Jon Stewart reveals the moment things went bad with Apple

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited June 14

"The Problem with Jon Stewart" host says that it was over one particular interview that he knew his show was not going to fit in at Apple TV+.

'The Problem with Jon Stewart' [Apple TV+]
'The Problem with Jon Stewart' [Apple TV+]



Jon Stewart did originally say that he parted ways with Apple TV+ because the company "didn't want me to say things that might get me in trouble." He later expanded on that to talk about Apple being uncomfortable with a skit about AI.

Now in a new interview with the podcast The Town with Matthew Belloni, he says that the split was a long time coming, but there was a specific moment when he realised that the relationship was not going to work.

"When I realized it was [going] south was, there was an interview with [economist] Larry Summers," said Stewart. "And I had had the idea that using the Fed to whip inflation was ignoring the fact that so much of inflation is corporate profit."

Stewart's argument centered on the idea that corporations were profiting from the COVID pandemic. Summers came ready with figures to show that Apple was profiting hugely at the time.

Summers asked Stewart if he therefore believed that Apple was gouging as he had claimed other corporations were. Stewart said yes, but then said "let's flip that around."

Where Summers believed corporations should be able to charge whatever they can get for their products, Stewart talked about Apple's employees.

"You're [Summers] saying Apple should utilize their strength in, if the market conditions lend it that way, to get as much money as they can," Stewart reports saying. "I'm saying, why can't workers do the same?"

The interview was prerecorded and played back to the show's studio audience to great applause -- "they explode like we just a three-pointer at the buzzer" -- and then there as a meeting.

"The Apple executives walk into the dressing room afterwards with a look on their face," says Stewart, "and I was like, oh my God, did the factory explode? Like what happened?"

Apple reportedly asked if Stewart was going to use the Summers interview in the aired show. "We went back and forth for a couple of weeks before the show aired that particular moment," says Stewart.

"It was then that I realized, oh, our aims do not work [together]," he continued. "We're trying to make the best, most insightful execution of the intention that we can make, but they're protecting a different agenda."

In the full podcast interview, Stewart is frank about what he sees as his own failings with the first season of "The Problem with Jon Stewart." He's also analytical about Apple rather than blaming it, to the extend that he explicitly denies that he was censored.

"Even at Comedy Central, the deal is I get to do what I want until they think it's gonna hurt their beer sales or whatever it is that they wanna sell," he said. "And that's the deal we all make -- nobody is owed a platform."

"And when you're in somebody's house and they want you to take your shoes off," he continued, "you take your f****** shoes off or you go to somebody else's house, right?"

Apple TV+ is "almost a sideline" for Apple



Stewart also says that he was used to working in a situation where what he was doing was central to what a corporation was trying to do. His show could be part of the company's aims and its identity, whereas with Apple and some other large streamers, television is almost a sideline.

"Apple isn't just a content company, they have a whole other side business making, I think, adapters," he said. "So if you think about it, content for them, and I don't wanna say it's a lark, but it is not core to their brand identity."

Then with regards to making content, Stewart also said that Apple had "a very challenging content environment," in trying to set up Apple TV+. "Imagine starting a content company, you have no IP, you literally have no IP, there is no Marvel Universe, there is no Star Wars."

Apple has not commented on the new interview.



Read on AppleInsider

«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,432member
    I think it is shortsighted of Apple to prohibit content that is critical of Apple or that explores viewpoints that Apple doesn’t like. In the long run, it’s better for Apple to engage productively with people acting in good faith (which I think Stewart does) than to exclude those people from Apple platforms. Productive engagement with Stewart is good for Apples brand AND I think there is a benefit to elevate a critic operating in good faith above critics who are not operating in good faith.

    having said all that, I think the main problem with Stewart’s show was that it fell in an awkward space between funny and serious, and ended up being unfunny with the failed attempts at humor serving as a painful/awkward distraction from the serious content. So the show either needed to be reworked or cancelled on those grounds.

    but that’s just another example of how apple was shortsighted here. They could have just let the thing die a natural death.

