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Is Jon Stewart liberal? Comic's covid rant sparks interest in his politics

Leigh McManus June 16, 2021
Is Jon Stewart liberal? Comic's covid rant sparks interest in his politics
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Is Jon Stewart liberal? People are wondering after the veteran comic’s recent comments about the covid pandemic during an interview with Stephen Colbert on The Late Late Show.

Who is comedian Jon Stewart?

Jon Stewart, 58, is a comedian, political commentator and TV host, best known for his work on The Daily Show.

Stewart anchored The Daily Show from 1999 to 2015. He has since kept a relatively low profile in the entertainment world but is due to host The Problem With Jon Stewart on Apple TV in autumn 2021.

Stewart was born 28 November 1962 in New York. He is married to Tracey McShane. The couple married in 2000.

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They met while Stewart was working on the film Wishful Thinking in 1997. A production assistant on the film set Stewart and McShane up on a blind date and the relationship went from there.

Jon Stewart proposed to his wife using a crossword puzzle. They have two children – a son, Nate, and daughter Maggie.

Nathan “Nate” Thomas Stewart was born in July 2004. This makes him 16 years old as of publication date. Maggie Rose Stewart was born 4 February 2006. This makes her currently 15 years old.

What did the comic say on The Late Late Show with Stephen Colbert?

Stewart was the first in-studio guest in more than 15 months on The Late Late Show. He spoke about his admiration for science but alluded to a belief that the coronavirus came from a lab in Wuhan, China.

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The comedian said: “Look at the name! Show me your business card! Oh, I work at the coronavirus lab in Wuhan. Oh, there’s a coronavirus loose in Wuhan. How did that happen? Maybe a bat flew into the cloaca of a turkey and then it sneezed into my chili and now we all have coronavirus.”

“Science is incredible,” Stewart concluded, “but they don’t know where to stop.”

The comedian’s comments – whether spoken in jest or not – have been met with backlash for their support of a still unproven and potentially damaging theory.

In April, Apple announced The Problem With Jon Stewart would launch on the streaming service some time in autumn 2021.

So, is Jon Stewart a liberal?

People became interested in Stewart’s politics during his Daily Show tenure, when he would make fun of both of the US’s main political parties.

But his style was fundamentally liberal, according to University of Delaware communications professor Dannagal Young. She said, via Politico, that his tone was far different from the tone of Fox News talk-show hosts, who draw an audience for reasons that are “almost physiological”.

The same publication reported in 2015 that Stewart had even been invited into the White House for meetings with then-president Barack Obama.

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Suggesting the then-administration might have taken steps to “cultivate” the comic, the article’s author, Darren Samuelsohn, wrote: “Stewart can, at times, be a more potent influence on policy than Obama himself.”

However, as mentioned, Stewart used his platform to drag both Republicans and Democrats. In 2015, he called out then vice-president Joe Biden for his behaviour around female colleagues, according to The Wrap in 2019.

But Stewart is often tagged as left-leaning. In a 2016 appearance on CBS This Morning he said liberals tended to paint Donald Trump supporters with a broad brush after the now ex-president was elected in the same year.

Despite calling this “hypocritical”, the media personality may have confirmed his stance by calling Republicans “them” and adding “the same country that elected Donald Trump elected Barack Obama.”

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Leigh is a 26-year-old journalist from the north of Ireland. He studied International Journalism at Liverpool John Moores University, where he earned a 2:1 grade. He has worked for Mail Online and has experience with the Liverpool Echo, Irish Mirror and SWNS. Leigh is also a huge music fan and has his own show on a community radio station.