This is the story of two “news anchors” – one, the anchor of a real “news” program who’s leaving because some of his “stories” were not real; the other, the anchor of a fake news program who’s leaving on his own terms.
The two really have nothing to do with one another other than the fact that both men are from New Jersey and are reported to be friends, and that the news of the end of both “anchor” positions (at least for six months in Williams’ case) came on the same day.
I speculated on Friday that we had probably seen the last of Williams at the anchor desk. I was off by at least one day, as his self-imposed suspension was announced on Friday. But as Williams’ credibility was in free-fall, NBC announced yesterday that he’d be suspended for six months, without pay!
Maybe it’s me, but I don’t see how he ever returns.
The real news came across my iPad yesterday afternoon by way of an AP News alert telling me that Jon Stewart would end his almost 17-year run at the helm of The Daily Show later this year.
Although the news was not unexpected (there have been more than a few cryptic hints as of late), it’s devastating. At a time when more young people get their news from The Daily Show than any other “news source,” this is a bad time to lose such an important voice.
Some of us are still mourning the loss of The Colbert Report, so news of the end of the Jon Stewart era is coming way too soon.
To those on Twitter suggesting that Stewart and Williams simply trade places, stop it! I have no doubt that Jon Stewart could deliver the news, but that’s not what he does. The idea of having him host Meet the Press did make sense, but that ship has sailed (or has it????)
On the other hand, Brian Williams cannot step in to do what Jon Stewart does with such seeming ease each night. First of all, he’s not a comic genius. And secondly, one needs absolute credibility and likability to pull off a satire-based show, and Brian Williams now has neither.
Susie Madrak joins me each Wednesday morning in the first hour of the show to talk about the news of the day. Today, well, we talked about the future for each of these shows. We both agree that Brian Williams is toast.
As for who’ll step in to fill the big shoes Jon Stewart will leave under his anchor desk, I proposed using the Daily Show correspondent’s bench, and calling on the husband and wife team of Jason Jones and Samantha Bee.
Susie’s suggestion was even better: Craig Ferguson! YES!!! He’s smart, funny and truly adorable. And he worked hard to become a US Citizen! See for yourself.
One of the things I love about doing what I do is being able to ask really smart people common sense questions. Today, I got to do that with former Wall Streeter turned author, speaker,independent thinker Nomi Prins.
Her latest book, All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power will be out in paperback on March 25… she joined me today to talk about the Democrats’ 2016 prospects from Hillary Clinton to Elizabeth Warren to Bernie Sanders, about the HSBC scandal, currency manipulation at the TPP, and a whole lot more.
I spoke with Nomi Prins once before, on Air America, in December of 2009. I promise I won’t wait another five years before inviting her on again. After all, we won’t have Jon Stewart around to do smart, informative author interviews for much longer 🙁 …