Could a liberal comedian–with deep ties to the Obama Administration–host a presidential debate next fall?
According to a petition on Change.org, Jon Stewart–the now-former host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, which became famous for its comical, liberal take on the news–might be gaining steam.
The petition, which asks the Commission on Presidential Debates to make Stewart a moderator for one of the three largest general election debates, has garnered more than 81,400 signatures–in just a few days.
Stewart, who has recently come under fire for secret meetings with the Obama Administration (while portraying himself as an unbiased news provider), could make things interesting for the eventual Republican candidate, given his political bent.
Plus, having a newscaster who is, first and foremost, a comedian could be a wildcard in any debate–and risk overshadowing the actual candidates on the stage. With only three debates between the Republican and Democratic challenger, every minute of their answers should count.
Mariel Waters, who started the petition, has a different take: she cites Stewart’s journalistic credentials–including a Peabody Award, and his numerous interviews with high-profile national and international political figures on The Daily Show–as reason enough for him to host the debate.
Considering the generally button-down feel of presidential debates, Stewart hosting one might be a long shot. But it might not be as far-fetched as it seems.
Three high school girls started a similar petition in 2012, urging the Commission on Presidential Debates to make sure a woman moderated one of the general election debates–after learning that a woman hadn’t moderated in two decades, since 1992.
After garnering 180,000 signatures, CNN anchor Candy Crowley was announced as the moderator of one of the debates.
Stewart’s petition is nearly halfway there, with almost a year to go.