Jon Stewart is not the type of guy who usually takes a lot of inspiration from Rupert Murdoch. In fact, Murdoch’s Fox News network is a prime target for the New Jersey-born comic’s relentless attacks on his mock-news broadcast The Daily Show, on Comedy Central.
Comedy Central, by the way, is owned by another media giant, Viacom, a rival to Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, parent company of Fox News.
Last week, news broke that Murdoch had offered a staggering $80 billion to buy another rival, Time Warner, which owns CNN. But the catch is, due to anti-trust laws, Murdoch won’t be able to own both Fox News and CNN. So if the deal to buy Time Warner is successful, Murdoch will be forced to sell off CNN.
And that’s where Jon Stewart comes in.
Well, sort of.
In what is one of the more inspired satirical stunts of his tongue-in-cheek career, Stewart now says that he, himself, would like to purchase CNN.
“CNN, America’s first 24-hour cable news network, has been terrible for many, many years. Does it have to be that way?” asks Stewart. Who knows, maybe it does. So let’s find out for ourselves!”
That’s rich. But it’s not $10 billion rich.
“It’s a lot of money for anyone,” Stewart says. “But not a lot of money for everyone.”
Just to be clear, the campaign is a joke, albeit a joke with a point. Jon Stewart is not actually collecting money for this effort through his new site. And on Kickstarter, well, there is no Jon Stewart Kickstarter campaign.
The phony campaign, however, offers a number of “rewards” a la Kickstarter. For example, donating a mere $25,000 buys you the opportunity to “take Molly with Fareed Zakaria.” Ten bucks gets your face an onscreen spot in a “CNN 21 Box.”
Though intended in humor, this latest Jon Stewart stunt has a purpose — to kick CNN in the pants and tell it to get better. Or Jon Stewart is coming to get you!