Saturday, August 8, 2015

Thank You Jon Stewart

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Co-authored with Siskar.co

I have no idea when the first time I watched The Daily Show was. I know that I got really into it during college. It played a massive role in helping shape my political views. There is one view that has stuck with me. You do not need to pick a side. You have the right to make your own decisions, think about each event individually, and then form your own opinion.

To often, every political event in America has a filter placed over it before it is even presented the public. Most often, the Democratic filter is placed by MSNBC and the Republican filter by Fox News. Jon Stewart went after everyone though. If someone did something that wasn't decent, that person was on his radar. The filter that Jon placed on the media he delivered wasn't Republican or Democratic. It was an empathetic filter. He would put himself in the shoes of who was being affected and if it needed to be done, he would call it out.

It seems ironic that a fake news show on Comedy Central is the one that actually most closely resembled what we used to view as journalism in this country. There is a reason for this though. Jon understood how the media works. There are plenty of people doing great journalism in America, but their voices struggle to break through the click bait, sensationalism, advertising driven media world that has been created. What Jon figured out was how to use comedy as a narrative to elevate and communicate stories that would not have other wise broken through the tradition media filters and into the public eye.

I truly hope that the narrative Jon Stewart and The Daily Show team created does not die with him leaving though the show. I do not think it will though. Off the TV it lives with all the viewers who tuned in every night and loved the show. On TV, John Oliver is already doing a truly incredible job carrying on the narrative on HBO with Last Week Tonight. Colbert will be taking over the Late Show on September 8th. Lastly, Trevor Noah will replace Jon Stewart on The Daily Show on September 28th.

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If you haven't checked out Trevor Noah yet, you can do so on Netflix. I am confident that Noah will do a great job. He speaks seven languages/dialects. He grew up in South Africa where his actual life was illegal due to apartheid and growing up with a white father and African mother. I personally do not know any experience which better instill's empathy in a person then traveling the world and having experiences across cultures. Noah has these experiences and on top of it is actually pretty funny.

So in the end, Jon said: "Nothing ends, it's just a continuation, a pause in the conversation. So rather than saying goodbye or goodnight, I'm just going to say: I'm going to go get a drink. And I'm sure I'll see you guys before I leave."

I just wanted to say thank you Jon. I feel the same as Colbert. The world is a little bit better off for having you done your job. I'll see you at that drink you owe us soon.

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