February 11, 2015

Jon Stewart is leaving "The Daily Show" and Brian Williams is leaving "NBC Nightly News."

Williams is suspended for 6 months. I guess they want to see if we'll forget why he left and start wondering why he's gone, so they can bring him back. That's all very lame and pathetic, and I don't watch the nightly news, so there's a limit to my outrage about NBC's wan interest in the truth.

Stewart is gone for good, presumably, and by his own choice. 
Mr. Stewart, whose contract with Comedy Central ends in September, disclosed his plans during a taping of the program on Tuesday.

Saying that “in my heart, I know it is time for someone else” to have the opportunity he had, Mr. Stewart told his audience that he was still working out the details of his departure, which “might be December, might be July.”

“I don’t have any specific plans,” Mr. Stewart said, addressing the camera at the end of his show, at times seeming close to tears. “Got a lot of ideas. I got a lot of things in my head. I’m going to have dinner on a school night with my family, who I have heard from multiple sources are lovely people.”
Reading that, I feel a tad skeptical. The man is in contract negotiations! Comedy Central just lost Stephen Colbert, and Stewart must believe they really need continuity on "The Daily Show." Stewart has stayed in his place there for 16 years, while his subordinate comedians — Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver — have moved on to bigger things. They owe him. His departure might be December, might be July? Might be years from now! Throw more money at Mr. Stewart, Comedy Central, you cheap bastards! Show some respect! Show some gratitude!

He said he wants to spend more time with his family. That's code for: I didn't want to have to leave. Isn't it?

That reminds me of something from this Daily Beast article about David Axelrod and his new book that's going to be the basis of my next post:
["Believer: My Forty Years in Politics"] recounts... his parents’ divorce and his father’s subsequent suicide; and his guilty conscience over his own role as an often-absent parent, working on out-of-town campaigns while his wife, Susan, kept the family together as they confronted the challenge of raising a daughter seriously disabled by epileptic seizures.

“It was painful to write some of that,” Axelrod says, noting that he as he put together the family chapters, he sent them to his eldest son, Michael, as a cautionary note: “Don’t do to your kids what I did to you.”

61 comments:

Brando said...

Six months suspension is just a prelude to canning the guy--maybe there's something in his contract that makes the six month suspension more cost effective for them? The fact is, he's pretty much done--the only asset an anchor has is to be considered trustworthy. Lose that, and it's all gone.

I'm sure Stewart is waiting on offers from bigger channels with more viewership (who of course would offer more money). These guys don't just retire.

Mark said...

I sure bet Stewart has a fine bank account and is gone later this year. I call BS on your claim this is contact negotiation, telling the fans isn't a useful strategy.

The Drill SGT said...

What Brando said om Williams...

Robert Cook said...

Stewart is stale and seems bored; his once-deft irony now broad and simplistic. Where once he threw darts, now he throws pies. His weak spot has always been in his interviews with politicians, where he is too deferential by far, de-fanged by choice. A program which purports to offer a barbed look at events of the day has no business having as guests public officials, politicians and prominent mainstream journalists if it is not going to be as brash and mocking of them to their faces (and as pointedly critical) as it would be if these guests were not present. If this is uncomfortable, "impolite," or otherwise improbable--don't have them on as guests.

rhhardin said...
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rhhardin said...

(link fixed)

I didn't know Steve Carell was anything but a movie actor.

His Get Smart was great (2008).

Also Dinner for Schmucks, a gentle Pink Panther disturbance of the world.

Rob said...

Stewart seemed very sincere last night. I'll miss him.

The most arresting detail to emerge about Brian Williams is that five years ago he tried to be named as Jay Leno's successor. Perhaps he really is delusional.

Curious George said...

Maybe he's taking Williams place as anchor. I mean, he seems to be the main news source for all my lefty friends.

Brando said...

"Maybe he's taking Williams place as anchor. I mean, he seems to be the main news source for all my lefty friends."

You may be joking, but in the Washington Post today they seem to be suggesting just that...

Curious George said...

"Brando said...
"Maybe he's taking Williams place as anchor. I mean, he seems to be the main news source for all my lefty friends."

You may be joking, but in the Washington Post today they seem to be suggesting just that..."

No, my left friends and family always use him as a legitimate news source.

Fandor said...

Let's hope this is a prelude to a more comprehensive purging of one-sided and factious presentations of events and people in the news.

As of now, the only real investigative reporting I have read is in the Mail Online and the National Enquirer. And, brothers and sisters, that IS sad news!

Laslo Spatula said...

We will be able to appropriately judge Brian William's character upon his suicide.

I am Laslo.

rhhardin said...

Brian Williams is in line for the Daily Show spot, and vice versa.

Laslo Spatula said...

Not as flippant as it may sound: NBC should put Jay Leno in the anchor seat.

He has been a 'sure thing' money-wise for NBC and would play well to the demographic: there is a lot of trust in his brand.

