  66. I feel for you. Kudos for standing up for the defenseless pups and good luck on moving forward (and elsewhere).

  67. "Stewart didn’t degrade politics and the press. He walked through a degraded landscape, the tour guide who’s also a smartass. "

    Fantastic summation of Stewart's time on the Daily Show.

  68. I can't wait for the first angry conservative post denying that they're not funny.

  69. Dont know if anyone is looking to deny their talent. I will say that the partisan liberals on this thread who are lionizing Colbert and Stewart would not find them funny at all if they were conservative instead of liberal. That is quite clear from the comments here. If Stewart was a conservative, he would be despised by the very same people who are worshiping him here.

  70. John Stewart is the one-person Consumer Protection Bureau for news. He has gently, but nevertheless efficiently, exposed the mainstream news media for what it has become - a vehicle for spin, sponsors and mindless advertizing. If CNN, NBC and Fox had any self-respect, they would provide two one-hour segments of news, one in the morning and one in the evening. And leave the rest of the day for travel shows, soap operas and sitcoms. Stop trying to fill the entire day with spin and opinion - this IS what is hurting America.

  71. Jon Stewart was the captain of our national jungle boat ride, and all the animatronics were the politicians and media that kept getting the robotic rhino horn. Without Stewart, I wonder if we'll know the back side of water from the front anymore. All I know is that after 16 years, we're about to return to the most dangerous part of the ride--civilization.

    Thanks for being our real pilot through an ersatz jungle, Jon.

  72. Dr. Bob Solomon says it for me. Tim Egan's tightly packaged commentary today
    is great. I am nearly 92 and a political and international news junkie so the good
    TV journalists, and there are a few, make my days. Sometimes I picture a rack of long haired pieces hanging on racks for some of the feather-brains to grab and hang down to their belly-buttons before they go on camera to read their lines.
    But we still have Andrea Mitchell and Wolf Blitzer as well as some brave
    foreign correspondents in the field.

  73. 'Scuse me, but Senator Franken has not foresworn his formidable comedic talents in favor of a bloodless political career. He was and still remains "Good enough, smart enough" and doggonit, people still like him! How could any sentient person navigate the current political climate without a healthy dose of humor to counter the prevailing and pernicious false realities?

    Stewart and Colbert were crucial anchors in a roiling sea of self-serving disinformation and outright lies. Without them I fear despair. I may soon write imploring letters to Sen. Frankin pleading him to put that satellite dish on his head again and hone in on the truth.

  74. It has occurred to me, as SNL celebrates its big anniversary this year, that Al Franken was far ahead of his time. The decade of Al Franken, and his character viewing world events solely through his own narcissistic prism, wouldn't be funny today because it's the norm.

    "When you see a news report, you'll be thinking, 'I wonder what Al Franken thinks about this thing?', 'I wonder how this inflation thing is hurting Al Franken?' "

  75. Maybe we can have a second Al Franken Decade.

  76. Re. "Can anyone act on a stock-buying tip from Jim Cramer, the CNBC host, after Stewart showed him promoting garbage before the financial collapse on a show that tries to make funny with your money, barking “buy, buy, buy!” while banging a gong?"

    Yes, absolutely! Cramer is alive and well, touting stocks in an easy money driven bull market just like he was before the financial collapse that began in September 2008. And people must be buying what he is selling because he would not still be on the air if nobody was tuning in.

    And Stewart's takedown of Cramer was on March 9, 2009 as we were approaching the depth of the financial collapse, not before it. Kudos to Mr. Stewart for what he did, but it was well after the damage had been done. Maybe it made an impression on a few people. But apparently not too many because Cramer and what he is hawking is almost as popular now as our easy money driven markets.

    There were credible journalists that sounded the alarm about the perils of the sub-prime market, synthetic CDOs, CDSs, etc. well before the 2008 crash, but they got the attention of precious few. And the lessons suggested by Mr. Stewart's takedown of Cramer have apparently been lost on most. But not on Claudio Borio, the head of the Bank of International Settlements monetary and economists who warned in December 2014 about growing fragility hidden beneath the markets' buoyancy saying "The highly abnormal is becoming uncomfortably normal."

  77. Colbert and Stewart have taught us how to see, and to see through. Now it's up to us to remember and to act. That's the lesson.

  78. It's impossible to respond to all the bizarre thinking, the corrupted moral absolutism in a piece like this and I was wondering how to respond to the unending nonsense. And then I spied this: \\“Where will I get my news every night?” asked Bill Clinton, in a tweet following Stewart’s announcement.//

    It's bad enough that Clinton said it in his nauseatingly glad-handed way, but then Egan feels compelled to quote it?

    News? What is news anymore? Does the NYT have a clue? Or is it all about agenda from here on out?

    I can't speak for Stewart but I wonder if he's quitting in order to escape the crushing idoelogical demands of his increasingly desperate audience.

  79. DougalE;

    Slow down there - take a breath.

  80. On Tuesday after the Big Announcement, Jon asked the plaintive question, "Did I die?" To which I say, "Yes, Jon, in a sense, you did. I could not be more inconsolable than if you were a dear friend who had just told me that he had just been diagnosed with cancer. I know you're bored. I know you miss eating dinner with your family. I understand your reasons for leaving, although why you want to leave just before the next big election, when there will be clown cars to mock and Hillary to call to task, I can't begin to understand. But I will miss you, my dear friend, because you've been a member of my family, too."

  81. I suggested to Jon via twitter (like he reads my tweets) that perhaps he could at least do two one-hour shows a week, say, on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Anything, any little piece will do, Jon!! I feel like he died too. I actually felt sick to my stomach and had to swallow the lump in my throat the first several times I heard people talking about it. I"m sure I could cry over his departure without any trouble too, though I've managed not to so far....

    Jill Duncan
    Denver, CO

  82. Amen! to Jackie's statement.

  83. Well said Jackie. Thank you.

  84. Pithy writing is Egan's metier, His farewell to Jon Stewart reads the way Twain might have written it: crisp phrasings, quick jokes, and what the Renaissance writers called "true wit", something new and not refurbed. Alexander Pope prized "what oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed". A zillion articles and talking heads galore are singing Stewart's praises this week, but few as originally as Egan's piece does. And isn't that what Stewart did, compress and purify what millions wished we could express about Stewart's show, the chief source for news for college-age kids and older middle class and professionals. Anti-FOX, thoughful, and dynamite.

    Without Mr. Egan, Mr, Bruni, Mr. Blow, Mr. Kristoff and Ms. Collins, the NYT seems bloodless. Maybe we can hire Jon Stewart to add some hemoglobinous mock-reporting.

  85. Actually, the claim tha a lot of t folks, particularly young people, use the Daily Show as their primary news source. Pew polling demonstrates that twice as many people between the ages of 18-29 get their news from the CBS Evening News than from the Daily Show.

    Perhaps more of the folks making such claims should reconsider their own news sources.

