Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Say It Ain't So Jon

As many of you probably already know, Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's Daily Show announced today that he would be walking away from the extremely popular show in the next year. Like many other members of the millennial generation, I have grown up adoring Jon Stewart's playful, yet informed and thoughtful antics on the Daily Show each night. It was a welcome relief from the ramblings of other partisan news media and I am sad to see it go.

In high school, Stewart's show not only became my favorite "news" show, but also my favorite show on television overall. I relied on Stewart's show to gain what I thought to be an unbiased and honest understanding of an ongoing national news event, like the Sandy Hook shooting or the events surrounding Ferguson, Missouri. Unlike other cable news, Stewart's show did its best to be informative as well as entertaining without having to resort to shouting matches between so-called "experts" or reoccurring cat videos (although these types of videos did make their occasional appearance on the show). Even though the show was never intended to be a true "news" show, where stories would be broke, it became a trusted source of information for a multitude of Americans. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, almost 16% of Americans trusted the Daily Show as a respectable news source, which is more than can be said of seemingly well-known legacy news sources, like The Economist (only 12%), The Drudge Report (only 8%), Politico (only 7%), Bloomberg (only 11%), The New Yorker (only 14%), Rush Limbaugh (only 12%), and Glenn Beck (only 10%).

The New York Times does a wonderful job of summing up the full impact of Stewart's nightly broadcasts for those of us in America who have lost "faith in broadcast and print news outlets or never regarded them as sacrosanct in the first place," and viewed Jon Stewart as not only "the nation’s satirist in chief," but also as a news anchor "as trusted as Walter Cronkite or Edward R. Murrow."

I am going to miss Jon Stewart's Daily Show immensely and I fear for an America without his nightly criticism of all members of the political spectrum - liberals and conservatives alike.

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