More than 100,000 people have signed a petition asking for Jon Stewart to moderate a presidential debate, saying that he is “more than qualified” for the job, given his experience and time grilling politicians on “The Daily Show.” The Change.org petition was just over 25,000 signatures short of its 150,000 signature goal, at the time this was written.
It’s not just random people who have signed it, either. The Washington Post reports that former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has added his signature as well. The Post says this is because he’s eager for debates, and he’s trying to get his name out there as a viable candidate.
Jon Stewart is not just qualified for this, he’s almost uniquely qualified because of the hell he always raised on The Daily Show. His guests include such right-wingers as Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, RNC chairman Reince Priebus, Jim DeMint, and others. But he didn’t spend his time grilling right-wingers. He’s also interviewed Hillary Clinton, DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, Al Gore, and even President Obama, and First Lady Michelle Obama.
In other words, his resume is rather impressive. He easily compares with the Fox News debate moderating team, made up of Brett Baier, Chris Wallace and Megyn Kelly. One problem that the righties tend to have with Jon Stewart, though, is that he was a comedian. Those people would often point out that Stewart was a comedian, as if that would nullify everything he said. It didn’t, and it doesn’t.
He skewered Congress for doing their job, because they so rarely do their job. The rest of the media tends to portray Congressional gridlock as anything other than Congress refusing to do its job. He destroyed every presidential candidate, except Bernie Sanders, for having handlers that tell them how to do everything.
But that’s not what qualifies him. What qualifies him are interviews like this one, with Elizabeth Warren, where they discussed Washington’s rigged system, along with the student loan ripoff, and the accounting gimmicks that Republicans like to use to hide vast amounts of money (they also use these gimmicks to make things look like they cost less than they do).
The petition is calling for Jon Stewart to moderate one of the general election debates. Gov. O’Malley actually said, according to the story in the Post:
A Jon Stewart-moderated debate would be more informative than the Trump-dominated GOP sideshow that’s going unanswered, so he’s game.
There’s very little that’s more true than that. The best comedy (and this is why Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert were so good at it) exposes uncomfortable truths in a very blunt way. Yes, he got a lot of laughs for the way he presented his information (“Bullsh*t Mountain” was a favorite of many, for instance), but it was true information. It wasn’t satire, and it wasn’t false. That made the righties very angry and defensive. His interviews were often in-depth and informative, rather than satirical, as some might expect from a comedian. This petition has a lot of traction. Will the Commission on Presidential Debates listen?