  86. What a nice editorial, saying that Ted Cruz has no brains. I rather suspect that if it came to it, Ted Cruz would walk all over Tim Egan in the brains category.

  87. Or not.

  88. on what planet

  89. Cruz might be hiding some intellectual capacity - who knows?

    But it's obvious he doesn't expect to find much intellectual capacity in the people he talks to.

  90. It's amazing how far into the future of this country Paddy Chayefsky saw when he wrote his screenplay, "Network." He was the oracle at Delphi. Yet if he were alive today even Chayefsky would probably be taken back how America dumbs down in its cultural decline. Jon Stewart will be greatly missed. But at least Stewart signed off more gracefully and certainly less dramatically than how demented Howard Beale did when the suits could no longer tolerate his staggering ratings. Brian Williams got off rather easy and should thank his lucky stars. Stewart saw how Orwellian the news cycle has become. His classic schtick of a deadpan stunned gaze with a hipster attitude was his only defense mechanism against a country that has lost its moorings and its moral compass. And his fans got the zeitgeist he based his performance on. Laughing definitely beats crying on the way down.

  91. Great op-ed. The biggest truths regards the idea that modern nightly "news"-casts are essentially launching pads for the latest pharmaceuticals, and that everyone is baiting for clicks.

    Stewart vents frustrations and anxieties held by millions of Americans, and has especially done so for the last 8-10 years. His show's ability to sift, analyze, and synthesize from so many different news sources to produce such a high quality satirical-news-filled product day-in-day-out speaks volumes about the system he operates in.

    If he sought power, he'd be corrupted. The US system seems to corrupt anyone almost absolutely. We've been at constant war for 14 years with no end in sight. Corporations hold most the money and power and want more. Stewart, and those like him (Maher, Colbert, Oliver, Wilmore, Jones&Bee) can only speak truth out of power.

    If anything, people should turn to those in power to address their anxieties and fears. The comedians have just highlighted and provided catharsis for what can only really be solved by public policy and just laws. Which, as I write, brings to the surface that I am wrong, and Mr. Egan is right.

    Stewart should run for office. And any other person with an empathic bone lining their body should as well. Because, honestly, if we keep sending the same people, the wars will not end, the fears will be taken advantage of, the anxiety will grow, and grow, and well, things don't grow forever. They eventually, inevitably, unpredictably burst.

  92. Yes, it's sad to see Jon Stewart go, but the Daily Show isn't going to just die as everyone here seems to think. There are many very talented, funny, politically savvy comedians in this country who could do a very good job in his role, as John Oliver amply demonstrated last summer. And the basic infrastructure of the Daily Show -- the researchers, producers, writers, correspondents -- will most likely remain more-or-less intact. True, Stewart steered the ship and was the face of the operation, but the jokes and commentary we all loved were the result of contributions from many others. A fresh face and perspective could actually be a great boon for the show; certainly I felt that was the case with John Oliver last summer. The Daily Show is bigger than Jon Stewart, and I fully expect it to continue to be relevant and hilarious for years to come.

  93. It's even worse than Egan says. PBS and NPR were supposed to be a serious alternative to the commercial networks, but one look at their advertisers - excuse me, underwriters - reveal why they are now just as much vehicles as the commercial media for promoting corporate and establishment shills. Especially now that Bil Moyers is off the air, it's hard to find dissenting voices, humorous or otherwise, on public radio and TV,.

  94. The sad fact is that without corporate "underwriting" PBS would fold like a cheap suit. Many watch but too few contribute.

  95. Mancuroc, Have you noticed how PBS shows all end minutes earlier than they used to, to give more time for their commercials for their sponsors?

    We have to trace the corporate underwriting of our public media to deliberate underfunding by congress over years. So once starved for funds the corporations step in, and there has to be some influence on programs. Just like with under funding, they can influence our govt agencies and regulators.

    Isn't it true that other countries fund their public TV/radio at a much higher level? This goes along with their public funding of their elections, vs our private funding of our candidates, and thus private influence for private aims.

    The whole original purpose of our public broadcasting in the 60s was to offer a counterweight to commercial interest dominance of media. This was seen as a worthy aim and got national support.

  96. Yes, it is painful to think of the evening hour on Comedy Central without Stewart and Colbert. We owe much to Stewart and others on the show for consistently demonstrating that you could speak truth to power (or Fox News), and do so with clever, inclusive humor. I particularly loved the use of old videotape to ridicule current disingenuous speech by sanctimonious public figures.
    Above all, Stewart, his correspondents, and writers were clever and funny.
    Now every time Mitch McConnell issues a dreary, deceitful utterance, I just see a turtle in his place. Humor skewers bombastic politicians far better than indignation or anger. This is Stewart's gift to us all.

    Jon is intelligent, clever and funny. Hopefully, he is not unique. There are other clever and funny comedians capable of pointed satire. We need to give them all an opportunity. After all, Stewart grew into his position and a suave, down-to-earth commentator, possessed of great timing.
    Lord knows, without him and others, we might all of us have gone off the deep end during the Bush years. I expect Jon will have a hand in ensuring that the right-on humor of the Daily Show endures with a new comedian.

  97. Oh, how I wish he would get past the door. Love that illumination...

  98. Mr. Stewart has given us quite a lot in a sort time. I'd say he's our TV version of Samuel Clemmons, only with the modern instruments of communication and presentation.

    He's had a lot to do with promoting others of worth along the way which we could also thank him for. Not just promoting, but enabling as well. A Freedom Medal is warranted.

    He had to endure a lot to sort through endless sound bites and talking points. I can see how it would wear down thoughtful people over time. He gets a well deserved vacation and we get stranded back in the rude reality that political operations have become. He'll be missed, but not forgotten. Thank you Mr. Stewart.. Thank you.

  99. I can’t imagine people turning to Comedy Central lampooning the news in the days of Cronkite, Severeid, etc.
    Of course one precedent was the famous Will Rogers, a political satirist on radio in the 1920s and 30s. But maybe different?
    I didn't watch Stewart often, but admired his take and talent. I gave up network news---mostly weather between drug ads.
    Nightly news only expanded from 15 to 30 min in 1963. CBS says, “...it revolutionized journalism...was heralded in the press and even got the attention of the president, (JFK) who gave Cronkite an exclusive interview for the debut broadcast.”

    With 24/7 cable, TV changed to infotainment to fill air time, so they turn pundits and guests into hyped up hosts and glamorous personalities. Seems Brian William’s lies are sort of a national trauma. The media exaggerates its effect. It’s regrettable, but report it in full, put on another anchor and move on, already. Williams was not that interesting an anchor or reporter.

    The Times had a page 1 article detailing how NBC was in panic mode and the schedule of the meetings they all held, and which top execs said what when, and even which floor of NBC they met on—all a bit of an absurd soap opera. In fact, ripe for satire on the Daily Show.

    The repeal of both anti monopoly laws and the fairness doctrine has let extremism become normalized. Politicians go further out into the Twilight Zone. Somebody had to satirize our Alice in Wonderland politics.