A few jokes scattered here and there that actually hit all areas of the dartboard.

Serious face when needed.

I am Laslo.


Curious George said...

"Fandor said...
Let's hope this is a prelude to a more comprehensive purging of one-sided and factious presentations of events and people in the news."

LOL. Wait, you were serious? LOL

CStanley said...

I seriously dislike Axelrod and that anecdote exemplifies his dreadful character. Instead of expressing remorse toward his son for the abandonment, he chooses to exhort his son to make up for it with the grand kids. What an ass!

bob sacamano said...

"Curious George said...
...
No, my left friends and family always use him as a legitimate news source."

This confuses me. What makes a news source legitimate? Is Rolling Stone a legitimate news source?

MadisonMan said...

I won't comment (other than to say I won't comment) because I don't have cable, and I don't watch TV.

Staff changes at a TV show are interesting for about a half second.

Laslo Spatula said...

"...he sent them to his eldest son, Michael, as a cautionary note: “Don’t do to your kids what I did to you.”

You can practically hear "Cat's In The Cradle."


I am Laslo.

Robert Cook said...

"What makes a news source legitimate? Is Rolling Stone a legitimate news source?"

This raises the question: what is "news?"

Fandor said...

Curious George,
"Hope springs eternal (in the human breast)."
Prov. People will continue to hope even though they have evidence that things cannot possibly turn out the way they want. (From Alexander Pope's poem, "Essay on Man."

Read Ann Coulter. She has something to say about liberals. You might have already.
Maybe not.

Laslo,
"NBC should put Jay Leno in the anchor seat."

Perfect!

(If all else fails)

Laslo Spatula said...

I do not believe it too soon to question Brian Williams if Allison Williams (of 'Girls') is really HIS daughter.

Her real father could very well have been in the 'previous helicopter'...


I am Laslo.

kcom said...

"Brian Williams is in line for the Daily Show spot, and vice versa."

Yesterday Greg Gutfeld suggested a different swap. He thinks the perfect move, now that Rosie O'Donnell is leaving The View, is to put her in the anchor chair and have Brian Williams take her place over there. He'll get all the celebrity he could want.

Laslo Spatula said...

I came out of the shower, dressed, and checked back in with great anticipation that -- after my 8:36 comment -- Althouse would have already embedded the Harry Chapin video.

The day begins in disappointment.

I am Laslo.

Michael said...

You will never see Brian Williams again as a news anchor. He is toast.

BarrySanders20 said...

Fake news, real news.

Stewart, Williams.

Hillary/Axelrod/Obama.

At this point, what difference does it make?

Matthew Sablan said...

If Jon Steweart holds on, there'll be a Republican president to mock, then he can take the kid gloves off again.

Birches said...

I'll post it Laslo.

Nonapod said...

Wasn't there some kind of scuttlebutt about Stewart being offered "Meet the Press" a while back and him refusing? Something about a packed Brinks truck being insufficient? Maybe NBC offered two Brinks trucks for Stewart to take over Nightly News this time.

George said...

Stewart just doesn't have the stamina to deal with cheerleading for Hillary for the next two years.

Larry J said...

Michael said...
You will never see Brian Williams again as a news anchor. He is toast.


Maybe, maybe not. MSNBC is still around. Although for the life of me, I don't know why.

madAsHell said...

The NBC Nightly News is 15 minutes of advertizing for incontinence, and 4 hour boners.

When did that become Stewart's demographic?

Renee said...

Yeah. I to explain erectile dysfunction to a ten year old boy, dimply because he wouldn't let me change the channel in fear we would miss the Neil Armstrong moon story.

Curious George said...

"bob sacamano said...
"Curious George said...
...
No, my left friends and family always use him as a legitimate news source."

This confuses me. What makes a news source legitimate? Is Rolling Stone a legitimate news source?"

For a lefty, anything that agrees with their common worldview. Which is why my lefty friends and family have never once posted a bit where Stewart has torn into Obama, or any Democrat. Then he's just an unfunny comedian.

EMD said...

Yeah. I to explain erectile dysfunction to a ten year old boy, dimply because he wouldn't let me change the channel in fear we would miss the Neil Armstrong moon story.

That's pretty cool that he wanted to hear the Armstrong story.

Bob Boyd said...

Did you ever find yourself with 5 hour energy and only a 4 hour boner?

Jason said...

so there's a limit to my outrage about NBC's wan interest in the truth.

Yes. We noticed.

William said...

I don't suggest this in a snarky way, but it seems to me that Williams' background and aspirations make him a comfortable fit for the Daily Show. I don't see how Williams can deliver a straight newscast, but he can play off his scandalous past on a comedy show.. Williams always wanted to be more a star than a witness. He's a likable guy and can deliver a funny line with appropriate timing. The Daily Show could do worse, and I don't see how Williams can do anything else.

lemondog said...

sure bet Stewart has a fine bank account

Amazing and just for some yakking...

