Entertainment

‘The Drawback With Jon Stewart’ takes a critical leap into advocacy journalism


Stewart — who has already adopted this function together with his campaign on behalf of 9/11 first responders — has capitalized on the liberty that his status affords him with a purpose to take this leap, doing one thing that is the equal of serving steamed greens to these followers who may need tuned in anticipating salty snacks. He considerably sheepishly acknowledges as a lot throughout segments during which he strategizes together with his producers, a few of whom hail from information backgrounds that talk to this system’s hybrid nature.

Nonetheless, Stewart has at all times practiced a type of journalism, utilizing comedy because the supply system. At “The Each day Present,” that meant reaching viewers who won’t in any other case be heavy information customers, dressing up present occasions in a extra attractive bundle.

By shifting to the much less commercially pressured realm of streaming, Stewart has distributed with the pretense of spooning out sugar to assist the messages go down. The not-unreasonable takeaway from that’s having hung out surveying the state of the US and the world, the comedian — who can not help however joke at instances in asides and whereas speaking to company and newsmakers — has decided the stakes are too dire to spend a lot time clowning round.

Scheduled on an every-other-week foundation with a associated podcast, Stewart opens with a subject close to and pricey to his coronary heart, specializing in veterans whose well being claims related to “burn pits” have fallen on deaf ears with the US authorities.

“We assist our troops, until they really want assist,” Stewart says, continuing to interview struggling navy personnel together with their relations, adopted by a really pointed sit-down with present US Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough.

A second episode really achieves a greater steadiness of what “The Drawback” hopes to turn out to be, inspecting probably the most disingenuous cries of “Freedom!” in response to vaccine and masks mandates, earlier than shifting to the drift towards authoritarianism within the US. Stewart interviews those that have witnessed the method firsthand in Venezuela, the Philippines and the Center East, together with journalist Maria Ressa and Bassem Youssef, who was as soon as dubbed the “Egyptian Jon Stewart.”
Stewart has at all times exhibited first-rate interviewing chops, and with episodes working about 45 minutes, he has ample time to show them. This present follows a never-realized plan for a collection at HBO, whose former chief Richard Plepler helped deliver the challenge to Apple, which clearly gave the comedian all of the artistic latitude he may have wished. (Muricas Information and HBO are each a part of WarnerMedia.)

The obvious downside with “The Drawback” is its emphasis on righting and exposing wrongs comes on the expense of being entertaining, no less than in the way in which individuals have come to count on. The general impact brings to thoughts the historic resistance when a comedic actor segues into dramatic roles, and the pushback from components of the viewers figures to be related.

Stewart has anticipated that potential criticism and appears content material to plead responsible to it. Having spent years eliciting laughs, in “The Drawback” Stewart has completely different priorities, embarking, nevertheless lofty it’d sound, on a seek for options.

“The Drawback With Jon Stewart” premieres Sept. 30 on Apple TV+.

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