“Jon has chronicled the death of shame in politics and journalism,” says Brian Williams, the NBC Nightly News anchor who is a frequent Daily Show guest. “Many of us on this side of the journalism tracks often wish we were on Jon’s side. I envy his platform to shout from the mountaintop. He’s a necessary branch of government.”
"I assume monkeys are gonna throw shit. I get angrier at the people who don’t go ‘Bad monkey!’ or who create distraction that allows it to continue unabated."
"The mistake they make is that somehow facts are more important than feelings."
"You can fall in love with your own idea of common sense. Maybe the nice thing about being a comedian is never having a full belief in yourself to know the answer. So you can say all this stuff, but underneath, you’re going, ‘But of course, I’m fucking idiotic.’ It’s why we don’t lead a lot of marches."
“The point is,” Stewart says, “that just because a media narrative is utter bullshit doesn’t mean we won’t get another one.
Stewart pauses, looking at the floor for a few seconds. “I grew up in a smaller town in New Jersey,” he says quietly, “and even though we were only an hour outside New York, I remember telling people I wanted to live in the city, and they said”—he puts on a belligerent dumb-ass voice—“ ‘Okay, good luck in the gay-pride parade!’ ”
When the laughs fade, he continues. “Very provincial. So the idea that everything was not only accepted, but appreciated, was my favorite thing about New York. But also that there was a certain energy, that people were like, ‘You know what, fuck it, I’m going to do something I want to do.’ ”
The audience is silent. Stewart punctures the earnestness. “And now I just think, ‘Wow, this is crowded.’ ” More laughs. “So, I got old.”
He made it here; hokey as it is, he wants to do his little part to ensure everyone—Muslim, gay, Sarah Palin—continues to have that same chance, not just in New York, but in America. “You want to add something to the world that is clarifying and not obscuring,” he’d told me earlier. “But I know the difference between real social change and what we do. You know what we are? Soil enrichers. Maybe we can add a little fertilizer to the soil so that real people can come along and grow things.”
Somewhere here there’s a wisecrack to make about politics, journalism, and manure. But if there’s any clear and profound moral to be gleaned from our recent absurd era in American history, it's that we're better off leaving the jokes to Jon Stewart.
Picture from the same link as the story, possibly copyright infringed.