Former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart called out his own allies in the establishment media for their coverage of former President Donald Trump.
In a Sunday interview with Jake Tapper on CNN, he said the causes of the country’s division are more complicated than just one man.
“I think we make a mistake focusing this all on Donald Trump, as though he’s Magneto and some incredible supervillain that has changed the very nature and temperature of the United States,” he said.
“He’s just been an effective vessel, but he’s not singing new songs. He’s maybe singing them a little better than Goldwater.”
Stewart explained that the obsession with the former president is not as effective as calling out the system of power as a whole, including in the business world.
“I think it’s a mistake to focus it all on this one individual and not to focus it more on the idea that power is its own reward, whether it be in the financial industry or in government. Power doesn’t cede itself, and unless we can figure out a better way to balance that power … we’ll be vulnerable,” he later added.
Comedian Jon Stewart sounds a note of hope amid a divisive political landscape telling @jaketapper, “we still have time” to save US democracy.
He adds, however, that we are seeing, "unfortunately, the messiness of democracy is oftentimes one of its greatest weak points.” pic.twitter.com/kWCp8vS067
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) October 17, 2021
“I don’t know that autocracy is purely the domain of Donald Trump.”
The liberal comedian then pointed out faults with how people’s political biases can cloud their judgment of individuals and groups.
“I think we all have a bit of a tendency to grant amnesty to people that are doing things that we would prefer, even if that means that they’re slightly undemocratic,” Stewart said. “So I think our focus unhealthily on this one individual comes at the price of systems and dynamics that have been in place long before this cat ever learned how to surf those waves.”
The left’s fixation on the former president started with the establishment media, who saw his status as an outsider as an opportunity for punchy headlines and half-baked reporting.
His fiery campaign announcement at Trump Tower in June 2015 triggered a yearslong political earthquake that the media still has yet to quit whining about.
In fact, their burning hatred only emboldened Trump and arguably enabled his most extreme supporters to be hostile in their actions.
Despite how much they claim to be warriors of democracy, the establishment media fueled Trump’s cult of personality to the present day.
Stewart understands that the larger issue at play is the corruption within the most powerful institutions within the United States, which is what makes people turn to populist figures like Trump in the first place.
The former president continues to tease a 2024 presidential run, which will only be as popular as the media makes it.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Trump does not decide to pursue a second term but wants to keep himself in the headlines and remain kingmaker of the Republican Party.
The right lost interest in Stewart’s opinions long ago, and the left won’t want to hear anything that absolves Donald Trump of even the mildest faults, so few will listen to what Stewart has to say on this topic.
But perhaps they should.