  100. For a long time Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert provided psychological medicine for those of us who see that the Emperor has no clothes. They skewered the corporate owned media and politicians who have probably not been very appreciative. Perhaps they will come to miss them too. Now that the laugh track is stopping, maybe it is time to get up and make change ourselves.

  101. And thank G_d for the PBS News Hour, eh.

  102. As media is increasingly owned by fewer and fewer entities, it was refreshing to feel as though Viacom allowed The Daily Show no small latitude in its content. From heads of state to scientists, from artists in all forms of media to firefighters from 9/11, Mr Stewart's interviews, while not always polished, offered great insight.

    However, of the many things to appreciate about Mr Stewart, paramount for me was that it was obvious he read the books of the authors who appeared on his show.

  103. Jon Stewart made a lot of great contributions to the pursuit of the truth, for those still engaged in that most quixotic of quests. Unfortunately, a sadly besotted majority of the public are too obsessed with celebrities, fashion and the Lifestyles of the (Very) Rich and (In)Famous to even care. Years of careful indoctrination in matters of Bods, Bucks and Brainlessness, beginning with People magazine and continuing as an endless parade of celebrity muscles, money and miscellany have fed the Kool-Aid to all to many of us. How else to explain the fact that we as a nation have been sending mostly lobbyists' lackeys to the highest offices in the land, and hardly anybody threw up? Give Jon Stewart credit for being smart enough to quit while he's ahead, before he gets old enough to start sagging and become a target for the fashion fascists who rule the media these days. And give critical review what our culture has prepared it for - the shroud.

  104. For 16 years, Jon Stewart and The Daily Show team have playfully shared with us their extraordinary critical thinking skills in a most delightful way.

    Let us graciously accept this magnificent gift of elevated critical thinking and show our immense gratitude by putting our finely honed skils to good use.

  105. John Oliver was every bit as good as Jon Stewart last summer, but part of his shtick was pretending to be a substitute one night at a time. Could he do as well if he owned the show? I hear he is doing great on HBO, which we don't get, and is unavailable for Comedy Central on that account.

    Before I discovered the Daily Show I had to look at the real news and ridicule it on my own. It was so much more fun to let Jon and his staff do the work. I hope there is another John Oliver out there who is not under contract. Things are not going to get better, and the need to laugh at them will only get greater.

  106. He's stepping outside of the media so he can prayerfully and carefully consider the possibility of the chance that he might just start a presidential bid for 2016. VP Colbert.

  107. Kind of the NIST, the ISO quality certification authority and the prime exemplar of American comedy CMMi, these last few years, it's true, the Stewart.

    But Timothy, don't worry; the hiatus is only temporary. The wellsprings of American humour actually run deep. If folks look around, they may find something to satirise even today (although, of course, most major social and economic problems have now been solved!).

    This is only a temporary setback. "A mere flesh wound!" --Fearless Fosdick.

  108. Dear JoStew:

    Thank you for the laughs, and thank you for leaving.

    For we enjoyed the show, but we made not a whit of a difference to the sociopolitical or economic situation that had produced the mirth.

    We celebrated the unfairness, absurdity, inconsistency, the hypocrisy, the vacuousness of the powerful with you. It lulled us into complacence. We thought that mocking and laughing make for political strategy, or social activism.

    Even as we laughed, bailouts happened, wars were declared, Rumsfeld and Cheney were never tried, Michele Bachmann won, NRA and Sarah Palin thrived, Fox news got the highest rating ever, Limbaugh laughed all the way to the bank, Rove is regarded as a political pundit, the top 1% of the top 1% convinced the bottom 50% to vote for their candidates. Big oil, defense, and finance - kept their subsidies, their loopholes, and prevented legislation that would level the playing field. Koch brothers couldn't care less about who knows about their agenda to buy the next presidency.

    So while we were smugly chortling, mocking, and laughing with you, everyone we were laughing at took over the country. Our mockery did not temper their actions, it did not get in the way of them taking control of everything.

    Enjoy the evenings with your family JoStew; for we've plain got to take it from here, and get the country back from those I was once laughing at.

    Kalidan

  109. Well said. I don't think Jon would agree more.

  110. Agree with everything you say except, unfortunately, that idea that there's any chance that "we" are going "to take it from here, and get the country back from those I was once laughing at."

    Ain't going to happen as, nowadays, wallowing in distractions is what we're
    best at.

  111. I dearly love Jon Stewart and his show has helped keep me sane but you do have a point. For me, I started commenting on NY Times articles and essays about two years ago. It felt good to write about the mendacity and slipperiness of certain ideas and writers. I have come to feel, though, that maybe commenting does not help change the world. It has made me feel not alone, as I read other comments and give and get recommends. The Daily Show also made me feel less alone. This may be particularly true in a red state.

    And now I need to pay more attention to movements and nonprofits that do change the world for the better. This is especially since I just retired; I understood when Stewart talked about people busy with jobs and kids. But I can do it in a human way, thanks to Jon Stewart, his writers and NY Times commenters, knowing that I am only human. Knowing what is going on, which I got from The Daily Show and from certain journalists ( thank you Krugman, Egan and Kristoff and general reporters and I will miss Carr and Simon ) is a big part, I think, of learning where to put one 's energies.

  112. P. J. O'Rourke is "funny"?

  113. Actually he is very funny. He's been on NPR's show "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" numerous times and Maher's show. And he goes after Republicans all of the time. He's the only Republican I like.

  114. Oh, yes. He's "funny," all right. I was gifted one of his books by a right-wing in-law, and read it without even a smile at his "humor." He is inexplicably, sometimes a guest on "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," where he makes unfunny jokes" and laughs heartily at them, while few others do. Paula Poundstone IS funny, and it's great to hear her nearly every week. I don't know what Peter Sagle is thinking when he gets O'Rourke on the show, but it's a misguided selection.

    Now, Jon Stewart, bolstered by crack writers, was a stong definition of funny, as was "The Colbert Report." During the writers' strike of a few years ago, one could see in both hosts just how much the writers made the shows what they were; Colbert came perilously close to revealing his actual, lefty poliitics.

    I nominate the peerless Samantha Bee and/or Jessica Williams for replacement(s).

  115. Only if you have a sense of humor.

  116. It's interesting that most every time Jon Stewart is written about, his "young" audience is also mentioned. He is middle aged, my age, and yet is beloved by niece and nephew who are 20 and 16. They love watching him as much as I do.

    Gail Collins helps. Still, there is no one like Jon Stewart. How will we get throughout the 2016 election without Stewart?

  117. Every one of my middle-aged peers is a fan. Guess they always mention his young audience 'cause it's the only news they watch. Wait a minute...it's the only news I watch, too.

  118. Saturday Night Live could learn from Jon Stewart's success. Stewart is hip, timely, current, relevant and edgy, which SNL no longer is. I remember when SNL used to be funny. Now, most people have no idea what most of their repetitive skits are about. And those jokes about flatulence are getting old.
    Stewart is one-of-a-kind and is irreplaceable.

