I’m thinking I should stop watching The Daily Show. That’s a pretty big decision for me. I haven’t missed an episode in years. I started watching Jon Stewart when I was barely even a teenager, and for the longest time, I considered what he does to be not only refreshing, but vital. Now, I’m not so sure. There are other factors as well, but mainly, this has to do with his coverage of the Anthony Weiner “scandal”.
I should add, before I continue, that there are plenty of reasons to dislike Anthony Weiner. I like him. Sure, he’s kind of an asshole, but I think New York could benefit from having a mouthy asshole in charge. And who cares if he has dick pics floating around the internet? We’ve all done stupid things in the name of getting off. I hate to break it to John Oliver, but telling a woman, “I want to fuck you so hard your tits hit you in the face” doesn’t make him a “freak”; it makes him human. But if you feel that after all of that bullshit we went through with him denying that he’d sent out the dick pics, then claiming he’s a changed man, then doing it again, then denying it again makes him untrustworthy, whatever. I have never noticed much of a correlation between politicians lying about their sex lives and lying about policy, but fine. We can agree to disagree. I like him because I admire his outspokenness and feel that he is a true progressive. Everything else is incidental.
I started literally screaming at my TV after watching Wednesday night’s Daily Show. The top story of the night was Bill de Blasio winning the Democratic mayoral primary in NYC. After that, Stewart could have talked about the Republican candidates or Christine Quinn or anyone except Weiner. Instead, he talked about Weiner, a man so low in the polls that even his supporters (and believe me, if I were still living in NYC, I would have happily voted for him) were expecting him to lose. Because Anthony Weiner flipped off the press, see? And he (giggle) gave an interview on Lawrence O’Donnell in which he (rightfully) told O’Donnell that all of this nonsense about his dick pics was nothing more than a distraction. And he–wait, did we mention this?–SENT OUT PICTURES OF HIS PENIS TO WOMEN WHO WEREN’T HIS WIFE. Like, oh my God, isn’t that the funniest thing you’ve ever heard if you’re under the age of ten and have no fucking sense of perspective?
If I sound angry, it’s because I am. I feel stuck. I watched Stewart kiss FOX News’ ass over the Benghazi/IRS “scandals” back in May, and now, I’m starting to wonder if I’ve changed or if he has. He’s never been a radical. (Whatever you think of Bill Maher, you have to admit he has balls. Remember that comment about the 9/11 hijackers being brave that got him fired from Politically Incorrect?) Stewart has always embraced a fairly middle-of-the-road form of liberalism. He believes what he says, but he also wants to get along with the guys on the other side of the aisle. That’s admirable, but when you’re asking a fuckheaded, piece-of-shit, dyed-in-the-wool bigot fuckface like Mike Huckabee on your show so that he can tell you why oppressing gay people is more important than helping the poor, fuck you. I’m too
old liberal for this shit.
Seriously, would it have killed Stewart to devote maybe one nanosecond of time last Wednesday to talk about Christine Quinn? I like her too, but to hear Stewart tell it, Anthony Weiner was the only Democrat running for mayor of New York until Tuesday night. After cracking a few jokes about de Blasio’s admittedly interesting family, he immediately shifts gears to focus exclusively on Weiner, as if his loss was the only news story happening anywhere. At the start of the show, he joked that he would cover Obama’s speech on Syria before switching topics, but I kind of wish he’d stuck with that. I know he is not and has never billed himself as a news anchor, but comedy has to be grounded in truth to work. Stewart is turning into exactly the sort of thing that he mocks. I might be alone here, but I never found the Carlos Danger jokes all that funny to begin with. The show is failing on the one level on which it absolutely needs to succeed.
I’m not sure if I’ll stop watching The Daily Show anytime soon. There are other sources of satire and other sources of news. There’s Rachel Maddow, for example. I’ve always liked her. I just know that it’s never productive to sit around waiting for somebody to change. If Stewart wants to bring back the Carlos Danger jokes even though there is literally no reason to do so, he’ll do it. It’s not like he gives a shit what some whiny blogger is saying. Someday, he might, though. Because I can guarantee that I will keep talking shit for as long as I have a mouth. If Stewart wants to learn from his mistakes and get back on track, I’ll be there. For now, I have to move on.