Jon Stewart's flippant attitude towards voting has turned a longtime fan against him
Let me begin by saying that I have been a fan of yours since your take on The Daily Show debuted in 1999. I have recorded episodes if I couldn’t watch them and I’ve even enjoyed reruns. I will also be seeing your film, Rosewater, as soon as it comes to a theater near me.
That being said, being the mother of three millennials, who I brought to the voting booth before and after they were 18, I have to say I take voting very seriously. I remember holding my oldest on my hip while in a voting booth. My sons often came into the booth with me and watched me punch the ballot.
These days I badger them to register and nag them to remember to go vote. I turned them on to your show so they would learn about the politics within our democracy and it succeeded. I forced them to watch every State of the Union address and other important speeches by the President.
I also love Christiane Amanpour. She is a superb journalist from Iran, where you shot your film about an Iranian journalist after the 2009 elections. She risked her life getting interviews with dangerous dictators in the height of riots, protests, and wars. When she interviews someone, she narrows in on the questions and gets them to answer with the finesse of a Russian ballerina.
Long before you had your show, Christiane was working for CNN. She covered the Iran-Iraq war, the fall of European communism, the Persian Gulf War, Palestinian territories, Somalia, Rwanda, Israel, Afghanistan, and was on the battlefield in 1993 in Bosnia. I stayed up for two nights following her blog during the Egyptian Revolution.
She landed interviews with Moammar Gadhafi and his two sons, as well as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mohammad Khatami, Pervez Musharraf, Constantine II of Greece, Jacques Chirac, and Tony Blair to name just a few. She has been given the Peabody Award as well as 25 other awards throughout her career. She is on several boards of prominent journalist organizations.
I know you constantly have awesome guests on your show, but you never risked your life interviewing any of them. I do congratulate you on your Emmy Awards.
On election day morning, I was watching CNN and there was a teaser that you were going to be in their studio and interviewed by Christiane. I was so excited! I left the television on expecting an awesome interview, but something went horribly wrong.
As soon as you were done talking and plugging your film, Christiane asked if you had voted and what your prediction was for the outcome. When I heard your flippant response saying that you weren’t voting and that the GOP was going to win everything, I had the same look on my face as Christiane. She abruptly ended the interview, saying, “So this is all just a joke, right?”
I must say, you were the worst interviewee she has ever had and I doubt she’ll ever interview you again. I was ashamed for you. If she was going to interview me, I would not have squandered it. She handled herself very well for someone who has spent her entire life as a champion of democracy.
Your predictions about losing the Senate were correct. Congratulations. You have an audience of millions of all ages, especially millennials. You have a platform that is respected nationwide, if not worldwide, and not once did you encourage anyone to vote in the weeks preceding the election.
I am aware that you’re first and foremost a comedian, but your timing was lousy to say the least. Countless millennials like my sons look up to you for their political news and inspiration. When someone in your shoes, jokingly or not, suggests that you didn’t vote, it sets an awfully bad example.
I was looking forward to watching your show election night and I did. I saw your apology after the election, but it was too little too late. You are a great satirist, but when I saw an article on Blue Nation Review saying that “Jon Stewart is the only place you can go after Tuesday nights election…” I disagreed wholeheartedly.
You are no longer the face I want to see for political satire. I can watch Stephen Colbert (while he’s still on), John Oliver, Bill Maher, and Colbert’s replacement, Larry Whitmore, when he starts. So remember you’re not the only funny guy out there. When Stephen Colbert leaves after December 18, I may just have my television on CBS instead of Comedy Central.
Maybe in time I’ll watch your show again. For now, I am sorely disappointed in you as only a mother could be. As I have taught my own sons, sorry doesn’t help, just think before you speak.