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Jon Stewart Rolling Stone - talks about his disappointment in Obama
Jon Stewart Compares 'Daily Show' to Fox News: 'We're Both Expressions of Dissatisfaction'
In the new issue of Rolling Stone, Jon Stewart talks about his disappointment in Obama, political satire in the post-Bush era and how the 24/7 media is corroding the national debate. "[The 24-hour networks] are now the absolute most powerful force driving the political narrative," he says. "And the picture that they create is one of conflict, because they're on for 24 hours a day, so they have to create a compelling reason for you to watch them. Otherwise, they're just Muzak - newzak."
Other highlights from the story:
• Stewart says that the Daily Show has a lot in common with Fox News. "We are both reactions to the news and to government," he says. "We're both expressions of dissatisfaction. [Roger Ailes'], I think, happens to be a slightly more powerful version [laughs.] . . . . Ailes was a strategist for Nixon. He comes from the seat of power, and he understands how important the narrative is. We come from comedy, so our natural instinct is not to understand that, and to be bratty. That goes a long way towards explaining the difference between the two organizations."
• Obama has been a disappointment to Stewart. "He ran on this idea that the system and the methodology are corrupt," he says. "It felt like the country was upset enough that he had the momentum needed to re-evaluate how business is done. Instead, when he got elected, he acted as though the system is so entrenched that it has to be managed rather than - I don't want to say decimated, because I'm not an anarchist or a nihilist. But I'm surprised at how much he deferred to the legislative process."
• Bruce Springsteen remains one of Stewart's heroes. "When I listened to his music I didn't feel like a loser," he says. "I felt like a character in an epic poem about losers...Plus, you would go see his show and he would blow your fucking mind for four hours. At a certain point, you'd want to go up onstage and be like, 'Guys! It's OK. I got my money's worth, like, two and a half hours ago. Save yourself! I don't want you to burn out,. You're giving too much! We do not deserve what you've done here tonight! A lot of us are jackasses!"
The complete Q&A is in the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone on newsstands Friday.