Tens Of Thousands Of People Call For Jon Stewart To Moderate 2016 Presidential Debate

jon-stewart-shreds-fox-newsI am a firm believer that petitions don’t change much when it comes to politics and government (or having world leaders tried for war crimes), but sometimes they do have an effect on companies and their decisions, because corporations depend on supplying what their customers demand. Petitions can be a gauge of public sentiment, although they mean nothing if people don’t turn those feelings into action at the voting booth.


Now a petition has been launched to have comedian Jon Stewart moderate a 2016 presidential debate, an idea that I think is spectacular. Considering the shitshow that was the first Republican debate, putting Jon Stewart in charge of any of them seems like a damn good move, even if it’s just for the comedic potential alone.

Via The Hill:

“We ask that the Commission on Presidential Debates consider and provide the opportunity to Mr. Stewart to host one of the three major presidential debates directly preceding the 2016 election,” the petition says.

The request cites Stewart’s Peabody Awards for coverage of the 2000 and 2004 presidential races, as well as the comedian’s record of hosting important political figures on his television show.

“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 while establishing himself as the most trusted person in (satirical) news,” the petition says.

“We believe he should continue this tradition as a moderator at one of the 2016 Presidential Debates,” the petition adds. (Source)

Can you imagine Jon Stewart moderating a debate, especially if it was one of the dumpster fires that is a debate involving the current Republican field? Granted, he is first and foremost a comic who launched his career doing stand up comedy in clubs in New York City. Even though he is a comedian, he is also a respected interviewer who has managed to combine biting satire and posing serious questions to world leaders.


Many conservatives hate Jon Stewart and his blistering takedowns of Fox News and the Republican Party, so they would likely recoil in horror at the idea of him moderating a debate. However, anyone who dares to ask their candidates tough questions is immediately an enemy, as we found out when their own beloved Megyn Kelly confronted Donald Trump and Marco Rubio during the last debate in Cleveland. Can you imagine Stewart forcing the GOP field to explain how their proposals on immigration, abortion and the economy would actually work instead of just repeating their talking points that are designed to gin up the base?

I’d also look forward to him demanding answers from Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton or the other Democratic primary contenders – because forcing them to address the issues and give specifics as to how their proposals would actually work makes for a better campaign message in the general election.

I miss Jon Stewart on The Daily Show already, and I hope that he returns to television, perhaps as a news anchor or debate moderator very soon. In the current world of hyperbolic news media which resembles TMZ and their celebrity gossip reporting more than Walter Cronkite or Tim Russert, Stewart provided a humorous way of tackling the news that helped my generation and millennials make sense of partisan politics and media.

I’m not going to suggest that you sign the Change.org petition and give them your personal information, but you could email the Commission on Presidential Debates and let them know you’d love to see Stewart moderate one of the three major presidential debates.

Jon Stewart is certainly more fair and balanced than Fox News could ever hope to be, and I’m fully on board with him moderating any presidential debate, whether it be during primary season or one of the three major presidential debates before the election.



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  • OMGface

    Like him a lot, but being a worldclass satirist does not qualify anyone for this assignment.

    • noah vail

      he is a hell of a lot more experienced with pols and is better qualified than anyone the right wing has

      • OMGface

        I don’t see it on a sliding scale. I am judging him as a unique individual within this arena. He is also far too partisan to be worldclass.

      • RJW

        He’s interviewed more American politicians – including presidents – and world leaders such as the King of Jordan, than any current news anchor, pundit or talk show host on radio or television. He has repeatedly and unquestioningly come down hard on the rhetoric of both sides of the political spectrum, and done so unapologetically. He isn’t a shill for any major corporations, nor is he owned by media moguls, yet he’s “far too partisan to be world class?”

        If there’s some partisan leaning that you’re looking for search no more, because you’re it. There’s no way, in a sane state of mind, you can consider Jon Stewart to be more partisan than someone from Faux Noise.

      • OMGface

        One more once what qualifies a journalist centers on something akin to manifesting clinical distance. Jon very talented, no question, but, I stand by my take that he does not qualify within this esoteric arena.

      • noah vail

        i beg to disagree with you on this one…political debate hardly qualifies as “esoterica” and Jon does his best to be even handed with whoever he’s talking with (even ann coulter, bless her black rotten heart) from whichever side of the aisle they come…who would you propose to moderate the meet and greets, i certainly wouldn’t call that last shit storm a debate…

      • OMGface

        AT

      • angie497

        Except you have no idea if he’d be partisan. He’s personally liberal and that’s no secret, but his job on The Daily Show was to be funny, not to put out an objective newscast – and even at that, he didn’t hesitate to criticize Democratic politicians.

