A Canticle For Liebowitz


The World’s Worst Newspaper claims to be upset that Jon Stewart (Liebowitz) is leaving The Daily Show.

But they’re not really.

With his over-the-top presentation of the news — his arms swinging wildly, his eyes bulging with outrage, followed by a shake of the head and a knowing smile — Mr. Stewart attracted a generation of viewers ready to embrace an outlier whose exaggerations, in their view, carried more truth than conventional newscasts.

Why with that “shake of the head” and “knowing smile” he was a regular –

But Mr. Stewart was far from a universally loved figure. His viewership, though a boon for Comedy Central, was much smaller than that of the network late-night shows. A Pew Research poll said there were nearly as many viewers who distrusted it as those who trusted it, and there was a significant divide among the liberals who craved it and conservatives who loathed it. Critics, even on the left, said he could come off as pompous and self-righteous.

Like Lonesome Rhodes, no?

“There are a lot of journalists who watch Stewart and envy the freedom he has,” Mr. Greenfield added. “You can’t go on television when you’re a journalist and say, ‘Senator X is a bald-faced liar.’ ”

Actually they could if the network lawyers would back them up. But of course they wouldn’t dream of it. Jon Stewart had the “defense” of being a “comedian.” But he knows full well how difficult it is for people to deal with the truth, as is obvious from this scene from Kenneth Anger’s favorite movie starring a brilliant deeply depressed man, who off-screen took his own life several years later.

As for what should follow Jon, they’re doubtless talented but what The Daily Show really needs is a Dolores Gray. N’est ce pas?

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