Way back when, I realized that my senioritis had set in pretty hard when I did not one, but two different class presentations on the Dave Matthews Band (I don’t need your judgement). Jon Stewart might be feeling his senioritis just as hard, but his “not caring” is significantly more impressive than mine was.
Stewart spent his whole show last night interviewing President Obama, and please, please, please do this once a week from now until the end of Obama’s presidency. It’s not just the number of different topics that were covered (the Iranian nuclear deal, the role of the media in Obama’s administration and politics in general, the many conflicts in the Middle East, rebuilding a national sense of community within the U.S.), but the free form of the conversation that led to some really brilliant moments. Both men seemed on top of the game, and really enjoying getting into the topics to see where they lead.
Just a few thoughts:
— Obama’s take on the current nature of the media and the White House’s responsibility to respond to it is one of the heartening things I’ve heard in a long time. I shouldn’t be impressed that Obama is as smart as he is, but hearing someone in charge take a serious problem (the U.S.’s inability to collectively focus on an issue) and produce one of the simplest, most trusting solutions (give people a lot of information and let them decide) is almost revolutionary at this point.
— “On your terms though. You feel really good about that deal. If you didn’t feel as good about that deal … ” I’m not sure if it’s Obama’s open and honest demeanor or Stewart’s journalist tenacity, but holy shit, Jon, did you just call out the President of the United States for lying? Wow.
— This is more one of personal appreciation than a political one but: there’s been a lot of talk about how Obama being the first black president will forever change people’s perception of what a president can look like. I’m really hoping that Obama’s quiet, contained confidence including his ability to compromise forever change people’s perception of what a powerful man should look like. Stop beating your chests, dudes. No one is impressed with that anymore.
Full extended interview here.