Jon Stewart for President 2024
Jon Stewart is an American comedian, writer, producer, director, satirist, political commentator, actor, and television host. He hosted The Daily Show, a satirical news program on Comedy Central, from 1999 to 2015. He now hosts The Problem with Jon Stewart, which premiered September 2021 on Apple TV+.
In his 16 years hosting “The Daily Show,” Stewart became an essential voice when it came to delivering news and analysis, especially for young viewers who weren't likely to tune in to the broadcast network nightly news reports that their parents watched. Additionally, Stewart has been an advocate for justice, most notably for 9/11 responders and veterans.
Stewart was an important factor in the unionization of the Comedy Central writers. The Daily Show writers were the first of Comedy Central's writers to be able to join the guild, after which other shows followed.
Stewart supported the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike. On The Daily Show episode just before the strike, he sarcastically commented about how Comedy Central had made available all episodes for free on their website, but without advertising, and said, "go support our advertisers". The show went on hiatus when the strike began, as did other late-night talk shows. Upon Stewart's return to the show on January 7, 2008, he refused to use the title, The Daily Show, stating that The Daily Show was the show made with all of the people responsible for the broadcast, including his writers. During the strike, he referred to his show as A Daily Show with Jon Stewart until the strike ended on February 13, 2008.
Over the years, Stewart sometimes used The Daily Show to argue for causes such as the treatment of veterans and 9/11 first responders. He is credited with breaking a Senate deadlock over a bill to provide health care and benefits for 9/11 emergency workers; the bill passed three days after he featured a group of 9/11 responders on the show. In March 2009, he criticized a White House proposal to remove veterans from Veterans Administration rolls if they had private health insurance; the White House dropped the plan the next day. In 2010, Stewart held an interview with a panel of four of the 9/11 first responders Kenny Specht with the FDNY, Chris Bowman NYPD, Ken George DOT, and Kevin Devlin, Operating Engineer of Heavy Equipment, who discussed their health problems with Stewart. In 2015, four months after leaving The Daily Show, he returned to reunite the four with Specht as the only panelist healthy enough to attend. Devlin had died and the two other panelists, Bowman and George, were too ill to make it to the show.
In February and June 2019, Stewart again went to Congress to oppose the $7.375 billion limit in pay-outs to 9/11 first responders through December 2020 and to lobby for permanent funding for the Victims Compensation Fund past December 2020, delivering a tearful testimony.
Stewart continued to be a vocal advocate, appearing on late night shows such as The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and news programs such as Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, and The Fox Report with Shepherd Smith. On July 12, 2019, the House approved the bill overwhelmingly 402–12. The bill came to the Senate floor where it passed the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund through 2092, virtually funding health care for 9/11 victims and first responders for life. The vote was 97–2 with Republican Senators Rand Paul (KY) and Mike Lee (UT) opposing. When hearing that the bill had been passed, Stewart responded by saying, "It has been the honor of my life working with the 9/11 first responders...these families deserve better...and I will follow you wherever your next adventure shall be".
This year, Jon Stewart and 60 veterans groups have protested to put Senate Republicans on the defensive as they’ve struggled to explain why they are holding up legislation that would provide much-needed health care for millions of veterans exposed to things like burn pit smoke, Agent Orange and radiation.
Stewart has reserved special ire for Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., who has argued that he is worried that some of the $280 billion in spending over 10 years would be used for other Democratic priorities. Democrats and veterans groups have rejected the argument and accused the GOP of blocking the bill in retaliation for the massive climate and economic deal Democrats struck last week.