Jon Stewart failed in his apparent mission of discrediting Fox News, despite all the ridicule he heaped on the network, Roger Ailes claims.
Ailes is the Fox News chairman and CEO who recently signed a multiyear contract to continue as boss there.
To much fanfare, Stewart tonight ends his 16-year run as host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, ironically the same evening that will feature the GOP presidential debate from Cleveland that should also garner high ratings for Fox News, the channel that already dominates the cable news space.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ailes praised Stewart’s comedic skills and called him brilliant, someone with “a great future,” a “very nice guy,” and a good family man.
At the same time, he chided the soon-to-be-unemployed Stewart for being too depressing, unhappy, and bitter to qualify for an on-air job at the Fox News Channel, but noted that he would consider hiring Stewart as a stagehand.
The FiveThirtyEight blog asserted earlier this year that The Daily Show never pulled in huge ratings and had limited television appeal, despite the disproportionate coverage in the New York-Washington media echo chamber/bubble, although many of Stewart’s bits got important secondary viewing on YouTube and other social media platforms.
Although most of The Daily Show mockery was typically directed at Republicans and conservatives, Stewart occasionally would diss Democrats, and he would also ridicule other cable news networks in addition to the right-leaning Fox News, his main target/obsession.
Last night, Stewart himself even joked that despite all the favorable online publicity, he never was able to “eviscerate” Fox News or anyone else.
Stewart’s politically liberal point of view exerted significant influence on millennials, however, the White House believed, this according to the New York Times, which evidently led to the recently revealed secret, one-on-one sit downs with President Obama.
In the interview, Roger Ailes seemed to be taking a victory lap upon the occasion of Stewart’s departure.
“He’s been after us for years. Occasionally we pay attention. We think he’s funny. We never took it seriously and he never made a dent in us… As he faces the end of his career, he’s beginning to wonder: ‘Is this as popular as I’m ever going to get? Is this as much power as I’ll ever have? The one person I could never get rid of was Roger Ailes. I tried. I did everything I could.’ This was all a plea to his lefty friends. I think he’s disappointed that he didn’t accomplish that goal, and we, of course, supplied him with half of his comedy. It’s just a matter of disappointment.”
Jon Stewart is allegedly feeling unfulfilled as he steps down from the Comedy Central platform, Ailes theorized.
“He’s feeling unrewarded because Fox News beats him on the amount of money we make, on ratings and on popularity. I’m sure it’s very depressing when he sits home at night and worries about it. We never did.”
In an apparent reference to Jon Stewart’s lackluster feature film director debut (Rosewater), Roger Ailes added that “Knowing him, he’ll direct movies with sort of a left-wing point of view, and America’s a terrible country. Somebody needs to tell him that 90 percent of what Hollywood puts out already does that. He’s going to have to find another niche.”
Whether or not Jon Stewart was really out to get FNC, who do you think got the better of the rivalry between Jon Stewart’s Daily Show and Fox News? Do you expect that Trevor Noah will pick up where Jon Stewart left off?
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