    I wonder if Tim Cook spends too much time with CCP operatives and could benefit from more time with people who know how to successfully operate in a democracy.
    muthuk_vanalingamcanukstormbaconstanggrandact73tokyojimuwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 24

    "Even at Comedy Central, the deal is I get to do what I want until they think it's gonna hurt their beer sales or whatever it is that they wanna sell," he said. "And that's the deal we all make -- nobody is owed a platform."

    "And when you're in somebody's house and they want you to take your shoes off," he continued, "you take your f****** shoes off or you go to somebody else's house, right?"

    Gods, it's refreshing to hear that kind of sentiment.  But then, it's Stewart.

    baconstangspherictokyojimuwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 24
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 830member
    Didn't Apple air a show where the heroine ignores the sponsorship directions, Lessons in Chemistry? Stewart is right, you can always go to another house and in today's world, just set up your own website. Good for him (and I do not agree with much of what he says), and us.

    As a rule of thumb: stay away from any product that is subsidised by another service or product, like ad-funded TV, ad-funded Facebook, etc. If the product is not good enough that people will pay for it directly, then it should not exist.
    grandact73watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 24
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 642member
    When you are paid by another company to do anything they own you and you follow their rules or suffer the consequences. The fact he will not shut up about shows that no one cares he was canned. Time for him to move on.
    libertyandfreewatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 24
    Jon Stewart, aka Jonathan Stuart Leibowtiz. has had his day. Time for him to hang it up.
    libertyandfreewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 24
    "When I realized it was [going] south was, there was an interview with [economist] Larry Summers," said Stewart. "And I had had the idea that using the Fed to whip inflation was ignoring the fact that so much of inflation is corporate profit."

    What “fact”?  The core problem that drove inflation was the trillions of dollars printed and put into the system.  Some corporations raised prices to keep up with demand and compensate for the increase in material prices.  And there were supply chain bottlenecks caused by massive demand due to so much money floating around.  Maybe Apple had a problem with his thesis because he was just flat out wrong.  He focuses on the symptoms because of a lack of understanding.  If a corporation is having to pay higher salaries to workers because of a shortage, and supply costs go up, and demand is high, why wouldn’t they raise their prices?  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 24
    Just shows the quality of the man. He gets it and realized that actually Apple TV+ wasn't the best fit for him. The shows weren't great, there was something a bit wrong with the format, partly his fault and he seems to hold up his hands to that. I think he's still great and I'm very glad he's back once a week in a format that's perfect for him. His comments are fair and dignified to be honest. And he's right, Apple's main gig is selling stuff not giving content away for free, which is a perfectly fair observation as well. I don't think there's any need to pile in on him. He keeps his integrity and so, really, does Apple.
    gatorguybaconstangjbirdiikunmichelb76beowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 24
    thedbathedba Posts: 771member
    Jon Stewart, aka Jonathan Stuart Leibowtiz. has had his day. Time for him to hang it up.
    Why? He's actually pretty successful right now. 
    baconstanggrandact73spheric7omrmichelb76ddawson100watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 24
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 2,013member
    Yet another celebrity who has no economic ability or sense.  

    NO, the inflation is not cause by corporate profits.   Bigger corporate profits are a symptom of the inflation.  When your money is worth less (inflated), the profits of companies will seem bigger because they’re using inflated dollars (or whatever currency).   That does not mean the actual economic value of that profit is any more than the profit a year before with a smaller number and pre-inflation. 

    He’s either stupid economically or a shill for those trying to deflect blame away from the politicians who inflate the money supply which leads to the price inflation.  

    Between 2020 and 2023 the money supply in the US was I floated by about 27-28%.  Ie the government printed money.  Which is the root cause of inflation. 

    Companies usually price as a percentage of cost so if cost goes up prices go up and it will seem that profits go up but only because you’re not adjusting the value for inflation.  Ie 20% of $100 is $20 while 20% of $130 is $26.   Because pricing is usually based on a percentage of cost the perceived “profit “ is now $26 vs earlier $20 — record profits.  🤦.  But that $26 doesn’t buy any more today than the $20 did before.   So the profit in real value was not a record profit. 
    regurgitatedcoprolitewatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 24
    Jon Stewart, aka Jonathan Stuart Leibowtiz. has had his day. Time for him to hang it up.
    Your comment smacks of antisemitism. Why else do you need to emphasize his Jewish surname?

