Additional Information on Jon Stewart

Additional Information on Jon Stewart


* Jon Stewart’s father, Donald, was a physicist for RCA; his mother, Marion, was a teacher of gifted students. The couple divorced when Jon was eleven, and the boy was thereafter was raised by his mother.

* Stewart played a minor character in the 1994 film Mixed Nuts, and shortly after his TV show’s demise in the mid-’90s he signed a contract with Miramax to perform in movies. He has since appeared in a variety of films, including Wishful Thinking (1997), Half Baked (1998), Since You’ve Been Gone (1998), The Faculty (1998), Playing by Heart (1998), Big Daddy (1999), Committed (2000), Death to Smoochy (2002), and others.

* “We are not newsmen,” Stewart said of The Daily Show in October 2004, “but it’s jokes about real news…. The appeal of doing the show is that it’s cathartic.”

* Stewart openly declared during the 2004 presidential campaign that he would vote for Democrat John Kerry and called the war in Iraq a mistake.

* In 2004 Stewart and his team of Daily Show comedian-reporters published their own book, America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction. This book made best-seller lists despite being banned from some stores because it included a fake photograph that purported to show the members of the U.S. Supreme Court naked. This same gimmick had been used in Jon Stewart’s first book, Naked Pictures of Famous People (1998). In 2010, Stewart again collaborated with other Daily Showwriters to publish Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race.

* On October 15, 2004, Stewart appeared on the CNN debate show Crossfire, where he grimly and repeatedly attacked the hosts who interviewed him. When one host, conservative Tucker Carlson, noted that Stewart had been embarrassingly submissive when he could have asked tough questions to Senator Kerry on The Daily Show, Stewart replied: “I was his butt boy.” As the interview neared its end, Stewart referred to Republican Carlson obscenely as a “Dick.”

* According to “Due to the success of The Daily Show, which won a slew of Primetime Emmy Awards, Stewart became an in-demand public figure. He has hosted numerous award shows, including the Grammys in 2001 and 2002, and the Academy Awards in 2006 and 2008.”

* In August 2015, the Palestinian-American comedian and law professorAmer Zahr lauded Stewart, saying: “[F]or the past 15 years or so, amid a sea of bias and distortion, one voice in the American media has given some modicum of balance to discussion on the Palestinian question. One individual has humanized Palestinian lives and leveled the debate. One personality has dared to criticize Israeli policies that have for so long denied the most basic of rights to Palestinians, through occupation and ethnic supremacy. One man. One American…. Jon Stewart. Whether Jon Stewart knows it or not, and whether he likes it or not, he has become a bit of a hero to us Palestinians over the years. We incessantly share and pass along clips of his bits.”

* In a November 2015 article, National Review Online criticized Stewart for his “dubious journalistic standards.” In the following excerpts from that article, are some examples of people who claim to have been victimized by those low standards:

  • Peter Schiff: The financial analyst and libertarian radio host told Mediaite that a four-hour interview about his opposition to raising the minimum wage with Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee was misleadingly spliced together to make him appear uncaring for those in poverty and the mentally disabled. To make matters worse, the commentator brought in to the segment to argue for raising the minimum wage, equities analyst Barry Ritholtz, said that he was allowed multiple takes on certain questions, an opportunity Schiff suggests he was not afforded.
  • Nolan Finley: In November of [2014], the Detroit News columnist wrote about his experience on the late-night show. In the midst of controversy over the city’s decision to shut off water to residents who failed to pay their bills, Finley explained that he went in to great detail with correspondent Jessica Williams about the various economic and social problems facing the Motor City, and how they led to the shutoffs. When Williams pointed out that the city’s stadiums and arenas still have water despite not paying their bills, Finley agreed that their water should be shut off too. But when the segment aired, it buried the complexities of Finley’s argument, instead casting him as a foil to those fighting against the shutoffs, and a staunch defender of denying water to residents.
  • Redskins Fans: Amid controversy over the name of the Washington Redskins, correspondent Jason Jones sat down with four fans of the team to discuss why they opposed changing the name. But according to the Washington Post, the conversation quickly turned from playful and lighthearted to the point where one fan “felt in danger” and was driven to tears, after Jones ambushed the four interviewees with a group of American Indians who confronted them about the name. Another fan said the show’s producers misled them about the premise of the segment, saying they would hold separate interviews with those favoring the name and those opposing it, and offering assurances that there would be no cross-panel discussion.
  • San Bernardino district attorney Mike Ramos: In making the case that the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. was not an isolated incident​, Stewart included Dante Parker on a list of unarmed black men killed by law enforcement. But Parker’s death was not as simple as Stewart claimed, and Ramos took to YouTube to criticize the show for failing to do its homework: Parker died of a PCP overdose, according to a coroner, and he was tased — not shot. Stewart ultimately went on to issue a retraction, and apologize to Ramos and the county’s officers​.

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