Jon Stewart’s new AppleTV+ show is reportedly flopping, while Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s cable news empire is growing.
The media landscape has changed a lot since Stewart’s famous public shaming of Carlson in 2004.
During a much-discussed October 2004 episode of CNN’s “Crossfire” news debate show, Stewart verbally dressed down Carlson, accusing him of being a “partisan hack.”
Remember when Jon Stewart went on Tucker Carlson’s show Crossfire on CNN and DESTROYED HIM?
Due to this, CNN cancelled the show and fired Tucker 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/BJ7sma8VKo
— THRILLHO 🌎✌🏼 (@lowfive_) April 21, 2021
“It’s hurting America. Here is what I wanted to tell you guys: Stop. You have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably,” Stewart told Carlson and his co-host Paul Begala.
- Stewart’s performance was widely celebrated in the media and helped catapult the “Daily Show” comedian to liberal stardom.
- Weeks later, in January 2005, “Crossfire” was canceled, leaving Carlson out of a job.
- In August 2015, Stewart went out on top, drawing a “Daily Show” record of 5.1 million viewers for his final appearance in the host seat.
Jon Stewart is too Woke for Cory Booker.
His anti-white farmer rant is even too much for the New Jersey Senator. pic.twitter.com/N3PHT7sPl5
— Mythinformed MKE (@MythinformedMKE) April 4, 2022
Some 180,000 homes tuned in to the HBO show’s premiere, but by the fifth episode, just 40,000 were watching, an 80% drop, according to data by Samba TV.
- “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” a similar HBO show hosted by a former Stewart protege, is seen in about 850,000 homes.
- In the face of failure, Stewart’s liberal comedy has turned “cringingly super-woke,” in the words of political commentator Andrew Sullivan.
- “[T]his was the man who had lacerated ‘Crossfire’ for bringing too much heat and not enough light. He believed in sane discourse. He was a liberal, right?” Sullivan wrote earlier this month after an unhappy appearance on “The Problem with Jon Stewart.”
- “Wrong. … On the race question, Stewart has decided to go way past even [radical antiracism trainer] Robin DiAngelo, in his passionate anti-whiteness.”
Carlson, meanwhile, has risen to be cable news’ undisputed ratings king and arguably the most influential man in media.
- In July 2020, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” broke the record for highest-rated program in cable news history, garnering an average nightly audience of 4.33 million viewers.
- Carlson has also expanded into streaming, anchoring Fox Nation with “Tucker Carlson Today,” and into documentaries with “Tucker Carlson Originals.”
- His release of a trailer last week for “The End of Men,” a documentary about the decline of American masculinity, was enough to spur days of outraged analysis by the Washington Post and MSNBC.