A Change.org petition calling for Jon Stewart to be chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates to serve as a moderator for a 2016 presidential debate is closing in on 200,000 signatures. A post on Change.org’s official blog noted that it is currently the fastest growing petition on the site.
Stewart stepped down earlier this month from his long-held position as the host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, a program that began as pure satire of the news but gravitated towards taking on an editorial tone over time. In the past, various studies and polls have found that Americans trusted Stewart’s Daily Show broadcasts more than traditional news outlets like MSNBC and Bloomberg.
“Jon Stewart is more than qualified to tackle the moderating job. Mr. Stewart has interviewed 15 heads of state, 22 members of the United States Cabinet, 32 members of the United States Senate, 7 members of the United States House of Representatives, and scores of other political leaders from this country and around the world while establishing himself as the most trusted person in (satirical) news,” read the Change.org petition started by Stewart fan Mariel Waters from New Jersey.
The petition pointed to Stewart’s Peabody Award winning coverage of the 2000 and 2004 presidential races and a Reuters/Ipsos poll in which 52.1 percent of respondents said Stewart shares their worldview on “some or most issues” as reasons why he would be an effective moderator.
“I know this petition can make a difference — in 2012, three concerned high school students started a petition on Change.org asking the Commission on Presidential Debates to select a female moderator for a presidential debate. It garnered over 180,000 signatures, and won!” argued the petition, which has already collected over 175,000 signatures so far as of press time.
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