  119. This absolutely great op-ed is a worthy pitch for replacing Stewart's "nightly ritual of mockery of the deserved class" with perhaps a second weekly op-ed from Tim. But I'd question the near-unalloyed praise of Stewart as a "Lefty without a cause". If I have to put up with lefties at all, I'd like them at least to have an honest cause. And it's not just Stewart that lacks one, other than aimless barbs that honestly earn guffaws -- Bill Maher is cut from the same cloth, offering simplistic liberal nostrums as if solving America's challenges were merely a matter of accepting those nostrums as being delivered from a burning bush. Like many others, I only watch Maher for "New Rules", and I'm beginning to consider stopping, as they're becoming less funny and far more preachy.

    Take Maureen, as a counter, decidedly a leftie WITH a cause. She lambastes "Barry" on a semi-regular basis with the toughest love imaginable, trying to get him to mensch-up and do what she is convinced as a leftie that he SHOULD do and doesn't, largely for very basic political failings. But it may be that she, with her cause that must have gotten her disinvited from more than one jumbo shrimp soiree at Alec Baldwin's, may have far greater impact than EITHER Stewart or Maher, BECAUSE of her cause and the defined nature of her target.

    I laugh at Stewart and Maher. I regard Maureen as a legitimate threat. Whom do you suppose has the greater relevance?

  120. Maureen and "impact" in the same sentence? Hardly. I stopped reading here a few years ago, when she started going all Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons on D.C. society, and forgot all about, y'know, politics.

  121. Stewart and Maher may be comics, but I take issue with Egan's description of Stewart as a "Leftie without a Cause,' because unlike you I do not define a cause as simply someone such as Maureen Dowd as a individual with a cause, but someone with a personal vendetta against an individual that aligns perfectly with your own political beliefs.
    Whereas, Stewart's cause is general; educating his audience on the true facts and hypocrisy of our political and MSM news organizations.
    Moreover, Stewart and Maher invite guests from both sides of the political spectrum, and offer them the opportunity to speak without constantly interjecting their own opinions.
    Mr. Egan mentioned P.J. O'Rourke, and although it may have been a while, Mr. O'Rourke appeared regularly on Maher's show as did Representative Issa from CA, Coulter, Hoover, and a number of other "conservative" advocates.

  122. So you like left leaning commentary only when they lambaste the left? Hmm...

  123. Hey don't get me wrong, I am a fan of Jon Stewart, but I feel his announcement was about couple of years overdue, and I mean that as no disrespect. He helped us to laugh at the sad state of journalism and hypocrisy of power in our country, he made our elections just barely sufferable, he helped bring Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Aasif Mandvi and others to our screens. The lives of many of us are measurably better because of the man.

    Maybe John Oliver has the formula right, his weekly show with his humorous approach to serious issues is wonderful. Maybe Stephen Colbert will be fantastic each night, as we expect, when he takes over from the tired Letterman.

    It was time for a change.

    News? Where will we get it now? The fact is, there is very little news. We have an overabundance of news channels, news shows, and everything is available 24/7, but there is very little news. The only real news today is that it is Friday... and poof! tomorrow that news is gone. I can live without news.

    What becomes of the Daily Show? Can it survive without Jon Stewart? Who knows, maybe it should quietly disappear. Although one radical though might be for Brian Williams to become host. I can see him now, talking tongue-in-cheek about his exploits, setting himself up for ridicule, interlaced with humorous exposes about the sad state of journalism and hypocrisy of power in our country.

    It's time for a change.

  124. You nailed it once again, Tim. Between 9/11 and the continuing U.S.-created "Mess o' Potamia," Stewart was one of the few news outlets actually devoted to gathering evidence and reporting news -- along with Paul Krugman, NPR and Knight-Ridder. If you weren't paying attention to them, you had no idea what was happening in the worst foreign policy disaster (and longest war) in American history. Fortunately, Stephen Colbert summarized it all in his famous, heroic speech at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. They not only spoke the truth to power, they backed it up with hard evidence -- including the culprits' own words, conveniently forgotten by almost everyone else.

  125. Jon Stewart's replacement will have to be smart, informed, articulate, fearless, and telegenic.

    I nominate Tim Egan.

  126. Rachel could do it, but she's so well positioned now that the equal loss from MSNBC would be tragic.

  127. I'm amazed that left wing billionaires don't get more involved in providing seed capital to political comedy shows on TV and the internet. It's so effective and exponential. Jon and Stephen provided the venue for the left, center, and even the anti-war libertarians for a decade. They were the glue that often kept us together.

    What a service!

    I hate relying on Viacom or the other Big Six media corporations to provide it. We got lucky in so many ways with Jon and Steven. LUCKY. Lightening struck twice. This was at a time that NBC was firing Donahue, ABC Bill Maher, all related to post 911 censorship-style "patriotism".

    We cannot continue to rely on a handful of giant multinationals to provide cultural, political comedy. I'm worried.

    Perhaps Jon can make this part of a future effort. He has the money, connections, and profile to raise serious capital for production. Through production and development, he can have an exponential effect.

    If Jon or left wing billionaires are reading this: get to it!

  128. Don't despair. There's still hope that Bill Maher (another comedian brave enough to criticise the Iraq war early on) can take over for him.

  129. Dubious? Maher's gig is too sweet. A daily show would cramp his style.

  130. Not so sure about Maher and his initial view on the invasion of Iraq. Bill is too AIPACy.

  131. Bill Maher's virulent bigotry eliminates him as a candidate to follow in Joh Stewart's shoes.

  132. Wow! Mr Egan, you fulfilled my dream, to praise my beloved Jon Stewart and expose Fox for what they are or what they're not. Thank you, Thank you. If only I could be so eloquent.

  133. To Mr Egan's opening question: real news and real politics have been over for a while. They drowned in a sea of corporate money, savage inequalities, ignorance and imperial hubris.

    Stewart's schtick as a comedian was to see that news reporting (telling an audience what was happening in the world) could be combined with a wonderful sense of timing and the odd raised eye-brow, and the audience could only read it as "satire". That was THE JOKE. Playing clips of the track-record of American "news analysts" and "pundits" (often ex-political hacks and military men), showing that how often they were spectacularly wrong about the world had no bearing on how often they were invited to share their "expertise", or playing a clip of the CEO of AIG explaining his reasons for suing the US government for giving his bankrupt company a bailout in 2008 (184bn when it was valued at less than 16bn) held a mirror up, not to them, but to us. It's as if Jonathan Swift, looking outside his window, saw his countrymen already eating babies, and all he could do was create the world's first cooking show. It would not have been to solicit recipe requests.

    Fox was simply the most obvious target, and the most reassuring for the rest of us (look at what Those People think is real). We all live in that world, though, just in the more genteel part of it. Our real news did not protect us from brutal military adventures or hold accountable Armani-clad bank-robbers. We're still waiting for the last laugh.

