He sold top business minds on a TV show that promised to save the world – and make them famous. They handed over thousands. Then reality set in.
Five years ago, Jon Stewart became the first person ever elected as both a U.S. senator and as a moderator for the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. Now, he’s gone public with a tale that seems almost unbelievable: That within the span of a single evening, he handed over the business and leadership skills and self-confidence of five wealthy corporate executives in exchange for a job hosting his own TV show, and with a cash payment of over $1 million.
“My mother always told me, if you don’t have integrity, then don’t be a journalist,” he says.
Stewart’s story would be hilarious, of course, if it weren’t so sad. And, as one former NBC executive puts it, “The truth is, if you think you’re going to be good at your job, you’re going to be bad at your job.”
Stewart’s tale of how he took his newfound power for granted is told in the new book “The Man Who Would Be President,” which comes out this week.
“I’m a man who was once able to think that he had all the answers,” he writes. “Now, when my daughter asked me what I’d really like to be when she’s grown up, I’d say the man who would be president.”
Stewart’s now-iconic “Daily Show” debuted in August of 2005, three years after he founded the show.
Its success made him a millionaire, and the money and fame he enjoyed inspired him to become a full-time political commentator. He became a regular panelist on “