Monday, February 16, 2015

Replacing Jon Stewart

When a teacher has a 'problem' student in class, the easiest response is to get him (or her) out of the class.  But experienced teachers know that another one will take his place.  The real answer is to analyze your teaching and find if there is a different way to get your message across or find out what the underlying problems are that the kid has and find help.

I thought about that when I watched this video of John Oliver over on Immoral Minority.  People have been lamenting the departure of Jon Stewart from the Daily Show.  And Stewart does have a knack for getting right to the issue and nailing it.  Of course it helps to have a great staff of researchers and production folks to back you up.

But my thought was, when one leaves, another one will pop up to take his place.

We are a country of 300 million people.  1% of 300 million equals 3 million.  Half of that is still 1.5 million.  So there's a pool of 1.5 million Americans in the top one half percent of the funniest/smartest Americans.  Surely among that group we can find plenty of talent to not only replace Jon Stewart, but to find new and amazing ways to expose the corrupt and crazy among the powerful.  We  have the talent to put on 100 different Daily Shows if we look and nurture the very best.

Jeff the Diseased Lung and John Oliver
So, here's the segment that inspired that thought.  John Oliver takes on the tobacco industry for suing nations over tobacco restrictions.  Yes, nations.  They lost in Australia's supreme court, according to Oliver, but then they appealed it over technical issues in trade treaties.  And for Uruguay and Togo, two more countries they sued over restrictions on cigaret packaging, the threat of a huge lawsuit is more than such a country can handle.

The whole segment is definitely worth watching  to
  1. see how truly evil the tobacco companies are
  2. think about how we empower these companies so they can violate the health interests of independent nations
  3. consider what they are doing to us in the US (think "global warming hasn't been proven")
  4. realize that there are plenty of other Jon Stewarts waiting out there to take his place, and then some.
  5. have a good laugh or three at Phillip Morris' expense


  1. In the "how ironic" department: Read recently in Harper's Mag. Index that one of the biggest tobacco companies has now banned smoking in any of its buildings.

  2. Got to keep their health costs down probably.


Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.