Jon Stewart: More Influential Than Obama?

It doesn’t surprise me one bit, to be honest…

The man who tops AskMen’s list of the Top 49 Most Influential Men of 2010 is one of our youth’s most trusted sources of information and a voice of both reason and hope in these economically and politically turbulent times. And no, he’s not the president.

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“The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart nabbed the No. 1 position on AskMen’s annual list of men of influence, while President Barack Obama dropped significantly in the ranks, coming in at No. 21, after landing the No. 3 spot in 2009, and the No. 1 position in 2008, right before he took office. Even some of this year’s most controversial figures like Lebron James (No. 17), Kanye West (No. 5), and Mark Zuckerberg (No. 3), the inspiration behind David Fincher’s “The Social Network,” ranked higher than the president.

But can a man who hosts the “fake news” five nights a week really be more influential than the President of the United States? Maybe.

Tomorrow night, Obama will be a guest on Stewart’s show for the fifth time, and notably his first time as the President of the United States. Considering Obama’s approval rating is lingering in the mid- to low-40% range, a significant drop from last year’s 68%, returning to the show that gave him a political platform before he took office isn’t such a bad idea with midterm elections around the corner.

And on October 30, three days before the midterm elections, Stewart will take over Obama’s stomping grounds in Washington with his Rally to Restore Sanity, an event he is describing as, “a rally for people who’ve been too busy to go to rallies.” Stewart will be joined by friend and host of “The Colbert Report” Stephen Colbert, No. 11 on AskMen’s list, who will host his satirical March to Keep Fear Alive at the same time. “The Daily Show” host insists that the event is non-political, but with well over 100,000 Americans already planning to attend, Stewart might just do a better job shaping America’s political sphere simply by working outside of it.


Jon Stewart being more popular than Obama can only be a good thing for America.  The presidents job is less about popularity, and more about effectiveness.  Of course, effectiveness will lead to popularity with a president.  But, as we see now with Bush (and the recent Wikileaks information), popularity can be pushed to the back burner rather easily, even when you can prove you were being truthful.

I watch Stewart and Colbert almost every day.  Of course, I am on my laptop during that time, so I only watch it as far as my attention allows.  But I can honestly say that even when I disagree with the apparent politics  being pursued, I find them both humorous and entertaining.  Lampooning the abject silliness and absurdity of “pop culture politics” is among the highest forms of entertainment in todays America.

Kudo’s to Stewart and Colbert.  As long as we don’t see them on a Presidential ticket, all should be well.


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