    Sorry, but I can't not call you on this.
    sunman42jbirdiikunsphericmichelb76tundraboyddawson100bageljoeybeowulfschmidttokyojimuwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 24
    Jon Stewart, aka Jonathan Stuart Leibowtiz. has had his day. Time for him to hang it up.
    Your comment smacks of antisemitism. Why else do you need to emphasize his Jewish surname?

    Sorry, but I can't not call you on this.
    Thanks for calling it out. It was pretty vile. 
    jbirdiikunsphericbageljoeywatto_cobraTRAG
  • Reply 12 of 24
    I would not be ok with an employee using company money to talk crap about my company.

    Crazy.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 24
    bulk001bulk001 Posts: 771member
    Imagine that, antisemites coming out to attack Stewart. Hats off to those who have called it out here. That said, comparing someone to say, Fran Lebowitz, is hardly an insult. I wish I could accomplish a hundredth this what she has. Steward is more relevant now than he has ever been. 
    edited June 14 sphericchasmddawson100watto_cobraTRAG
  • Reply 14 of 24
    Are Apple execs on site at the filming locations of all Apple TV shows?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 24
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,626member
    Jon Stewart, aka Jonathan Stuart Leibowtiz. has had his day. Time for him to hang it up.
    That sounds like regurgitated coprolite to me. 
    ddawson100bageljoeywatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 24
    nrg2nrg2 Posts: 19member
    chadbag said:
    Yet another celebrity who has no economic ability or sense.  

    NO, the inflation is not cause by corporate profits.   Bigger corporate profits are a symptom of the inflation.  When your money is worth less (inflated), the profits of companies will seem bigger because they’re using inflated dollars (or whatever currency).   That does not mean the actual economic value of that profit is any more than the profit a year before with a smaller number and pre-inflation. 

    He’s either stupid economically or a shill for those trying to deflect blame away from the politicians who inflate the money supply which leads to the price inflation.  

    Between 2020 and 2023 the money supply in the US was I floated by about 27-28%.  Ie the government printed money.  Which is the root cause of inflation. 

    Companies usually price as a percentage of cost so if cost goes up prices go up and it will seem that profits go up but only because you’re not adjusting the value for inflation.  Ie 20% of $100 is $20 while 20% of $130 is $26.   Because pricing is usually based on a percentage of cost the perceived “profit “ is now $26 vs earlier $20 — record profits.  🤦.  But that $26 doesn’t buy any more today than the $20 did before.   So the profit in real value was not a record profit. 
    Corporate profit is always AFTER expenses. Those expenses include any adjustments made to cost of goods sold caused by inflation. So yes, price gouging does directly contribute to inflation. To think government spending is the be all, end all of inflation demonstrates YOUR lack of knowledge of how the economy works. 

    Examples to demonstrate:
    1) Bird flu has caused millions of chickens to be slaughtered to stem the infection. This had caused egg prices to skyrocket. Did government spending cause this?? NO. Now the icing on the cake of this example is that interviews with farmers at the height of $12 a dozen eggs was that they had plenty, but weren’t being paid any more for them than when they were $2 per dozen. (Beef industry farmers were saying similar things for the inflation of beef prices too.)

    2) I work for a fortune 100 company. I was curious how bad of an impact inflation had made to our raw materials and talked to our purchasing department. Guess what, our cost of those raw materials has been flat, but what did the powers that be do?? 15-20% increase of our products cost “because inflation.” 2023 was our 3rd most profitable year, while 2021 and 2022 filled out the others in the top 3 spots.

    To think that GLOBAL inflation is caused strictly by government spending is egregiously myopic. It certainly has some ties, but if all the veils were to be pulled back, I have little doubt corporate greed is at the heart of the problem. 
    muthuk_vanalingambageljoeywatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 24
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,421member
    Jon Stewart, aka Jonathan Stuart Leibowtiz. has had his day. Time for him to hang it up.
    You know, I think many of us could have figured out that Jon Stewart was Jewish without your assistance. Not that this has any relevance to his comments, or to Apple's position.