  134. Soon Jon will no longer be there
    To laugh at foul masquerading as fair.
    What is found in a sewer
    Will seem better and newer
    To Fox and all those who roam there.

  135. Jon Stewart has given America better explanations of our daily society than that provided by all the "major networks" combined. We are lucky to have had him in that role, and I wish him well.

  136. Stewart in Congress? Everyone know honest people do not get elected any longer.

  137. He's got a taste of the director in him now.

  138. Congress? What a waste. How about VP on a ticket with Hillary?

  139. We already have one comedian, Al Franken, in Congress. One is enough.

  140. So often the news report seems so detached from the reality we live that it seems that we are swimming in a sea of cognitive dissonance.

    At the end of the day, John Stewart has been our virtual best friend, the one who says yes! it doesn't add up, this is nonsense, we have bad actors on government, and ad agencies, banks and oil companies don't care who suffers or if we wreck the planet as long as there is profit, profit, profit.
    He is both mirror and validation of the crazy making times we live in, particularly of we are still hopeful enough to believe in the promise of America and the ideals we were schooled on.

  141. I will miss Jon Stewart's and Steve Colbert's inimitable talent for getting to the heart of the cynicism and fakery and outright corruption that has flooded our political landscape completely, specially their knack for finding older video footage of politicians and their ilk and compare it to recent, completely opposite statements. Hypocrisy and lies were exposed in a hilarious, incredibly fast manner. But they also had excellent writers and a crackpot team of video sleuths who are now available for the next Daily Show host. Without them, even John Stewart and Colbert with their funny and very intelligent way of conducting interviews would have not been the same. And we still have John Oliver. So let's also give a hand to the many writers and contributors to the Daily Show and the Colbert Report and hope that somebody with an equal amount of talent steps into the void and uses their talents.

  142. And, Larry Wilmore -- another Daily Show alum -- shows promise.

  143. Like nature, reason abhors a vacuum.
    Hopefully, the vacuum left by the departure of Jon Stewart and the "Colbert Report" persona of Stephen Colbert will be filled in due time by other intelligent persons with original ideas that can provide a similar mirror by which to view our society.
    As brilliant as Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are, their shows succeeded because they had a solid staff of like minded people. Maybe some of those people will emerge to be the next leaders of this mission. And hopefully, many of them will still be there to provide ground support for the next leaders.
    America needs you all.

  144. @HDNY - forgive me for my "moment of pedant," although writers are the creative brains behind the show. Just ask any theater producer or movie director. The writers inspire the breath of genius that showmen breathe into life.

  145. He and Stephen Colbert provided a valuable public service. They are so much smarter and they care about the USA and our future more than any of the news readers out there. Their research teams probed in depth rather than simply read press releases on the air in between Viagra commercials. I evolved to getting more news from them, although, like Bill Clinton, I am certainly not in their targeted age demographic.

    John Oliver is doing great work on HBO. Why is it that he is hiring more researchers when "real" news is cutting back? We need more like him to counterbalance all the buffoons out there.

  146. Caught the film "Network" the other night. What we are observing on our screens today is the end result of "news as entertainment." Jon Stewart (and Stephen Colbert) just did it with a lot more wit.

    We desperately need information straight with no chaser. And, we need humorists like Stewart, Twain and Mencken for a dose of humanity. This long line of humorists is the American "Charlie."

  147. I saw TV news begin to change back in the 80s, after the trusted news anchors retired, and the change accelerated with the birth of cable and the internet, which put economic pressure on broadcast journalism. The networks could no longer afford to run giant news organizations at a loss and the priority shifted to attracting viewers by whatever means necessary. So we end up with the local accidents of the day, puff pieces on what Beyoncé was wearing on the red carpet, and 25-second summaries of major international developments lifted from the wire services. Only public television, NPR, Jon Stewart, John Oliver, Bill Maher and the like, who are relatively independent of economic pressures, report the actual news. Jon Steward lambasted the Crossfire team for treating him as a news reporter when he was just doing a comedy show, but in fact he did better reporting than almost anyone else.

    We will sorely miss him, not just because he was likeable and incredibly funny, but because he provided something that is not easily replaced. In my opinion, his leaving Comedy Central is comparable to Cronkite's retirement. I feel very sad.

  148. It's nice to see I'm not the only one who acknowledges Bill Maher in the same sentence as Jon Streart.

  149. I read several international newspapers and blogs each day. In the United States, there is only one paper worth reading, and that is this one. Just look at the unmoderated comments sections in the Washington Post, for example, and one has slipped into another ring of Dante's Inferno. It's a supremely dispiriting experience. The media, in general, fails in the United States, where a vigilant media would be useful. Fox is a parody, a ghoul-infested crude propaganda machine. Even the NYT fails famously, with its 'torture' debacle, the Iraq mess, and its general failure to be critical. Its bloggers toe the line for the failed news-writers. Why, for example, was I reading about the Muslim murders in Chapel Hill this week in European newspapers 12 hours before it appeared in US ones? Were US newspapers waiting for the filters? Sadly, we are lost without a vigilant press; there is nothing left, save one or two journalists worthy of the profession.

  150. Just a coincidence that I am from Chapel Hill, but I would note that very few people's primary criticism of US media outlets is they aren't "fast enough" in their reporting. For shame that US sources were all of 12 HOURS LATE in reporting on a murder case! What exactly was the damage done during this 12 hour delay (eg, overnight in the US)? What advantage did you gain in your world relative to those who did not learn this information until they awoke the next morning?

    I would argue that, as a general rule, journalistic quality improves immensely when the reporter figuratively counts to ten before his/her reporting is posted. I also would argue that it is a relatively rare occurrence when speed is the defining characteristic of journalistic quality. In fact, in the Chapel Hill murder case, the fundamental question of motive is still not entirely clear days later, although journalistic speculation was rampant within minutes of the story being initially reported.

  151. Terence....The US was late in reporting the NC murders vs the intl press? They weren't 'vigilant'? Why wouldn't they jump on it? Your point is they were avoiding it? Why would they?
    Maybe you got your time zones mixed up. I suggest a regular sleep schedule and use clocks set for the various time zones while you read the all the intl news.

  152. I watch broadcast television. The Kansas joke you mentioned puts a new interpretation on "Surrender Dorothy." I read somewhere Fox News was started by an Australian tabloid. I'm not sure how funny they consider themselves to be. Geraldo Rivera's workfare became law. I don't consider that funny, and neither do the dead.

  153. Jon Stewart was not only funny & incisive he typified the sort of America a lot of Europeans love (and I guess many others around the world too). I will miss him deeply. His humor was always food for (political) thought. Jon how can you do this to us? Retire? You can't, you're much too young for this and you are a national treasure who is treasured beyond national borders.

  154. So, so true! Both I and my eighteen-year-old son have been used to keeping ourselves informed of the more bizarre sides of American politics and news media via blessfully respectless and extremely funny Jon Stewart.

