That time President Obama ordered Jon Stewart not to leave ‘The Daily Show’

23 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Obama bids goodbye to “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart amid jokes.

The President made his final appearance on Stewart’s Daily Show Tuesday night, and before they got into the real meat of the interview, he had a very important presidential duty to do: He ordered Stewart not to leave the Comedy Central program. “I’m issuing a new executive order, that Jon Stewart cannot leave the show,” he said, before quickly adding, “it’s being challenged in the courts.” Stewart replied, “For me, this is a states’ rights issue.” NEW YORK: President Barack Obama made a final appearance Tuesday on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart, joking with the outgoing host about his looming retirement and the messiness of the Middle East.

And, as the end of his time as host approaches, Stewart is clearly looking forward to loosening the tie and throwing off the jacket – indeed, he’s selling the suits he wore on the show, via an auction on eBay, with the proceeds going to charity. In one sense, this auction is quite niche – buyers will need to be suit size 40S, small (Stewart is around 5ft 5in tall) and have a penchant for Armani tailoring (18 out of the 19 suits are Armani Collezioni, custom-made for Stewart). As he enters the home stretch, Obama took a victory lap on Stewart’s show, ticking off a list of achievements on health care, foreign policy and more. “The VA works better than when I came into office. While Stewart presents The Daily Show behind a desk, news reader-style, so you can only see his top half, his suits – very, very standard and very, very classic – are part of his shtick, a sort of overly formal prop in a show that prides itself on subversive humour.

Obama said he isn’t upset by the media’s tenacity or rough treatment of him — the media should hold government accountable, he said — but he added, “I think it gets distracted by shiny objects, and doesn’t always focus on the big, tough, choices and decisions that have to be made,” something he blames partly on changes in technology and the political “balkanization” of the media. He recalled the sky-high expectations that awaited him when he was elected after a campaign in which his face was etched across the country on posters bearing the word “Hope.” On Iran, too, Obama portrayed the controversial deal as the best compromise that government could achieve. In Part 3, Stewart asked Obama about creating a national mandatory public-service program for young people (and older volunteers), and Obama waxed poetic about how community cohesion becomes unglued as you move up from neighborhood to state to national levels, thanks largely to money and its bedfellow, partisan politics. If streetwear is one side of the coin, a suited and booted look – massive on street-style blogs where pocket squares and suit socks are the details that count – is another, with menswear editors wearing three-piece suits to fashion weeks and suitfies – selfies posted by men showing off their suits – becoming a growing trend on Instagram. Bush administration, he joked that his critics think if only former Vice President Dick Cheney had been on the U.S. negotiating team, “then everything would be fine.” But while Obama was focused on the three-quarters of the loaf he was able to get, he acknowledged it was the job of Stewart and the media to measure the part of the loaf he couldn’t.

In the second segment, Obama talked about cynicism and fixing the government bit by bit. “There are going to be elements, because government is a human enterprise, where somebody, somewhere, is screwing up at any given time, because it is a huge system,” he said. When people throw up their hands and say “there’s nothing that can be done,” he added “then what you get are protest movements on the left, or the right — I mean, to some degree the Tea Party is an expression of frustration; they see a bunch of stuff going on that they don’t understand and they feel threatened by, and then they react.” Stewart: “You make them sound like bunnies.” You can watch all the videos at Comedy Central. Despite the occasional foray into baseball caps (no, Jon, no!), he has a promising normcore-ish look in his downtime: see plain T-shirts, khakis, zippy-uppy jackets and excellent beard work.

So, while a question mark hangs over Stewart’s post-Daily Show projects, his style – solid, dependable, just a smidge ironic – remains very much in place.

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