Vanity Fair, Comedy Central

The One Thing That Was Missing From TV Political Satire During This Election Season

Nov 10, 2016  •  Post A Comment

One thing that was missing during the long presidential campaign — and it may have helped Clinton lose the election, according to TV and film writer Joanna Robinson in an analysis for Vanity Fair — was Jon Stewart.

“In 2016, TV political satire let us down — and helped bring us President-Elect Trump,” Robinson writes. She cites Stewart’s exit from “The Daily Show” along with former Comedy Central leadout Stephen Colbert’s relocation to CBS, which combined to create a “massive vacuum” where “nobody else was able to step up to the plate.”

Colbert, she says, “was somewhat hamstrung by his move from cable to network TV. The host started his CBS tenure with a galling on-air apology to Trump in September of 2015, well after Trump’s outrageous comments about Mexican immigrants. So even when Colbert decided to start digging into the candidate, his credibility was somewhat compromised, and his content confined to the gentler rules of network television.”

“On cable, Colbert’s fellow ‘Daily Show’ alums and the show itself were all hampered by Peak TV-weakened ratings; in essence, they split the vote,” Robinson adds. “After the departure of Stewart, a liberal, comedic Walter Cronkite for 1.5 million loyal viewers, ‘The Daily Show’s’ ratings were slashed in half when new host Trevor Noah took over. Samantha Bee, with a show airing weekly on TBS, averaged 850,000 viewers in the weeks leading up to the election; John Oliver, on HBO, had 1 million.”

We encourage readers to click on the link to Vanity Fair near the top of this story to read Robinson’s full analysis.


  1. Seriously? You are forgetting the massive campaign adds disguised as satire on Saturday Night Live.. And to compare a liberal comic (your words) with Walter Cronkite? The two have nothing in common except the delivery medium. Cronkite reported the news, most today in the media offer opinion thinly disguised as either humor or what passes for news delivery. I think most of the electorate didn’t care what the folks from make believe land thought and voted for “not the status quo” …

  2. OMG ! The left wing/progressive grasping at straws excuses as to why they lost this election is getting more deranged by the day. Now, young snowflakes across the nation are melting as we speak. What next? Why of course, CLIMATE CHANGE!! We will all be dead before the end of Trump’s first term, all because his election will bring about the end of the world !!1

  3. Wow! There was a time when I appeared to be the only voice on this site anchored in reality (hence being known as Reality Check). It is refreshing that throughout the presidential campaign other voices emerged. Anybody that thinks it is good for this nation to have comedians influence/interfere with the political process has likely been a student in a public school or a university. But there is hope! The election of Mr. Trump and the success of Republican candidates throughout Washington and the country show a total repudiation of Mr. Obama’s agenda. It also demonstrates that a flamboyant non-PC business person trumps a criminal!

  4. 110 million people did not vote. The question that should be asked is why?

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