The most im­pres­sive byprod­uct of of TheDai­lyShow is that it ac­tu­ally ap­pears to have wo­ken the 18 to 29 de­mo­graphic from its po­lit­i­cal slum­ber

Emirates Man - - FEATURE | JON STEWART -

hid­ings, as Ste­wart lam­pooned its po­lar­is­ing yel­low jour­nal­ism and car­i­ca­ture-like pre­sen­ters. In 2011 he launched a scathing satire of loud­hailer Glenn Beck, whose pop­ulist rants bore more than a pass­ing re­sem­blance to Howard Beale, the mad news an­chor played by Peter Finch in the bril­liant 1976 movie Net­work.

“Th­ese net­works are geared to­wards catas­tro­phe, to­wards a 9/11 – that’s when 24 hours of news serves a pur­pose,” Ste­wart later said. “But with­out that they turn the ba­nal into the ur­gent, so they have to ratchet ev­ery­thing up.”

Ste­wart held a long­stand­ing ri­valry with Fox News pun­dit Bill O’Reilly, with whom he reg­u­larly clashed on so­cial and po­lit­i­cal is­sues. O’Reilly, whose show presents the news from a right-wing per­spec­tive, at­tacked Ste­wart and his view­ers most scathingly dur­ing the 2004 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, when he said: “You know what’s really fright­en­ing? You ac­tu­ally have an in uence on this pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. That is scary, but it’s true. You’ve got stoned slack­ers watch­ing your dopey show ev­ery night and they can vote.” Nielsen Me­dia Re­search quickly re­ported that The Daily Show’s au­di­ence was far more likely to have com­pleted four years of col­lege than O’Reilly’s fans.

“He’s ei­ther the fun­ni­est smart guy on TV, or the smartest fun­ny­man,” said Cross re’s Belaga, in re­sponse to one of Ste­wart’s de­trac­tors’ big­gest crit­i­cisms: that he puts for­ward meaty po­lit­i­cal points while si­mul­ta­ne­ously hid­ing be­hind his satirist’s pen. Nev­er­the­less, The Daily Show raked in mil­lions of fol­low­ers from Ste­wart’s reign. Vi­a­com, which owns Com­edy Cen­tral, saw its shares drop to the tune of $350 mil­lion upon Ste­wart’s res­ig­na­tion an­nounce­ment. The show pulls in around

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.