        Walter Cronkite was a liberal, but is probably the finest newscaster that ever lived. Edward R. Murrow – moderate to liberal, but no one ever suggested that he was being partisan on the job. Quincy Howe, who moderated the Kennedy/Nixon debate, at one time headed up the ACLU, but no one suggested that his views affected the debate.

        It doesn’t matter how partisan a moderator is, only whether or not they can put their personal views in their pocket and do the job.

      • OMGface

        I stand by the issues I raised of different skill sets/endowments.

  • Sieben Stern

    what about rachel maddow, instead?

    • MacDoodle

      She is not a lefty at all is she?

      • noah vail

        and megan kelly is what? huh?

  • Cemetery Girl

    I enjoyed his interviews on The Daily Show. He was able to have civilized discussions with the guests regardless of their political leanings. Moderating a debate isn’t the same as an interview though. We won’t get his usual back and forth.

  • Ryan___Disqus
  • MacDoodle

    A left wing hack could hardly be a fair moderator.Remember Candy Crowley?

    • Flat Banana

      The petition even brought that up, we all see how one sided that debate was because of the moderator.

      • noah vail

        that would be worse than that shitstorm that megan kelly moderated? surely you jest

      • Flat Banana

        Your logic is so far off that you believe she was the sole moderator and you can’t even spell her name correctly.

      • noah vail

        she isn’t worth the time to look up the correct spelling of her name…and she was the lead moderator …if you go back and look she was the only one named before the “debate”…did i say debate? I’m sorry, for a moment i thought the repukelicans were going to show us something more than Fux Gnus talking points and softball questions but, alas it was just more bullshit wrapped up in nice clothes

      • Flat Banana

        Yet you still watched and are still wrapped up in it.

      • noah vail

        one of the advantages of being a registered independent and not some off the wall ideologue is that i pay attention to all sides of the issues and base my decisions on what i hear and how it’s told then i go to politifact or some other fact checker to see who is lying and how much (they all lie) …as to the “debate” at first i was amused but after a while i became appaled at the level of stupidity those morons were spewing and the lack of regard they have for the public…Rubio and Kasich were the only ones that made any sense whatever…as to Kelly, well it think she sucked but thats just my opinion which is about as valuable as yours…

    • angie497

      Well, ‘hack’ is hardly a word applicable to Stewart (words have actual meanings), but you actually have no reason to assume that he couldn’t be an objective moderator. It doesn’t matter how liberal he is, as long as he doesn’t favor any one candidate over the others.

      And while I agree that Candy Crowley wasn’t the best debate moderator I’ve ever seen, I doubt it’s for the same reasons that you do. The complaint I see brought up continually is that she called Romney out on his contention that Obama never called the Benghazi attack terrorism. She was right to do it, because Obama *did* specifically say it was an act of terror. Depending on the situation, if the other candidate isn’t going to have a chance to make a rebuttal, then the moderator is right to point out factual inaccuracies, and you can’t realistically demand that the moderator correct both candidates equally, because there’s no way to guarantee that both candidates will make an equal number of errors.

      While obviously an impossibility, would you have a problem with Walter Cronkite moderating a debate? Edward R. Murrow? Do you think that Quincy Howe did an acceptable job moderating the Kennedy/Nixon debate? All three personally held liberal views, but were more than capable of doing their jobs objectively. There’s no reason to believe Jon Stewart couldn’t do the same – after all, his job the last 17 years hasn’t been to do an objective news show, it’s been to do a *comedy* show. (The fact that it’s on Comedy Central could be a hint there.) And even at that, he hasn’t hesitated to skewer Democratic politicians.

      • fafhrd

        No, Obama didn’t call the Benghazi attack an act of terror, he said that “The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack” “But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.”

        “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”

        Now, while I’m certain you believe that the last statement calls that specific attack an act of terrorism, it quite factually does not, instead referring to acts of terror in general.

        Furthermore, after the debate, Candy Crowley also reviewed the tape of the President’s speech, and then admitted that she was wrong about the President calling the attack an act of terror.

  • curmudgeon VN Veteran

    Can you picture Stewart asking a serious question of any of the Socialist democrat candidates? Boxers or briefs or if you were a color which one would it be? You know, things that the young minds full of mush and the older low information voters are interested in. Maybe a couple of Snooki or Kardashion questions thrown in for a more solid political debate. Stuff Hillary, Bernie and Biden can answer without any difficulty.