Ever since Jon Stewart taped his last Daily Show episode nine months ago, the liberal satirist and perennial thorn in the side of America’s political media has emerged periodically to comment on the freak show that’s taken over our election cycle. Yesterday, in front of a packed house at the University of Chicago for a taping of former Obama advisor David Axelrod’s podcast, Jon Stewart spent the hour dissecting the culture that created Donald Trump, and the media that’s profiting from him.
“He’s just doing judo against them. What works for 24-hour networks?” Stewart asked. “The voices that are amplified are the ones that are the most conflict-oriented, the most extreme. Those are the guys that get the most airtime.”
The whole evening is worth a listen, if only to imagine an alternate reality in which Stewart waited just one more year to retire. Jon Stewart’s most pointed remarks, the ones that sounded more like a Daily Show taping than an effete Institute of Politics discussion, came in his description of Donald Trump’s eligibility for office: