The Jon Stewart Legacy
After 16 years behind the desk and in front of the cameras of the Daily Show, comedian and political satirist Jon Stewart has left the set. His final programme was star-studded, with tributes and digs in the ribs from celebrities, former collaborators, and leading politicians such as past and present foreign ministers Hillary Clinton and John Kerry and Senator John McCain. His exit has also prompted commentary from media the world over as to the political legacy of the comedian. Stewart himself has always claimed that what he says – be it about terrorism, the financial sector, racism, corruption, or media bias – doesn’t matter. On his last show, he asked whether he had in fact made things worse. But most are agreed that the Daily Show and its host have been important presences on the US and even global political scene for a decade-and-a-half. As discussed in Chapter 8 of Media and Politics in a Globalizing World, it is worth thinking about what this says not just about the political climate, but also about how mainstream media are doing their job in the US.
Picture: US Senator John McCain, often the butt of Jon Stewart’s jokes, is one of the many politicians and celebrities to make fun of the host of The Daily Show on his last programme, from the YouTube clip below
‘Jon Stewart Signs Off From ‘Daily Show’ with wit and sincerity’, New York Times, 7 August 2015
‘Jon Stewart’s final Daily Show was a humble affair – like the man himself’, The Guardian, 7 August 2015
‘Jon Stewart’s Angry Farewell’, Fox News
‘The Best of Jon Stewart Taking on Fox News’, Media Matters, 3 August 2015
Watch: Highlight’s from Jon Stewart’s last show