I tried and failed to explain the significance of Jon Stewart to my Korean boss.
For me, it’s two things. The first was his episode after 9/11. It’s hard to convey how shell-shocked everybody in America was, and how he went on live television to basically hold our hands and tell us everything would be OK.
Conversely, the second reason he’s so important is that he was one of the few national figures to call bullshit on the racist, doomed, willfully ignorant wastes of life and money that were the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Around 2003-2004, before it became obvious America had made its greatest foreign policy mistake ever, mainstream journalists were asking anti-war folks like me, with a straight face, “Why do you hate America?”
Anyhow, I was surprised to get choked up watching his final episode. He can’t be replaced.