In August 2014, Jon Stewart tackled the shooting of Michael Brown. The event sparked a movement and the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, creating a conversation about racial profiling and immoral practices by police officers.
Stewart heavily criticizes Fox News’ clear bias in their reporting as Fox tries to turn the focus on “Black-on-Black” violence in Chicago — to which Stewart refutes their concerns with several citations of policies in place and events addressing the issue:
“You being ignorant of those attempts doesn’t mean the issue itself is being ignored, in the same way that when it snows where you live doesn’t mean the world’s getting hotter.”
Fox News claims to be a legitimate news source but, in the words of my Communication Studies Professor Tony Collings, “Fox News is Republican propaganda.” And Stewart knows that well.
Stewart doesn’t identify himself as a journalist, yet he directly refutes and disproves ever “fact” presented by Fox News in their attempt at coverage of the shooting. What Stewart can do that differs from journalists is this:
“I guarantee you that every person of color in this country has faced an indignity from the ridiculous to the grotesque to the sometimes fatal, I’m gonna say, in the last couple hours, because of their skin color.
As a comedian, Stewart has free reign to mock, but he does so intelligently. Though I rarely expect to find investigative reporting — or strong reporting at all — from a satirical news show, I was impressed with the work Stewart and his crew did as they identified several telling statistics of Ferguson, emphasizing their point further.
Since Stewart announced his departure from The Daily Show a few weeks ago, numerous articles have surfaced noting his trustworthiness. And I’d have to agree. I can’t count on Stewart to present a strong liberal lens to the news that I can trust strongly. I don’t view him as a reporter, but rather a columnist, if I were to translate his role to that of a journalist’s.
Just like a columnist, Stewart can effectively interpret the most important news and tell it in a way to guide his viewers — and that’s incredibly valuable.
(As a side note, I was featured on a correspondent of The Daily Show in July! Check it out here.)