Just weeks after Jon Stewart said farewell to his 16-year gig hosting The Daily Show, a Change.org petition titled “We want Jon Stewart to moderate a 2016 presidential debate” has already gathered more than 247,000 signatures (and counting).
“Jon Stewart has played an influential and iconic role in covering U.S. politics and media. We believe he should continue that tradition as a moderator.”
Here are five good reasons Jon Stewart should be tapped to host a 2016 presidential debate:
- Fox News is terrible at it.
Let’s face it – the first debate of the 2016 presidential race, hosted by Fox News, was an embarrassment. As the BBC so eloquently pointed out the next day, the whole thing “resembled a TV game show,” with candidates behaving more like contestants.
Who could possibly be better equipped to handle this kind of lunacy than Jon Stewart? He’s made an entire career by making a mockery of the preposterous state of American politics. Yet despite this inherently slippery slope, Stewart always manages to get to the heart of the matter, anyway. Which brings us to the reason number two.
- Jon Stewart has plenty of experience.
The petition itself sums this one up pretty nicely.
“Jon Stewart is more than qualified to tackle the moderating job. Mr. Stewart has interviewed 15 heads of state, 22 members of the United States Cabinet, 32 members of the United States Senate, 7 members of the United States House of Representatives, and scores of other political leaders from this country and around the world.”
His experience also extends to presidential election coverage. In fact, Stewart’s work on The Daily Show has even earned the prestigious Peabody Award (twice) for its “Indecision 2000” and “Indecision 2004” coverage of presidential races.
- More people would watch the debate.
Despite (or maybe because of) the appalling antics that were on full display at the first GOP debate earlier this month, the event attracted an impressive 24 million viewers, which Esquire points out makes it the most watched primary debate in U.S. history. Couple this with the fact that Stewart also brings a considerable amount of star power to the table – the final episode of The Daily Show garnered 3.5 million viewers, despite the fact that it aired the same night as the first 2016 presidential debate – and it’s virtually guaranteed to attract a record number of viewers tuning in to watch one of history’s most pivotal moments.
- Republicans and Democrats like Jon Stewart.
Ok, so Dems might be a given here, but according to a Reuters/Ipos poll from early May, 40 percent of Republicans also believe that Jon Stewart shares their world views, at least sometimes, which is a sentiment that’s also shared by more than 53 percent of poll responders from the overall population. Not too shabby for a guy who has said that he considers himself to be “more socialist or independent,” as CBS News reported.
- Jon Stewart vs. Donald Trump
[Photo by Brad Barket/Stringer/Getty Images]