Jon Stewart Rips Into News Media, Donald Trump

“I’m not a constitutional scholar, so I can’t necessarily say, but are you eligible to run if you are a man-baby or a baby-man,” Jon Stewart asked David Axelrod during a live event at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.

The former host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” joined David Axelrod for a live taping of his "Axe Files" podcast on Monday, where the two discussed Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and the role of the media in the current political atmosphere.

Many were dispirited when Stewart announced his retirement from the show at the beginning of last year. He is particularly missed in such a cycle, where his wit and precise critiques would surely have offered additional entertainment and clarity to the imbroglio that is the 2016 presidential election.

While he did commend a number of his former colleagues, including Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee and Trevor Noah, for their election coverage, Stewart had blistering words for the news media as a whole. It sounded and looked at times as if he had been waiting for a moment to let it rip.

Stewart accused the news media of being “corrosive and corrupt,” adding that they are “incentivized in all the wrong directions.”

In one of the most concise portrayals of how mainstream television journalism has changed, Stewart cited the Nixon-Kennedy debate as when “television journalism was ahead of the game.”

“Since then, an entire industry has risen up … to manipulate and skew that medium to the advantage of the politicians and the powerful … rather than … creating a counterweight to that,” he concluded.

The comedian was critical of network presidents who say “Trump is good for business.” He was aghast at the symbiotic relationship that has developed between the mainstream media and politicians.

Pointing to a blatant example of this symbiosis, Stewart was appalled with Megyn Kelly’s meeting with Trump in early April: “When you have the lead anchor of Fox News having to go to Trump’s hotel to make him stop being mean to her, and now he says she’s terrific because they’ve had a detente, that’s f---ed.”

4 comments about "Jon Stewart Rips Into News Media, Donald Trump".
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  1. Jeff Barge from self, May 11, 2016 at 1:39 p.m.

    He smells like cinnamon.

  2. Brian Kelly from brian brands, May 11, 2016 at 3:28 p.m.

    Stewart was even more devastating on Hillary.   His criticism was more substantive of her.  Trump attack was on his lack of size in patience and hands (meh).  Why do all the headlines focus on T?

    Actually, that was another primary point; this cycle's myopia of news media.

  3. Philip Rosenstein from Law360 replied, May 11, 2016 at 6:52 p.m.

    Thank you for your comment, Brian. You are absolutely right, being a left-leaning pundit, Stewart's comments about Hillary were, as you say, "devastating." Nevertheless, his overall critiques were of the news media and the inability to serve as a strong enough counterweight to the political class - and of course its role in the rise of Donald Trump.

  4. Bob Gordon from The Auto Channel, May 13, 2016 at 9:37 a.m.

    Publication of Journalism is now reliant on "click-throughs" woe to us.

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