Jon Stewart inspired many, including Eagle News staff
I can’t believe it’s over.
After 16 years, Jon Stewart, the host of “The Daily Show,” Comedy Central’s political satire authority, ended his nearly two-decade reign in an emotional and inspiring manner following the Republican debate Thursday night.
The night started off with cameos from about two dozen Daily Show alumni who launched their careers with Stewart including Steve Carell, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert and Ed Helms, to name a few. The cameos followed with a few send-off clips from some of his top political targets over the years, a heartfelt thank you from Colbert and a Bruce Springsteen performance to close out an era.
They even had enough time to squeeze in one last Dick Cheney joke.
I remember watching Jon Stewart as a freshman in high school; I always made it a point to watch reruns of the previous night’s episode the next afternoon after I came home from school. Jon made me want to be informed. He made me want to inform others.
I know he’s not exactly the traditional journalist or the Woodward and Bernstein-styled role model that journalism students are supposed to look up to, but Jon Stewart inspired many, me in particular.
No one could’ve said it better than Colbert did in his passionate and unscripted thank you to Jon Stewart.
“You said to me and to many other people here years ago never to thank you because we owe you nothing. It is one of those times I’ve known you to be dead wrong,” Colbert said to an emotional Stewart. “We owe you because we learned from you. We learned from you, by example, how to do a show with intention, how to work with clarity, how to treat people with respect… you were infuriatingly good at your job.”
Jon Stewart was more than a comedian with a four-day-a-week show to give a few viewers a chuckle. People trusted him to analyze and deliver the real news, the stuff that wasn’t being delivered via bias media, and do it with a sense of humor.
Stewart inspired me to be a journalist that seeks the truth, whether it’s popular or not. He left the show last night with one final monologue. A monologue that now hangs in the Eagle News campus newsroom.
“Bullshit is everywhere,” Stewart began. “Now the good news is this. Bullshitters have gotten pretty lazy, and their work is easily detected. Looking for it is kind of a pleasant way to pass the time, like an “I Spy” of bullshit. So I say to you tonight, friends, the best defense against bullshit is vigilance. So if you smell something, say something.”
This year, the staff here at Eagle News is going to say something when a whiff of bullshit comes along. We’re going to say something when the money that comes out of students’ pockets isn’t going to what they were promised it would go to. We’re going to say something when the student body is being taken advantage of. We’re going to say something and be the voice of the students.
Whatever is next for Jon, I know he will continue to inspire others the same way that it inspired me. It’s not goodbye. I’m going to go grab a drink; I’ll see you before I leave.