  155. When I sample the Sunday Talk / News shows, it is difficult to escape the visage of Lindsey Graham. I can't change the channel fast enough, then I usually read about his latest crazy pronouncement on a right-wing media watch summary later. Why do these programs (outside of Fox "News") continue to feature this lunatic? Is he supposed to represent the anti- critical thinking viewpoint?

  156. Thank you for writing that. I have the same reaction to him. How can anyone take him seriously!

  157. sadly, he represents my district - have never voted for him! He is a war monger because SC likes war - and his district has huge bases for war action.

  158. Tim, you're right about Senator Franken.
    How we're missing his S-N-L quips --
    Like how rabbis who do circumcisions
    wouldn't charge 'cause they only take tips!

  159. As long as Fox News broadcasts, there will be no end to fake News.
    Fox went to court for the right to lie and won.
    They don't need or believe in truth.
    All Fox needs is to speculate on Fox and Friends in the morning, then discuss the speculation on their afternoon shows, and then Hannity and O'Reilly present is as factual in the evening.
    This happens every day, which is why more Fox News clips are on the Daily show than any other.
    John Oliver, please come back!

  160. Amen. And their are stats to prove it too.

  161. I admire Jon for lampooning the inane and calling people out for abusing public trust. Fortunately he comes from good stock like Clemens, Rogers, Allen to name a few. No doubt there are others who may be "nameless" now who will move into the public eye. The material is there and all it will take is a funny expressive balanced human to continue the legacy.

    My thoughts do lead me to seeing Mr. Stewart entering politics, should he choose to do so. He might even excel at the game and bring something needed to the table that is sorely needed in Congress, honesty.

    I want to thank Mr. Colbert as well for his excellent coverage of PACs and SuperPACs with his lawyer. It was brilliant.

  162. Political and social satirists such as Stewart are important because they can often speak the truth when no one else dares. Even kings had jesters for their amusement, men who had permission to mock the king. Comedians today fill this role and in an open society can do so freely. Every society needs an acceptable way to face the folly of its ways. They are the better for it.

  163. The beauty of the internet is that those of us who want to make up our own minds can sort through all of the "facts" that we take in and make our own decisions about what to believe. Until 10 yrs ago all we could do was read or see what "journalists" believed. One need to look no further than Brian Williams to see how that worked out. The mainstream media wants us to believe that Mr. Williams was the exception but I suspect we will learn otherwise. Mr. Stewart is a great entertainer but the idea that he is an agent of social change says more about those who believe that than anything else.

  164. I think you have it exactly backwards. The credible news is provided by professional journalists who do detailed reporting that is fact-checked and corroborated by multiple sources. There are real standards, as one can see from how far and how fast Brian Williams has fallen (and Dan Rather before him). It's impossible to assess the unfiltered stuff you read on the internet, and it's a mistake to make up your mind based on the latest revelations from the twitterverse.

  165. The beauty of the internet is that those among us who have already made up their minds can sort through the "facts," and reject any of them that don't fit their preconceived notions of reality. Until 10 years ago, the very best new magazines and newspapers hired "journalists" who were paid to actually investigate stories and help us make sense of a confusing world. One need look no further than Brian Williams to see how far those institutions have fallen in an era when entertainment empires consider the cost of actually gathering the news to be a liability.
    Stewart shined a light on our brave new world where objective news reporting has been replaced by "spin doctors," "false equivalency," and "talking points." It's been a wonderful run, and I, for one, am going to miss Jon a lot during the 2016 elections.

  166. If credible news is fact-checked and corroborated by multiple sources, then Brian Williams' war story would have been vetted ten years ago. Reality is complex and "The News" is big business. Bias and interpretation are always embedded in every bit of so-called information we assimilate. As they say, "believing is seeing". There is little difference between the NYT and Fox News. They just preach to different choirs.

  167. Jon Stewart has optimized a formula that someone else will tweak to achieve similar results of poking fun at the nonsense that will continue to exist in the media. After all, in 2004, it would have been hard to predict that Colbert could do what he did, which was to skewer the media in a significantly different manner but to equally or more hilarious effect. It may get a little worse before it gets better, but we will be all right.

  168. Describing Stewart as a "clown" diminishes the work that he has done. He has treated those who deserve mockery with the appropriate scorn while informing those not part of the DC Elite or those that curry their favor (I am looking at you, Chuck Todd!) of the lies and hypocrisy that pass for government and an adversarial press. The loss of the Daily Show and Steven Colbert's character "Stephen Colbert" will augur a return to the privileged entitlements of a Political/Media complex that will distract us with issues such as what Kim Kardashian did with her rump or whether Obama should have let go of the coffee before saluting, all while looting our country's coffers and reducing the citizenry's quality of life.

  169. Clown is hardly a good description of a brilliant comedian and satirist. I am older and love Jon. So not just the young, maybe just smarter people--ie those who do not buy the mainstream media's point of view.

  170. The legacy of Jon Stewart is a younger generation, my children, whose skepticism of any formal media has been honed by the likes of Stewart and Colbert. The downside to my children's quoting of a Stewart gem, is a deep cynicism about all institutional messages and policies. I wish for more optimism from my children, but fear they look into the internet fish in the barrel every morning and just shake their heads.

  171. Jon's leaving at just the right time. His persona was shifting from making fun of the story to becoming part of the story. He's great at making fun of the story. But, his story is becoming institutionalized. His performance as become the political news norm. Its not his fault. He is just doing his job and doing it excellent.

  172. As there are in the "Comments" section, there should be a "recommend" icon for articles and columns.

    As Egan says it all so well, I have nothing to say other than --- "Recommend."

  173. What really hits you in the pit of your stomach is that when you hear Jon Stewart's leaving, you realize there's nowhere to go.

  174. A sad loss to people that cared about the world around them, and not an ounce of selfishness to be heard .

  175. Great story from our National Anchormen Special Correspondent , Timothy Egan

  176. If Jon Stewart ran for President, he would win in a landslide. This is true. It must frighten the right that no matter how much money the Kochs spend, no matter who their field from their current bag of nuts, Stewart would crush them.

  177. Agreed. I think this is why the Democratic party was so scared when Stephen Colbert tried to sign up as a candidate in the South Carolina primary.

  178. In the Land of Oz, maybe. Dream on.

  179. Should we be surprised that the mawkishness, boorishness, jingoism, hucksterism, snake oil, and sheer vacuity that is served up as news and debate on TV has flourished in spite of Jon Stewart? Saddened, perhaps, but surprised, no. The jester's pose adopted by Stewart (and his colleague Stephen Colbert) made it possible for him to have an audience, where a frontal critic would have been dismissed as moralizing and angry. That same pose however allows the boors, hucksters and snake-oil peddlers to pretend that he is "just a jester," not to be taken seriously. And so they carry on, coarsening the discourse and insulting our intelligence.

    But such are the ways of the world. The Trojans did not listen to Cassandra and Lear did not listen to the Fool. Stewart is just the latest prophet without honor in his own land.

