My Three Cents
Ken MakovskyMonday, June 1, 2015
I’ve always admired Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, but I’ve come to the conclusion recently that Stewart is also one of the savviest PR practitioners in TV today.
This revelation is a result of an article written by Dave Philipps and published in the May 25 issue of The New York Times. (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/26/arts/television/jon-stewart-iraq-war-critic-runs-a-program-that-helps-veterans-enter-tv.html). It describes the launch of a five-week, boot-camp-style introduction to the television industry—designed by Stewart and the Emmy Award-winning Daily Show—and available exclusively to military veterans.
“There are well-worn channels into this industry that are closed off to veterans,” Stewart says. “You get into the television industry generally by going to certain colleges known for having good television programs, getting internships and getting to know people who work in the industry. A lot of veterans never had that opportunity because they were busy at war. This is a way to give them that chance.”
It’s no flash in the pan for Stewart, who has long been an advocate for America’s troops. He says that the veterans he’s hired have been “way less whiny” than most new hires.
According to The Times, the new program offers “the benefits of an internship—experience and connections—in a form that veterans working full-time jobs could accommodate. Each class of 24 meets once a week in the evening. The program ends with a career fair that has landed a handful of vets jobs in television.”
“This is ready to franchise. Please steal our idea,” Stewart said in an interview recently. “It isn’t charity. To be good in this business you have to bring in different voices from different places, and we have this wealth of experience that just wasn’t being tapped.”