Sometimes I wonder why I spend the lonely night dreaming of a song, but mostly I don’t.  Mostly I don’t, because the nightingale doesn’t tell his fairy tale unless he hopped a ride on the Cunard or the White Star Line.  No, the real problem is what does happen every day or night, and Jon Stewart is one of them—but the news is he’s stepping down.  He is retiring from The Daily Show, and the news is there is no news, in part because of what Jon Stewart did to it.  Ignoring other facets of his career, I will focus on Stewart as the antinews guy.

Now I have nothing against Jon Stewart—he can be very funny, mugging and smirking away.  But there have been a few patterns in his career that some have noticed.  One of these was his national exposure that began simultaneously with the first term of George W. Bush.  With his trade mark “gookie” that was perhaps derived from Harpo Marx, Stewart specialized in throwing one-way cream pies.

The September 11 attack was a superhijacking, itself hijacked by those who exploited it according to a Zionist worldview.  Jon Stewart’s mockeries, possibly ultimately derived from the traditions of the Purim holiday, polarized the dilemmas of American leadership as an internecine Jewish squabble, and not for the first time in American history.  Let’s just say that after the Fall of the Towers, the regnant interpretation was wrong, and though opposed to that wrong, Jon Stewart exploited the situation and helped confuse it.  Though it was long ago too late to rectify all that, I think that Jon Stewart did a public service by undermining the sanctimony of “homeland security.”  I only wish he had been bolder in his choice of targets, but playing with fire, though undeniably alluring, leads inevitably to burnt fingers.

On the screen, Jon Stewart is curiously lacking in any variety of appeal.  His image is unvaried—his suit is the image of what he spoofs.  The best thing about his image is his gray hair.  Otherwise, he is all too static, hiding behind his desk.  In this regard, Stephen Colbert, once his protégé, is much more dynamic in his attack, and as Cole Bear heads for the Late Show, we can understand that there is a reason for the elevation or promotion.

Though Jon Stewart giggled at Barack Hussein Obama a few times as the years and the issues went by, basically he took a pass on his satirical calling.  You were never going to hear from Jon Stewart if it meant questioning the politically correct corset into which we are uncomfortably and tightly laced.  Absurdities by the score went unremarked.  With Bush, it was no holds barred; with Obama the opposite.  Curiously enough, the daring and aggression of Jon Stewart was just another cover for timidity, unction, affirmation, and selective indignation.  In that sense, Stewart’s stepping down is the right thing for him.  He didn’t lose what he had as much as he threw it away.  The point is that in show biz as in politics, human flaws are magnified; and the seepage of political sanctimony into the show biz is always a dysfunction.

Jon Stewart will be missed, but perhaps more productively, a lesson might be derived from his parabola.  Someone might ask why, for instance, everyone seems to be misapprehended in the distorting domain of broadcasting.  Jon Stewart helped everyone to see that “the news” is a joke, even though he himself didn’t have the guts (or the permission) to go all the way with that truth.

  To leap recklessly, I assert that Rush Limbaugh of talk-radio notoriety is much better thought of as a comedian than as a political analyst.  He might have been more effective construed as an entertainer, even by himself.  And to leap yet again, the example of Jon Stewart might lead us to question our bizarre dependencies.  Why did we ever rely on Johnny Carson, or watch television at all?  Paradoxically, Jon Stewart proved that we shouldn’t watch it, by making us watch him.  But that was long ago, and now my consolation is in the stardust of a song.