Some liberal journalists and commentators fumed after Jon Stewart’s long-rumored return to “The Daily Show” on Monday night featured jokes about President Biden’s age and what they viewed as equivocation with former President Trump.
It was announced last month that Stewart would host his former program each Monday night through the 2024 election, to the delight of many progressives who revered his 16-year run on the show from 1999 to 2015.
But Stewart’s return on Monday roiled some commentators online, some of whom voiced frustration at the comedian’s jokes at the expense of President Biden.
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“Well after nine years away, there’s nothing else to say to the bothsidesist fraud Jon Stewart bashing Biden, except: Please make it another nine years,” former MSNBC host and podcaster Keith Olbermann wrote, later calling Stewart a “bulls–t bothsidesist.”
“Jon Stewart still has it in terms of being funny and entertaining but the political content of this monologue is basically the New York Times op-ed page in TV form,” far-left journalist and video clipper Aaron Rupar wrote. “Both sides are not in fact equally bad!”
Christopher Webb, who calls himself a “lifelong Dem” on X, said it was the “laziest of humor” for Stewart to go after the ages of Biden and Trump.
The left-wing Daily Beast griped in its article on Stewart’s return, “So far, it seems that sway includes using his old platform to tell Americans that their two choices for president are both not that different and equally terrible.”
Former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh, who, while not a liberal, is a fierce critic of former President Trump, wrote Stewart’s commentary was a “boring, tired, not helpful, way too easy of a take.”
“Come on. It is what it is. It’s Biden v Trump. A binary decision. We can spend our time b—-ing about ‘two old guys,’ or we can spend our time making sure the one old guy – who’s also a traitorous psychopath who tried to overthrow an election – doesn’t win again. That’s what I’m focusing on,” Walsh wrote on X.
Stewart said during the show, however, that Biden and Trump were not the same, rattling off, “Joe Biden isn’t Donald Trump. He hasn’t been indicted as many times, he hasn’t had as many fraudulent businesses or been convicted in a civil trial for sexual assault or been ordered to pay defamation or had his charities disbanded or stiffed a s–t town of blue-collar tradesmen he’d hired.”
But the stakes of the election, Stewart said in comments directed toward progressives, made Biden more subject to scrutiny, not less.
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Stewart’s return to the show comes as the 2024 White House race appears to be heading towards a likely rematch between President Biden and former President Trump, and media progressives are already counting on him to be yet another voice against the latter as the election heats up.
The left-leaning Stewart turned the “fake news” show into a cultural institution during the George W. Bush years, and many of the show’s “correspondents” have gone on to become stars in their own right, such as Stephen Colbert, John Oliver and Steve Carell.
One of his most memorable media appearances in recent years came in 2021, when he stunned his friend Colbert on “The Late Show” by endorsing the coronavirus lab-leak theory.
‘ David Rutz contributed to this report.
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