Brian Williams $40 Mil

Jon Stewart $80 mil

FullMoon said...
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walter said...

maybe they can become a comedy duo
http://nymag.com/news/media/brian-williams-2011-5/

"Bit" on fake news:
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/l1cosm/giant-head-of-brian-williams

Brando said...

I'd rather hope this paves the way for good political comedy that skewers every side--not so much out of fairness, but not leave no rich source of comedy untapped.

Obama does something vain and stupid? Nail him. Ted Cruz just piled on the crazy? Take him to town. My only problem with TDS was it seemed to give way too much benefit of the doubt to the Left, and used the weak excuse that "Obama is hard to make fun of." There's a lot of material there if you don't automatically agree with him on everything.

William said...

Williams has a fifty million dollar contract. I wonder how the morals clause in his contract was written. Being a bullshit artist is not generally considered a crime of great moral turpitude......Maybe NBC will try to force his resignation. Since the death of Joan Rivers, there has been a great vacuum on the red carpet. Perhaps Williams can be assigned to interviewing celebrities on the red carpet. This will not reflect badly on NBC news and may serve to hasten Williams resignation.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I wonder what ol' Craig Kilborn is up to these days.

Bob Boyd said...

@Full Moon

I always thought "When absolutely, positively has to be there over night" was a better slogan for Depends Undergarments than for FedEx.

HoodlumDoodlum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HoodlumDoodlum said...

rhhardin said...
(link fixed)

I didn't know Steve Carell was anything but a movie actor.

His Get Smart was great (2008).


You should really check out Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

bob sacamano said...

"Curious George said...
...
For a lefty, anything that agrees with their common worldview. Which is why my lefty friends and family have never once posted a bit where Stewart has torn into Obama, or any Democrat. Then he's just an unfunny comedian."


Ok, I get that and have seen it ad nauseam as well.

I had assumed you meant to discredit anything that comes from TDS (and may be neglected elsewhere) since "it's not the real news" and "a comedy show", and therefore can be dismissed automatically. I don’t agree with being so dismissive for those reasons.

Chuck said...

Such a great hyperlink (at Drudge) to The Smoking Gun's fabulous short article on Al Sharpton in the wake of Brian Williams; "So, what about Al Sharpton's suspension?"

Anonymous said...

Matthew Sablan said...If Jon Steweart holds on, there'll be a Republican president to mock, then he can take the kid gloves off again.
***

Are his hands really that small?

virgil xenophon said...

I disagree w. brando up top. He makes too much money for them from the advertisers who sell to the little old blue-haired ladies who don't have cable or the internet (the only audience for the big three these days) so NBC is hoping that in six months everyone will have moved on to the next "outrage de jour" and he will be pronounced "cured" and with the requisite contriteness be welcomed back. Hell, they've already hinted at the move by saying in the same breath of announcing his suspension that "everyone deserves a second chance." Set your watch..

Krumhorn said...

Contract negotiations? I've been in the biz for a long time, and I've never heard someone publicly announce they are leaving the show as part of the bargaining. Many threats behind the curtains and public no-show walkouts...but a public announcement? nah.

He wants to direct. That's what they all want.

-Krumhorn

Matthew Sablan said...

They're looking into Brian Williams' expense accounts now.

I think NBC is hoping there was some misremembering there as an out to be able to fire him over. Maybe some memory confabulations.

Anthony said...

I never much cared for Stewart. I suppose I'll go along with the view that he was a good comedian-ish sort, since many people I like think he's good at it. But I never liked his schtick; If anyone took him seriously and actually criticized him he would just fall back on the "Hey, I'm just a comedian!" excuse, but he'd still expect to be taken seriously when he wanted to be.

rehajm said...

Does that place where Tiger went for sex addiction rehab have a wing for compulsive liar rehab?

Anonymous said...

I've liked Jon Stewart since his MTV days and I'm proud of him for leaving at the right time and not hanging on forever past his sell by date like David Letterman. He's shown the early signs of the descent into caricature - getting a higher red-faced Dad clown moments to icy sharp sober insights he was originally known for. He should stay through the election in 2016.

Who is the bench for the next gen?

Anonymous said...

Getting a higher = getting a higher ratio of

furious_a said...

This confuses me. What makes a news source legitimate?

The degree to which you want to believe what they're telling you.

furious_a said...

"Hey, I'm just a comedian!" excuse, but he'd still expect to be taken seriously when he wanted to be.

That's the "clown-nose-on/clown-nose-off schtick". It started wearing thin with me not long after Stewart started with the serious serious-player interviews.

furious_a said...
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furious_a said...

Yeah. I to explain erectile dysfunction to a ten year old boy, dimply because he wouldn't let me change the channel in fear we would miss the Neil Armstrong moon story.

Can't listen to in the car or watch at home ESPN with my grade-school daughter around because of the ads for ED followed by the questions about ED.