The Forward 50

Jon Stewart

Media

Jon Stewart

The Forward 50

With no Jewish politician vying for a major national post this election year, it has fallen once again to Jon Stewart at the helm of “The Daily Show” to keep the fight fair and the conversation haimish.

Stewart, born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz in Lawrenceville, N.J., wears his loyalties to New Jersey, Judaism and honest (though mostly Democratic) politics on his sleeve. Having won two Peabody Awards (bestowed for “distinguished and meritorious public service”) for the show’s election coverage in 2000 and 2004, Stewart, 49, upped the ante this year with a much-hyped Web-streamed debate with right-wing Fox TV host Bill O’Reilly. They called the clash the “Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium.”

While on the face of it Stewart and O’Reilly might seem like another two partisan surrogates slugging it out, Stewart’s interest in the event seemed to be as much in the fourth estate as in the issues at hand. His comments addressed policies, but also kept the spotlight on the deep and often unacknowledged problems of journalistic integrity faced by reporters as network and cable television news becomes increasingly partisan.

His shtick is not Borsht Belt, but it is deeply Jewish. Responding to the rhetoric of victimhood that complains that multiculturalism has destroyed Christmas, he retorted: “I’m a Jew. If you think that Christmas isn’t celebrated in this country then walk a mile in my Hanukkah shoes.” For another election year, Stewart has kept journalists on their toes, politicians accountable and audiences entertained with his hilarious — and serious — satire.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.