This week, my late nite TV boyfriend Jon Stewart will deliver his last Daily Show broadcast. I will miss watching him. He, along with the late Tim Russert and Ted Koppel were the few people on TV who were able to explain some of the political news of the day in a way I could understand. I know Jon Stewart is a comedian and isn’t held to any journalistic standard, but that is why I loved watching him on The Daily Show. I respected Ted Koppel when he was the anchor of ABC’s Nightline in the 80’s and 90’s. Koppel was hardcore and no nonsense. He presented both points of view and kept his guests on topic. The late Tim Russert was the journalist who not only got me to understand more about politics, but to CARE. If something big happened and the major players were going to be on Meet The Press, my eyeballs were there. I still miss him.
These days TV news doesn’t look anything like the news I grew up watching. I come from the Max Robinson, Bernard Shaw, Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw era of news. it was factual, boring and depressing at times. When something noteworthy or catastrophic happened, my TV dial went straight to either Tom Brokaw at NBC or Bernard Shaw of CNN. When I studied Journalism at Columbia College Chicago, my teachers were hard nosed newsmen who would routinely make me grind out a headline or story that would inform, yet catch a reader’s attention. My opinion didn’t matter, it was about presenting the facts from all sides of the story. Before The View became a laughingstock of a show, creator Barbara Walters took great pains not to share her personal feelings about anything political because she did not want to put her integrity as a newswoman in question. Years ago, Dan Rather got fired from CBS for presenting documents on 60 Minutes as authentic when they were later proven to be forgeries. He hasn’t had a network news job since. Meanwhile, Brian Williams lied about taking on enemy fire in Afghanastan and lost his spot on the NBC Nightly news. Yet in a few weeks, he’ll be back to reporting on MSNBC and doing special reports for NBC. So much for integrity and public trust.
I wonder where will I go to when I need a piece of legislation that I didn’t even know meant something to me, explained in a way I can understand and maybe laugh while learning? John Oilver’s Last Week Tonight on HBO can pick up some of the slack and Larry Wilmore’s “The Nightly Show” is still getting it’s sea legs. I have hope for Trevor Noah who takes over The Daily Show September 28th. I’ll really miss my late night TV boyfriend Jon Stewart. In the meantime, I’m stocked up on my Haagen Daz ice cream and Sade is cued on my Ipod.