    But thanks for coming out as a Not-C and an anti-semite. Welcome to my permanent block list.
    edited June 15 beowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 24
    nrg2 said:
    chadbag said:
    Yet another celebrity who has no economic ability or sense.  

    NO, the inflation is not cause by corporate profits.   Bigger corporate profits are a symptom of the inflation.  When your money is worth less (inflated), the profits of companies will seem bigger because they’re using inflated dollars (or whatever currency).   That does not mean the actual economic value of that profit is any more than the profit a year before with a smaller number and pre-inflation. 

    He’s either stupid economically or a shill for those trying to deflect blame away from the politicians who inflate the money supply which leads to the price inflation.  

    Between 2020 and 2023 the money supply in the US was I floated by about 27-28%.  Ie the government printed money.  Which is the root cause of inflation. 

    Companies usually price as a percentage of cost so if cost goes up prices go up and it will seem that profits go up but only because you’re not adjusting the value for inflation.  Ie 20% of $100 is $20 while 20% of $130 is $26.   Because pricing is usually based on a percentage of cost the perceived “profit “ is now $26 vs earlier $20 — record profits.  🤦.  But that $26 doesn’t buy any more today than the $20 did before.   So the profit in real value was not a record profit. 
    Corporate profit is always AFTER expenses. Those expenses include any adjustments made to cost of goods sold caused by inflation. So yes, price gouging does directly contribute to inflation. To think government spending is the be all, end all of inflation demonstrates YOUR lack of knowledge of how the economy works. 

    Examples to demonstrate:
    1) Bird flu has caused millions of chickens to be slaughtered to stem the infection. This had caused egg prices to skyrocket. Did government spending cause this?? NO. Now the icing on the cake of this example is that interviews with farmers at the height of $12 a dozen eggs was that they had plenty, but weren’t being paid any more for them than when they were $2 per dozen. (Beef industry farmers were saying similar things for the inflation of beef prices too.)

    2) I work for a fortune 100 company. I was curious how bad of an impact inflation had made to our raw materials and talked to our purchasing department. Guess what, our cost of those raw materials has been flat, but what did the powers that be do?? 15-20% increase of our products cost “because inflation.” 2023 was our 3rd most profitable year, while 2021 and 2022 filled out the others in the top 3 spots.

    To think that GLOBAL inflation is caused strictly by government spending is egregiously myopic. It certainly has some ties, but if all the veils were to be pulled back, I have little doubt corporate greed is at the heart of the problem. 
    Please cite your fortune 100 company.  I want to look at those books.  Margin expansion simply hasn't occurred - costs are rising to price.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 24
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,903member
    spheric said:
    Jon Stewart, aka Jonathan Stuart Leibowtiz. has had his day. Time for him to hang it up.
    That sounds like regurgitated coprolite to me. 
    It doesn't sound like regurgitated coprolite to me.  It sounds more like something that would come out of regurgitated coprolite.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 24
    You know, I think many of us could have figured out that Jon Stewart was Jewish without your assistance. Not that this has any relevance to his comments, or to Apple's position.

    But thanks for coming out as a Not-C and an anti-semite. Welcome to my permanent block list.

    bulk001 said:
    Imagine that, antisemites coming out to attack Stewart. Hats off to those who have called it out here. That said, comparing someone to say, Fran Lebowitz, is hardly an insult. I wish I could accomplish a hundredth this what she has. Steward is more relevant now than he has ever been. 

    Jon Stewart, aka Jonathan Stuart Leibowtiz. has had his day. Time for him to hang it up.
    Your comment smacks of antisemitism. Why else do you need to emphasize his Jewish surname?

    Sorry, but I can't not call you on this.
    Thanks for calling it out. It was pretty vile. 

    Jon Stewart, aka Jonathan Stuart Leibowtiz. has had his day. Time for him to hang it up.
    Your comment smacks of antisemitism. Why else do you need to emphasize his Jewish surname?

    Sorry, but I can't not call you on this.

    Look who's doing all the name-calling, all because I called J.S. by his given name, which is actually pro-semitic.

    J.S., by avoiding use of his given name, is the one  being anti-semitic. 

    edited June 16 watto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.