Gabriel Sherman says that NBC News aggressively courted Jon Stewart to take over the role of host of Meet the Press held by David Gregory when the latter was kicked out. NBC offered him practically anything he wanted but it did not work out. Sherman then goes on:
Though not a traditional journalist, Stewart can be a devastatingly effective interrogator, and his Meet the Press might have made a worthy successor to Tim Russert’s no-bullshit interviews.
This is so wrong. For one thing, Russert was a terrible host too. He was a disgustingly obsequious courtier for the ruling class who never challenged them on anything of substance but made a great pretense of being an aggressive reporter, an act that seemed to be good enough to fool Sherman.
The other is that Stewart is also a terrible interviewer of major political figures. His show does a good job of skewering them in his sketches but when they come on for actual interviews, he is terrible at it. Although I like the show, I actually don’t bother to watch those segments where he interviews political figures because it is frustrating to see.
Sherman also says:
It makes sense that NBC would make a run at Stewart. The comedian-cum-media-critic possesses something that broadcast executives covet: a loyal, young audience.
As [current host Chuck] Todd told a reporter last month, it’s a tough time slot for the young folks: “Are they rejecting the brand or are they just not getting up?”
I can answer that, Todd. I don’t understand why anyone, young or old, wastes their time watching those shows and the fall off has little to do with its time slot. I am amazed that you still have the viewership you have, even if it is dwindling.