By: Danielle Strejc
Jon Stewart, Comedy Central’s comedic talk show host, enlightened the city of Tampa this week during the Republican National Convention by filming his show, The Daily Show, at the Straz Performing Arts Center, where fans waited in line for long hours to receive a lucky yellow ticket that granted them entry.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has been running strong for nearly 14 years, adding a satirical twist to political issues and hot topics. And it’s no wonder why the show has been holding strong for so long- Stewart’s freedom of speech values appear to be the main reason for his success.
“He makes fun of everyone equally and puts a fresh perspective on politics concerning the world and our country,” says Tampa resident Elizabeth Dobin, “I feel a lot of young people would not be into the news as much if it wasn’t for John Stewart.”
“People like the truth, and they like to hear it from Jon,” explains Ed Brooks, a recent graduate from the University of South Florida, “he questions a lot of what politicians stand for and puts things into perspective throughout all of the nonsense we hear from the media.”
And that much is true- on Thursday night’s show, Stewart made a few surprising bold statements ridiculing the Republican organization for what he believed was unfair treatment to Republican Presidential candidate, Ron Paul.
“The way that they treated Ron Paul and his supporters in this campaign was nothing next to appalling,” Stewart reflects, “they didn’t give them any opportunity.”
When Stewart questioned his guest, Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, the decision made to not allow Ron Paul an opportunity to speak at the Republic National Convention, Steele appeared stumped.
“Well,” Steele laughed, “the reality of it is this man has been consistent from his first days in congress, and so that consistency has led to a leadership styles that attracts. They just don’t know what to do with it.”
It appeared Stewart knew how to get the answers many in America were seeking and putting him in the middle of the RNC seemed only appropriate due to the nature of his show.
“It’s politics, why wouldn’t he be here?” asked audience member hopeful, Zack Bedingfield, “he wouldn’t be doing his job if he wasn’t here because it’s the current political hot-spot.”
In addition to Stewart’s Political satire and inquisition of the Republican party’s actions throughout his week in Tampa, he of course did not forget to poke a little fun at the city itself, drawing attention to to Tampa’s gentlemen clubs, tropical conditions, the annoyance of insects, and the citizens.
“Not every single person that lives in Tampa manufactures and distributes methamphetamines,” Stewart pointed out to his correspondent, John Oliver, during a Tampa-enriched skit.
“Obviously not, Jon,” responds Oliver, joking, “some of them have to buy it.”
With regards to those who found Stewart’s jokes about Tampa to be a bit mean-spirited, there’s no need to be offended.
“Jon doesn’t really think most of what he says about Tampa,” a long time crew member of The Daily Show explains, “it’s all in good fun.”