Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Stewart departure end of satire media?

First Colbert, now Stewart. With Jon Stewart’s resignation officially set for June 6th, Americans must unwillingly bid adieu to another satirical stalwart.
For over a decade and a half The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has provided the politically disillusioned with a palatable platform from which they can receive some, however minimal, sort of governmental awareness.
Self-described as fake news, Stewart nonetheless tackled serious governmental issues and interviewed many members of the political elite. Pew Research Center found that The Daily Show dedicated 47% of its air time to political issues, which is roughly the same as cable news programs.
Constantly clamoring against injustice and ignorance, Stewart’s is leaving because he is “sick of mining for turds”.  Really, who can blame him? Watching Fox News for hours on end is certainly enough to test ones sanity.
Still, the departures may signify a low point for satirical journalism. Colbert steered his career towards entertainment as he plans to succeed Letterman on The Tonight Show and Stewart is purportedly taking a hiatus from journalism.
The fact that Stewart would exit just as the 2016 presidential campaign begins is both noble and worrisome. Surely his successor will thank him for passing the torch during such an opportune time, however if Stewart can’t stomach another mud-slinging media extravaganza, how will the American public?
Whether or not you agree with his views is unimportant, Stewart had an uncanny ability to search out the facts, and even he is tired of what continues to found.
Our age of interconnectivity should create more informed public, but we have misused that capability. Americans know more about Kim Kardashian’s waist size than the platform of their state senators.
Of course, The Colbert Report and The Daily Show were by no means the saviors of society. Yes, they gained viewers who simply forgot to change the channel after South Park. These are individuals who would not dare watch a cable news program but occasionally got sucked in.
It is not too far-fetched to assume that maybe said individual still learned something, discussed it with a friend, and actually engaged in semi-informed political discourse.
Ultimately, that is the goal. Have discussions about anything besides Bieber’s new tattoo. Care about issues that will affect generations to come.

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Stewart departure end of satire media?