  180. Note that our dear columnist, representing the "traditional, centrist media," one which relies on access to the corridors of power, offered the backhanded compliment of calling Stewart a "gifted clown." Stewart will always be slighted, even in praise, because he holds up the mirror to the media elites and shows how they and the political class they coddle have no clothes.

  181. Thinking ends where mockery begins. Stewart's schtick is really no different than Rush Limbaugh's. The reason both succeed is not because of their humor but because they tell their audiences the world really is black and white. The other guys really are evil buffoons. Issues aren't complex. And by the way, you belong, you are one of us, the smart set. These guys aren't Will Rogers. Their observations are often mean spirited and seldom more than superficial. It's an act put on by entertainers, not a reliable source of news. If you want humor buy a Woody Allen DVD. If you want news, read the New York Times. And don't mourn Jon Stewart. There will be another actor by soon enough to tell you what you want to hear.

  182. Thinking ends where mockery begins? Um, no. Satire: the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

  183. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rush Limbaugh's shows sound as if he sits down with a list of issues in one hand, logical fallacies in the other (starting with flattering the audience), and rambles for two hours in a totally partisan, bigoted, mean-spirited fashion, utterly incapable of self-irony. Stewart's forte is to point out, accurately, the logical fallacies in the behavior of all sides, and include himself in the humor; his attacks are almost never ad hominem like Rush's but instead attacks on bad thinking and inauthentic behavior. Vive la difference.

  184. DTB, to compare Stewart's "schtick" to Rush Limbaugh sounds like something Steven Colbert's character would say. . . so ridiculous in its scale of "truthiness"! Much of what Stewart pointed out was the complexity of situations and that the extreme propaganda that a Rush or his Fox brethren put out completely ignored those complexities. Your false equivalency between the two is indeed, misplaced.

  185. Stewart has been great in so many ways. But his take down of Jim Cramer (and Egan's celebration of it) was just plain wrong. Far from being a shill for the thieves of Wall Street, Cramer truly dedicates himself to helping the little guy get into the game and play it C-A-R-E-F-U-L-L-Y for profit. I could write ten pages of examples rebutting Stewart (and Egan) on Cramer. But I'll leave it at this. I've learned a lot from him and have made a lot of money listening to his suggestions.

    Stewart owes Cramer an apology.

  186. "I ... have made a lot of money listening to [Jim Cramer's] suggestions."

    Then you've been extremely fortunate, Mr. Marks. The vast majority of gamblers are losers.

    In my case, though, I asked myself, if Mr. Cramer is a true success at playing the stock market, then why is it that he, nevertheless, works for a living, just as I do? Sheer altruism, perhaps?

    I concluded that Mr. Cramer is, to borrow your phrase, "a shill for the thieves of Wall Street."

    Mr. Stewart owes Mr. Cramer no apology.

  187. Jon Stewart is the "Consumer Reports" on politics and social issues. There cannot be a greater honor bestowed on him than that. I'll miss you man!

  188. The lesson of Brian Williams (and frankly the brilliance of Sorkin's The Newsroom) is that we learn how important a figure the modern anchor has become, and how tenuous our relationship is with those figures. I feel unmoored now because Stewart is leaving, even though I expect that a very capable and funny Daily Show will be left behind, no matter who is behind the desk.

    Stewart has such a light touch, and he moves so gracefully between comedian and critic and earnest interviewer. He never ends up sounding as bitter or hostile as Bill Maher, he is never smarmy or pedantic. And for all Colbert's brilliance, he was always playing a character. Stewart's honesty and integrity carry the show throughout.

    In my life, I never thought I'd find an anchor I could, well, *trust* the way I trusted Walter Cronkite as I did growing up. I know they are doing fake news, and I know that Stewart would go nuts at the comparison, but we invite Stewart into our homes because he is the genuine article, exactly what he says he is, no more, no less. For me, that's what we are losing.

  189. Funny thing is that the best part of Jon Stewart was his serious side, the passionate side, the heartfelt caring he displayed in his love for America. His audience was never confused about what he truly felt about anything at all, ever. He was never glib when going from something deadly serious to something outrageously funny. It is this serious side from which I believe he drew the strength and stamina to work as he did for all these years. Bravo Jon! Bravo!

  190. Great column and a splendid homage.

  191. "Since the golden era of fake news is over...."

    No...it's A! golden age. It's not that Jon Stewart and the late Stephen Colbert - two media-obsessed funerals in such a short time - are the be-all and end all of news satire; having lived through the likes of Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl and Mark Russell, there will always be someone(s) in this land of soon to be 350-million that will carry on what those two have wrought. In their own ways.

    While I've watched "The Daily Show" and "Colbert Report" - since their inceptions - along with "Jeopardy" and "Real Sports," for me, the only true must-see TV - stop the madness!!

    The world will live on, bringing along with it the next generation(s) of those who knowingly, knowledgeably and ably continue to skewer politicians and news figures their own way.

    So, please stop this post-mortem-like bourgeois and end this oh so maudlin shiva!

  192. Watched Stewart and Colbert and will miss them..saved what is left of my sanity. That said, their writers will likely continue. And neither of these guys managed to get their young voters to the polls. Fox manages to get their old white scared guys (and their wives) to the polls.

  193. As long as the polls have ramps, they do.

  194. That is a sad fact. Why is it that Democratic politicians have such a hard time pointing out their successes (Obama is upfront there), and that Democratic voters are too lazy to go vote when it really matters ? This country has an absolutely shameful voter participation compared to the rest of the Western World. And the Democrats are just too laissez-faire in their political attitudes to put up a fight.
    Beware of a new Republican White House come next election. What will it take to bring progressive thinkers to the polls in greater numbers ?

  195. I love Jon Stewart and The Daily Show and I think we should also acknowledge the greatness of his writing staff and faux correspondents. I believe Jon would acknowledge that he couldn't have been as insightful, pithy and funny without them.

    True that as the editor in chief he hired the staff, then inspired and shaped what was presented every night on TDS. But as he acknowledged the other night, TDS was a collaborative effort and he wasn't the sole genius, just the brainstorming instigator in chief.

    His statement at the very end that what he will miss most at TDS is his fellow collaborators said it all.

  196. Sure his writers were great but in reality the only parts of the show that were any good at all with a few exceptions were the parts he starred in. The "corespondents" were petty hurtful childish and often unfairly mean spirited to ignorant people. They could have done much better and it often seemed like they phoned it in or were intentionally being stupid and mean for its own sake not to point up the mistaken ideology of the victim.

  197. Whole-hearted agreement! What a great team they are. It pains me to think of them going their disparate ways. I hope they are able to stay true to their anti-corporate comedic instincts as they take up future endeavors.

  198. "“I think that Roger Ailes’s great gift was mainstreaming that nativist, paranoid streak in American politics, and putting it on television in a much prettier, shinier box,” he told Rolling Stone last year."

