Report: NBC Wanted Jon Stewart as New 'Meet the Press' Anchor

October 8th, 2014 5:08 PM

According to New York magazine, NBC aggressively attempted to hire liberal comic Jon Stewart as the new anchor of the beleaguered Meet the Press. Writer Gabriel Sherman claimed, "Before choosing Todd, NBC News president Deborah Turness held negotiations with Jon Stewart about hosting Meet the Press, according to three senior television sources with knowledge of the talks." 

He added, "One source explained that NBC was prepared to offer Stewart virtually 'anything' to bring him over." The Comedy Central host in July fawned over a potential Hillary Clinton 2016 run. Talking to the Democrat on The Daily Show, he slobbered, "Do you like commuting to work or do you like a home office?....Do you have favorite shape for that home office? Do you like that office?...Do you prefer to sit in traffic or cause it?" This is the man NBC wanted to anchor Meet the Press during the next presidential election?     

In July, an angry Stewart mocked the Supreme Court for its 5-4 conservative ruling in the Hobby Lobby case. 

In the New York piece, Sherman explained: 

They were ready to back the Brinks truck up," the source said. A spokesperson for NBC declined to comment. James Dixon, Stewart's agent, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

It makes sense that NBC would make a run at Stewart. The comedian-cum-media-critic possesses something that broadcast executives covet: a loyal, young audience.  

Considering the state of MSNBC, it's probably not surprise that NBC has a flexible definition of journalism.

For his part, actual Meet the Press anchor Chuck Todd seems to have a sense of humor about the whole thing. He tweeted on Wednesday, "If it's Sunday, it's your moment of zen."