Jon Stewart And Brian Williams

Today’s outcome for both Jon Stewart and Brian Williams saddens me. And, in the end, shouldn’t it be all about the viewer?


A real one-two punch today. Brian Williams suspended for six months, then Jon Stewart announcing he’s leaving The Daily Show. I’ll start with Stewart.


There was no way I saw this coming. It would be different if Rosewood, his directorial debut, had gotten rave reviews. He is walking away from the goose tha lays the golden egg!

Today Jon Stewart is a powerful political force. Attention from The Daily Show can swing public opinion.

He undoubtedly understands the powerful voice he commands doesn’t leave the show with him. Just ask Glenn Beck, Howard Stern or Oprah. They left over-the-air broadcasting for positions with less visibility and influence.

Fifteen years is a long time. Stewart, especially after the movie, doesn’t seem as passionate. There are more movie star interviews and fewer examples of Stewart as TVs only interviewer who actually read the book. Better to quit before that lack of drive becomes too obvious?

I will miss The Daily Show. It’s the only show I watch even if I can’t fast forward through the ads.

Selfishly, I’ll be sad.

Brian Williams situation is a little more complex. NBC says he’s suspended for six months without pay. He’s a union employee. Suspensions only happen like this if negotiated with Williams’ full agreement and everyone signs off.

I’ve never met Brian Williams, but I know folks who’ve worked with him. I’ve never heard a bad word–and I would have. He’s always been cited as the kind of guy you want in your newsroom.

We all fall victim to puffery. Everyone inflates their resume a little. This is more than most. Maybe it is an actionable offense?

However, Brian Williams deserves to have his transgressions weighed against the total of his professional life. There’s a little Geoff self pity in that last sentence.

Should Brian Williams’ penalty be a life sentence? I don’t think so, but not strongly enough that my opinion might not change over time.

Today’s outcome for both Jon Stewart and Brian Williams saddens me. And, in the end, shouldn’t it be all about the viewer?

5 thoughts on “Jon Stewart And Brian Williams”

  1. Unfortunately, it’s all about politics like ir or not. In this case, in my opinion, it’s a backlash of the new US Congress dominated by the right and in opposition to left which BW is connected to given his resume. That said, in time BW will have to consider entering the internet traffic zone with the likes of many interesting and colorful people in time.

  2. How. sad! I like BW. It,s the network of choice for me. I Hope he returns. In the mean time I,ll surf. Jon Stewart is beyond sad. He is so fair in his opinions and I see no one else to even come close to his ethics. Hopefully we will see him on a new platform.

  3. Re: Brian Williams, seems like half the people that ever sat on a barstool at a VFW or American Legion could be guilty of his transgression. We’ve become a zero tolerance society with precious little room for forgiveness.

  4. I see Brian Williams returning to TV as…………..Jon Stewart’s successor!!
    This may seem a bit silly, BUT…………..stranger things have happened!!

    1. Monday morning quarterbackin’ sortta – like the Superbowl 49 – sometimes U win & sometimes U don’t win – SEAHAWKS – took a nose dive & smashed out LIKE maybe BW/JS also – wrong play(s) kick(s) ’em out of game w/NO TROPHY?

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