Jon Stewart, Iraq War Critic, Runs a Program That Helps Veterans Enter TV

26 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Jon Stewart Runs a Program That Helps Veterans Break Into the TV Industry.

The New York Times reports that the longtime host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show has developed the program over the last three years, but refrained from publicizing it until now, as he prepares to leave his show.For the past three years, Daily Show host Jon Stewart has been quietly running five-week-long boot camps aimed at getting interested war veterans into the television industry.

Like many troops leaving the military, he was steered instead toward jobs in government agencies that offered preferential hiring or with big corporations that recruited veterans, and he assumed his hope of working in show business would remain only that.IN PHOTO Director Jon Stewart arrives at the Canadian premiere of “Rosewater” at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto, September 8, 2014.Jon Stewart is quietly continuing on with helping veterans enter the workforce in the television arena with his program Veterans in Film and Television. The program aims to draw veterans into working in television by holding workshops lead by the Writers Guild of America as well as leading projects with producers and directors like Judd Apatow.

Where most people would spend their time reading, watching TV or browsing the internet, Jon devotes his time to helping people who fought in a war he strictly and publicly opposed. It consists of a five-week boot camp to catch them up to date with other applicants who have had years of work experience. “It isn’t charity,” he added. “To be good in this business you have to bring in different voices from different places, and we have this wealth of experience that just wasn’t being tapped.” Stewart has helped veterans before, taking credit for changing a flaw in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Choice Program, which previously forced veterans to prove that they live within 40 miles of a VA facility. Rather than simply donating a heap of money like other celebrities might, Jon set up a five-week industry boot camp designed to show war veterans how they could break into the TV industry. “It was actually inspirational,” former soldier Nathan Witmer said. “We hear ‘Thank you for your service’ all the time, but here was concrete action, people working to really make a difference. I’m proof of that.” Nathan led an Army scout platoon in Iraq in 2008, then found himself forced into a sales job he didn’t enjoy when he returned to the US in 2010. This is a way to give them that chance. [Stewart] Stewart has hired at least two vets for the show, and says they are “way less whiny” than most of his employees.

Rand Paul (R-Ky.) defended his opposition to the renewal of the Patriot Act, which resulted in a filibuster last Wednesday. “I’m just asking for two amendments and a simple majority vote,” Paul said on the show, referring to his support for ending the NSA’s bulk data collection. “I think sometimes my party gets all caught up in the Second Amendment, which is fine, but we don’t protect the Fourth Amendment enough.. For years the host built his audience by playing straight man to the often absurd truths of the global “war on terror,” serving up scathing satire on U.S. involvement in the Middle East in his longstanding segments “Mess o’Potamia” and “Crisis in Israfghyianonanaq.” At the same time, though, he has been an advocate for troops, visiting the wounded at hospitals, visiting Arlington National Cemetery and in 2011 doing a comedy tour of bases in Afghanistan. “I knew I had very strong opinions about what we were doing over there, and I wanted to visit the individuals who were part of the effort to gain a perspective on it,” Stewart said. “Most of all, I realized it was unbelievably hot, nothing but sand. I didn’t realize we were nation-building on Mars.” In 2013, American Corporate Partners, a mentoring nonprofit group, asked Stewart to take a veteran under his wing and help find that person a job in television, which involved making a few calls.

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