    Vintage Stewart. If political junkies are smart, they won't let this soon to be new void last long. As much as I'll miss Stewart's trenchant take on reality--a much softer, funnier and more effective approach then the often harsh Bill Maher--nobody is indispensable when it comes to shaping opinions.

    I hope that his leaving doesn't leave Americans content to waddle through the very poor news offerings on mainstream TV. This country has become dangerously docile and accepting of the pablum that's shoved down our throats by major network news or frivolous morning shows.

    Will somebody please stand up and tell America the truth and consequences of what's going on in Kansas and every other place where harsh fiscal and social policies are corrupting the values of the constitution, capitalism and democracy itself?

    We readers of the NYT can get this discernment but the nonreaders of this nation who believe what they see and hear on TV deserve a whole lot better than what they're getting. And we can thank Jon Stewart for that.

  199. Both are smart and funny the difference is that Stewart sees himself as one of "Us", Maher sees himself as better than most of "Us".

  200. Yes, we readers of the NYT are a jolly exceptional lot, aren't we? Discernment is our gift from a higher source. Speaking of discernment, did you notice that Egan mentioned Stewart's calling out of the cheerleaders of the prelude to Shock and Awe? And, marching right at the front of the WMD parade was our very own NYT. Yes, with all modest discernment, the Times was happy to brand those naysayers as traitors committing high treason against the patriots of this country. Thanks, Jon, for calling a spade a spade back in 2003.

  201. I would like to see a ground swell Fan Club to carry his legacy. Jon Stewart was my safety valve. The air heads on TV news are just that. All looks, parroting what the producers feed them, and a questionable IQ. Quality professional journalists in this country will soon be just a memory we old 'uns recall with respect.

  202. Jon Stewart's salary is $25 million for a show that has about 2.5 million viewers. I have never seen his show. Must have been a lot of big spenders in his audience.

  203. So sorry for you. What a small world you must inhabit.

  204. $10 value add per viewer per year. That does not sound like a lot of soap to me.

  205. You are amazing for a big-spending New Yorker in Westchester.

  206. Without Jon Stewart, and before him Colbert, we viewers in red states, surrounded by hostile partisans, will lose our lifeboat of laughter and sanity. Jon, you will be missed more than you know.

  207. I owe big thanks to both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert for helping me survive the tragic Bush years. Don't know what I would have done without their humor to cheer me up.

  208. Absolutely agree. He was there for me from those dark days of November, 2000, through to the bitter end. A whole generation of progressives (of which I am, sometimes begrudgingly, a member), unable to vote for the first time till the 2008 election, spent their formative years desperately clinging to Mr. Stewart while the Bush "these-aren't-the-droids-you're-looking-for" administration brought America's integrity down like a sinking ship. He'll be sorely, even profoundly, missed.

  209. Feel exactly the same way. The disaster of the Iraq war made me want to rant, cry and tear my hair out. I swear he preserved my sanity.

  210. Colbert? Gone. Stewart? Soon gone. I use to look forward each day to finding out Colbert's take on the insanity we call politics. Now there will be little to look forward to. Thank you, Jon, for telling the truth in a world of liars and cowards.

  211. Once in a great while a fine mind with impeccable delivery comes along; Jon Stewart, Carlin, Colbert. My "vote" is that they are more important than most elected officials, 99%, because they don't lie.
    Where is the next one?

  212. "'I think that Roger Ailes’s great gift was mainstreaming that nativist, paranoid streak in American politics, and putting it on television in a much prettier, shinier box,' he told Rolling Stone last year."

    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”-- Isaac Asimov, 1920-1992

  213. Thank you Mr. Egan for this op-ed and to the New York Times for publishing it. I am among the millions who will fell the absence of Jon Stewart viscerally. I hope he realizes how much our very degraded society needs him and he will be back soon in the venue of his choice.

  214. Jon Stewart was perceptive enough to notice the cognitive dissonance and pomposity of the media and politics but he never made the connection that green screening (just one example) means the "real news" is really fake news brought to you by liars. To twist the classic line from the movie Soylent Green starring Charlton Heston, "Green Screens means Fake."

  215. Trying very hard to do the Stewart thing -
    and never succeeding...

  216. I would like to see Rachel Maddow sit at the desk. She seems to have that nack of reporting the news in a refreshing manner. A little rough maybe, but this nation needs roughing up now and then.

  217. She has the smartass part down pat! An important component to the Daily Show vibe.

  218. Jon Stewart was neither a reporter nor anchor, thank god. He was a comedian. Maddow would wreck the show.

  219. Paul, you understand that Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are nothing but entertainers as well.

  220. Jon Stewart's announcement broke my heart. I do understand that he feels it's time to move on. Whatever he does in the future will have my ever-lasting love and support. But, my first reaction to his announcement was one that was close to tears. What do we do now? We're losing him and we've lost Colbert. One of things that made me trust him and made his show the only news broadcast I watch was that he was un-afraid, whether it was a Democrat or Republican, to expose their hypocritical and, at too many times, their ugly representation of politics in America right now. There are so many people I know that in the past I could not get to pay any kind of attention to politics whatsoever. When he appeared, they watched. They learned and became involved. His humor and bravado makes politics, which is revolting and nauseating, in America right now, a little easier to swallow, knowing we have an advocate like Stewart. He will be missed more than words can say. I guess it's time to cancel my cable. He was the only one that made it worth the dough. I will mourn for your loss for a very long time.

  221. The golden age of fake news is not over, the major networks do a really good job of it now, often retracting their lies several days later . . .

  222. Great overview of the positive impact Jon Stewart has had on the news media, and political culture, but writing about him in the past tense seems slightly premature. As Jon said on this week's show after his big announcement, "Did I die?" Which recalls for me another famous film quote - "I'm not dead yet!"

    I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next for Mr. Stewart.

  223. Most of us are fungible.
    Brian Williams is the most recent example to come to mind. There are plenty of handsome/pretty people who have nice teeth, a full head of hair, and can read 'news' with pitch perfect cadence.

    A handfull of people are irreplaceable.
    I include among them Jon Stewart, Christopher Hitchens, and Frank Rich.
    You are very close to that status, Mr. Egan. Keep up the good work.

  224. Not being a regular watcher of Stewart and Colbert, it still felt good to know they were around. Kinda like the old fashioned cops on the beat.

  225. It says a lot about conservative "humor" that in your estimation , P.J. O'Rourke is their avatar.

    I guess somebody by default has to be "the funniest" in a particular group.

    Stewart and the Daily Show, if it had existed during the Nixon Administration, would have ended up on their "enemies list".

    Do you think Bush and Cheney were for even a millisecond concerned in any way about Jon Stewart?

    Steven Colbert at the 2006 correspondents dinner exploded a tour de force satirical IED a few feet away from a sitting president, and it had absolutely no measurable effect on anything.

    As much as we'd like to congratulate Mr. Stewart for the work he's done exposing political hypocrisy all these years, in the end it's just show biz, and he'd be the first to argue that point.

    The war is over, and looking for heroes in a fake news show is cold comfort indeed.