“The Problem with Jon Stewart” never overcame the show’s biggest obstacle.
The former “Daily Show” anchor drew a paltry crowd for his Apple TV+ program despite endless press adulation and a crush of hot-button topics.
As the @EntStrategyGuy noted this week, it really is wild that basically *none* of the people writing about Jon Stewart’s show getting canceled talked about how many people actually watched the show. https://t.co/7XUPNyNgTU pic.twitter.com/xGIldT84lR
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) October 22, 2023
Now, the show is no more, but the spin is working overtime.
Reports said “creative differences” led Apple to cancel the low-rated series. Those “differences” included plans to cover both Artificial Intelligence and China, two areas we’re told by the press made Stewart’s bosses uncomfortable.
Stewart could lick his PR wounds and attempt another “Daily Show”-style program on a competing platform. He could resume his directorial career, which seemingly stalled with his poorly received 2020 comedy “Irresistible.”
Or he could go the full Tucker Carlson.
Ep. 32 You’ll be shocked to learn this, but it turns out the whole George Floyd story was a lie. pic.twitter.com/4vDXBStHf5
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) October 20, 2023
The Fox News superstar got fired by the network earlier this year despite boffo ratings and an outsized impact on the political conversation. Carlson laid low for a while but soon returned on social media via Elon Musk’s X platform, formerly dubbed Twitter.
The conservative gadfly generated millions of views on the platform, allowing him to tackle subjects that might have made his former bosses uncomfortable.
- George Floyd’s death
- Jan. 6 narratives
- President Donald Trump
He went rogue, essentially. So why not Stewart?
Stewart, like Carlson, has a loyal fan base and decades of media experience. His X account boasts 1.4 million followers, not a bad base upon which to build a new program. Plus, he must have enough resources to fund a small studio in his home or office where he can broadcast his satirical musings sans filter.
For now, Stewart is focusing his time elsewhere, like demanding Israel stand down rather than defend itself against the most horrific attack on the Jews since the Holocaust.
The comedian lent his name and gravitas to an open letter demanding a Middle East ceasefire which would essentially let Hamas know that its Oct. 7 attack on Israel, which brutally slaughtered more than 1,400 Jews, would be allowed without significant repercussions.
Jon Stewart, Cate Blanchett, Joaquin Phoenix, and more call on President Biden for ceasefire in Gaza and Israel
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) October 20, 2023
Stewart has had little to say about the Hamas atrocities. There’s still plenty to say about China, though.
China’s impact on Hollywood has been an open secret for some time, but the industry’s willingness to play footsie with the regime could still use a Stewart-sized skewering…. no?
Surely a truth talker like Stewart could weigh in on any of the above. He might even spill some dirt about why Apple TV+ preferred he didn’t critique China. Imagine how many views that segment might draw on X or a freer speech platform like Rumble.
And, given social media and technological advances he no longer needs an Apple TV+ platform to do any of the above.
He can go rogue, too. Nothing is stopping him now.