Why is The Daily Show host Jon Stewart is facing liberal backlash?

Jon Stewart’s return to The Daily Show was nothing short of bold. He kicked off with a 20-minute monologue aiming at both Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Stewart didn’t hold back, especially after Biden’s press conference blunder, where he struggled to assure the nation of his cognitive abilities.

FILE PHOTO: Comedian Jon Stewart leaves the U.S. Capitol after lobbying lawmakers in Washington, U.S., October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo(REUTERS)

Backlash from the left

Stewart was well aware that his comments would stir up controversy on the left. Correspondent Jordan Klepper even asked him on air, “Did you save democracy yet with your ’90s brand of snark and both-sides?” The blowback was swift, with critics ranging from progressives to Mary Trump and even Elon Musk.

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Mary Trump’s strong words

Mary Trump, a vocal critic of her uncle, took to X to express her displeasure: “Not only is Stewart’s ‘both sides are the same’ rhetoric not funny, it’s a potential disaster for democracy.” She urged the media to stop with the “both sides b*******.”

Disappointment from Democrats

Democrats and liberal figures expressed disappointment in Stewart’s return. A podcast host, Michael J. Elston, cautioned fellow Democrats: “The first half of his return was both-sides-ing the age issue. Jon Stewart is not your friend.” Even a self-described Democratic activist remarked, “Jon Stewart retired and came back as Bill Maher. So disappointing.”

Republicans gloat

On the flip side, some Republicans took pleasure in the liberal backlash. Texas Rep. Wesley Hunt tweeted, “You know you’re in trouble when you’re a Democrat President and Jon Stewart turns on you.” Elon Musk chimed in with a simple, “balance and humor return!”

White House responds

The controversy reached the White House, prompting Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre to address Stewart’s criticism during a press briefing. Jean-Pierre defended Biden’s press conference, emphasising the importance of the president directly addressing the American people.

Stewart’s perspective

During his monologue, Stewart defended his stance, highlighting the challenges both Biden and Trump face due to their age. He argued that voters shouldn’t be silenced from expressing concerns and criticisms, emphasising the candidates’ responsibility to address these issues.

Big ratings despite controversy

While liberals may be upset, Stewart’s return brought big ratings for Comedy Central. The Daily Show’s viewership soared to 1.85 million, marking the largest audience in nearly six years.

In the end, Stewart’s comeback may have ruffled some feathers, but it undeniably reignited The Daily Show’s cultural relevance and sparked important conversations about the role of humour and criticism in politics.

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