According to Jon Stewart, cable news is so awful that Daily Show staffers who keep tabs on it are essentially “turd miners.” That said, Stewart believes that the most foul-smelling poop comes from Fox News.
In a Saturday profile in the left-wing British newspaper The Guardian, Stewart told writer Hadley Freeman that MSNBC is preferable to Fox “because [MSNBC isn’t] steeped in distortion and ignorance as a virtue. But they’re both relentless and built for 9/11. So, in the absence of such a catastrophic event, they take the nothing and amplify it and make it craziness.”
As for whether he’ll watch Fox News after he leaves TDS, Stewart remarked, “Let’s say that it’s a nuclear winter, and I have been wandering, and there appears to be a flickering light through what appears to be a radioactive cloud and I think that light might be a food source that could help my family. I might glance at it for a moment until I realise, that’s Fox News, and then I shut it off. That’s the circumstance.”
Snippets from Freeman’s article (bolding added):
[F]or the past 16 years Stewart has occupied a place in America’s cultural and political life far greater than the small audience of his cable show would suggest…Over time, Stewart has evolved from a satirist to a broadcaster celebrated as the voice of US liberalism, the one who will give the definitive progressive take on a story.
…[H]is frequent on-air support of Democrat senator Elizabeth Warren helped her evolve in the eyes of the public from Harvard professor to dream 2016 presidential candidate – particularly among those who find Hillary Clinton too centrist and hawkish…
When George Bush left office in 2008, some worried that Stewart would run out of material. This proved as shortsighted as the hope that Obama would be America’s grand salvation. Stewart, who describes himself as “a leftist”, has always hammered the Democrats with the vigour of a disappointed supporter, and subjected Obama to one of his most damaging interviews during his first term: the president admitted that his 2008 slogan probably should have been “Yes We Can, But...”...
Does he have any regrets? Stewart recounts one big disappointment – an anodyne interview with Donald Rumsfeld in 2011 that failed to claim the former secretary of defence’s scalp. “He just went into the general gobbledegook.” Stewart puts on a pretty good imitation of Rumsfeld: “‘Mnah mnah mnah, well, you have to remember, it was 9/11 mnah mnah.’ I should have pushed, but he’s very adept at deflecting.” He looks genuinely crushed for a moment, then rallies: “That interview with Rumsfeld went shitty, but it’s still just an interview. He’s the one who has to live with the repercussions of what he really did, so there’s nothing that could happen on my show that carries that same level of regret”...
…He can be brutal about the leftwing media, too (CNN has been a frequent target, for being mediocre and too attached to pointless computer graphics). MSNBC, the liberal 24-hour news network, is, Stewart says, “better” than Fox News, “because it’s not steeped in distortion and ignorance as a virtue. But they’re both relentless and built for 9/11. So, in the absence of such a catastrophic event, they take the nothing and amplify it and make it craziness.”
… “Watching these [cable news] channels all day is incredibly depressing,” says Stewart. “I live in a constant state of depression. I think of us as turd miners. I put on my helmet, I go and mine turds, hopefully I don’t get turd lung disease.”
Now that he is leaving The Daily Show, is there any circumstance in which he would watch Fox News again? He takes a few seconds to ponder the question. “Umm… All right, let’s say that it’s a nuclear winter, and I have been wandering, and there appears to be a flickering light through what appears to be a radioactive cloud and I think that light might be a food source that could help my family. I might glance at it for a moment until I realise, that’s Fox News, and then I shut it off. That’s the circumstance.”