My Broken Heart Won’t Heal Until the Scabs Go Away

January 9, 2008

My celebrity crush on Jon Stewart is officially over. The man is a scab, having crossed the writers’ picket line, even though he, himself, is a member of the WGA. And everyone knows that scabs are not sexy.


What does it say that this doll of progressive America has turned his back on the writers’ union? This man made his career off of championing himself as the underdog progressive voice on mainstream T.V. He made fun of the Bush administration like a giddy schoolboy. He wasn’t afraid to speak out against big media for selling out to corporate interests. His criticisms of the Iraq war were irreverent and hard-hitting. And he berated any guests that did not fit in the category of progressive.


And let’s admit it – everyone had a crush on him. My 87 year old Jewish grandma had a crush on him. My stoner roommates had crushes on him. Even my fancy lawyer boss had a crush on him. He was a high-profile charmer, at a time when progressives in America were in dire need of a high-profile charmer.


But he had to go and turn his back on the writers who helped him build his career. Mr. Stewart would not be who he is today without the witty lines and irreverent one-liners churned out by his trusty writers. And those who made him rich were merely asking for a small piece of the new technology fortune and a little more respect for their hard work.


Don’t get me wrong, Jon Stewart is not the only celeb who crossed. Of note are other late night start like Jimmy Kimmel, who gleefully called the writers’ strike ridiculous, and Colbert, Jon Stewart’s trusty sidekick.


But the thing that really hurts with Stewart is that it looked like he would hold out. People like me thought he really believed in respecting workers.


When progressive champions like him cross, it does untold damage to the writers’ strike, not to mention the labor movement as a whole.


Articles today report that during his show he seemed torn about having returned to work.


Perhaps progressives should feel torn about having supported him in the first place. Stewart’s jokes were funny and at times morally incisive. But being a comedian gave him much room for vagueness. And his actions show where his real politics lie.


Perhaps he was never anything more than another charming talking head who is willing to sell out his principles to further his career.


And people like that are no crush-worthy.


2 Responses to “My Broken Heart Won’t Heal Until the Scabs Go Away”

  1. Bison Says:

    How many other people are out of work because of the writers?
    The writers want more money so they shut everyone down.
    I’m all for workers rights but holding all the other Entertainment workers hostage to get more money is not something I can support.
    BTW, Jon Stewart is the underdog progressive voice on mainstream T.V. He was there when we needed him most, when nobody else would speak out on our behalf.
    I’m sure that the writers around JS helped, I’m sure he surrounded himself with good people, but to say you made him? Doubt that.

  2. transmissions1 Says:

    Just for the record, I am not in the WGA. I am just an ex-fan and labor supporter.

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