Fox gives Stewart a reason to exist, and he’s been obsessed with Roger Ailes ever since he went to O’Reilly’s studio and was summoned into Ailes’s office. He stayed an hour and came out a freaked-out admirer, like the crazy newscaster in Network once Ned Beatty got through with him. It wasn’t just that Ailes asked him, right off the bat, “How are your kids?” and then berated him for hating conservatives; it wasn’t even that both men are intensely concerned about what people think of them and have no qualms about trying to influence how they’re portrayed. It’s that Ailes is all about power and so has accepted the obligation that Stewart has proudly refused. You want to know the difference between the Left and the Right in America? The Right has Roger Ailes, and the Left has Jon Stewart; the Right has an evil genius, while the Left contents itself with a genius of perceived non-evil.
From Esquire’s long profile of Jon Stewart. The whole thing sifts through the narratives built up around Stewart and criticizes him in a few places. It says that Stewart just doesn’t have the foil in Obama he had in Bush (true, but he’s still critical of Obama still makes funny of him and the Democrats). But that paragraph above is the biggest surprise for me. If you want to know what they’re talking about when they call Ailes an “evil genius” read the profiles of him done a few months ago by New York magazine and Rolling Stone.