As we stare into the big black hole left by a departing Jon Stewart, what will we miss? Â What did The Daily Show bring for the past 16 years and what will we be searching for now that Jon is gone? Â In Teaching as a Subversive Activity by Postman and Weingartner, the authors ask what the point of school is. Â An important answer is found in a quote from Hemingway when he was asked what makes a great writer, “be a good crap detector.” Â The essential function of a school is to teach students to be “crap detectors.” Â An educator teaches people to see through the veil and question what is being presented as “normal” or “just the way something is.” Â Jon Stewart was an educator for the masses and he taught us to be crap detectors.
It’s funny to think that hisÂ satirical news show on the Comedy Network had such and influence on our society. Â Stewart grew The Daily Show from late night obscurity to a place where presidents came to talk one night and relatively unknown authors the next. Â He was the consummate host who treated all with respect and made the mega film star and the awkward scientist feel like they were being heard. Â He was hard when he needed to be and funny even in the grips of some of the world’s darkest moments. Â We felt his passion and shared the emotions of those moments and most important, we engaged our minds the issues that and absurdities he brought to our attention. Â Jon Stewart taught us how to detect the crap and it is up to us to do something about it.
Here is a touching final thank you from Stephen Colbert who sums up what Jon Stewart meant to so many people who passed through the doors of The Daily Show.