back to article The problem with Jon Stewart is that Apple appears to have cancelled his show

The Problem With Jon Stewart, popular show on Apple TV with the eponymous host, will not be returning to the streaming service for a third season. The problem with the show appears to be that Stewart wanted to explore controversial topics like China and artificial intelligence in future episodes. According to the New York …

  1. cornetman Silver badge
    Pint

    > The Cook, he crumbles before China

    Top headline!!!

    1. Paul Herber Silver badge

      Well, doesn't that take the biscuit.

      1. Quinch

        That's a pretty heavy burn.

    2. teknopaul

      Open platform

      It's laughable that Apple does anything other than censor apps in any jurisdiction.

      Apple takes 30% of charitable donations made via apps.

      It's not permed for the app to direct Fanbois to a webpage where 100% of their donation goes to the good cause.

      It's also forbidden to mention that the option exists.

      That not censorship?

      Never give money via Apple. For anything.

      America: land of the free to abuse monopoly.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Open platform

        Apple takes 30% of charitable donations made via apps.

        Complete lie. Apple has never taken a cut of donations made to approved nonprofits (there is some third party accreditation they require to insure it isn't a scam, front for terrorist organizations, or whatever)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Careful with your wording ...

          it could be interpreted as saying that they take a 30% cut in case of "scam, front for terrorist organizations, or whatever".

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Open platform

          Approved nonprofits? Third party accreditation?

          WTF? They don't require non profit organization to register in some kind of government national registry, as in civilized countries?

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: Open platform

            I'm sure they do. The ones I've seen have used the government's databases to check that the charity is valid, with the advantage that they make it easy to conduct ongoing checks. Instead of requiring every company to check government records each time, they can get a list of any charities that have been struck off in real time and, should the government's systems change, not every company that deals with charities needs to change their systems. Some of the third-party databases I've seen also handle abstracting out the international databases, meaning that if an international charity becomes involved, you don't have to deal with a foreign government's system and translation issues to know whether it's valid or not. Those third-party databases are not deciding on their own whether an organization deserves charitable status.

          2. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: Open platform

            ANYONE can create a nonprofit and file for nonprofit status with the IRS. They only look at things from a tax perspective so if you are taking donations to help ISIS and Al Qaeda that's perfectly fine from an IRS perspective - just like a drug dealer can report his income and list his occupation as "drug dealer" on his tax forms and the IRS only comes after him if he commits tax fraud not for drug dealing.

            The third party accreditation is the necessary step that non profit status in the US doesn't cover, making sure they aren't engaged in criminal behavior while otherwise complying with the tax laws that apply to a 501(c)(3) corporation in the US.

            1. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: Open platform

              Not the case, as there are specific categories that qualify an organization as a charity and collecting donations for terrorism is not one of them. Not only would other law enforcement be coming after that organization for supporting terrorism, which is a crime that the Americans take very seriously, but the tax authorities would be coming after them to say that they did not qualify for tax advantages and now owe the back taxes on all the donations they received. There are requirements out there, even if they're not always as well-policed as they could be.

    3. J__M__M

      And here's the subhead that goes with it:

      And You Would, Too!

    4. SweetDreams

      Dont they all.

  2. ecofeco Silver badge

    Hmmm

    https://www.theregister.com/2023/10/19/china_biden_ai/

    Methinks Apple is not happy.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Imagine the powerhouse China would become

    Without the gross incompetence of their poorly run dictatorship.

    1. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff

      Re: Imagine the powerhouse $$INSERT_NAME_HERE$$ would become

      Without the gross incompetence of their poorly run leadership.

      I'm going through a list of countries, and the Venn diagram for the values for this variable, and those of all.the nations on earth, is a circle.

      There is Rashpur, The Grand Duchy of Fenwick, and Freedonia, but they are fictitious.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Imagine the powerhouse $$INSERT_NAME_HERE$$ would become

        Nice try, but China remains unchallenged in her own dictatorship league.

        Only North Korea and Russia are potentially able to threaten China's position at the top of the chart.

        But the CCP is clearly reaching its Fall of the Berlin Wall moment. Thanks to Winnie the pooh's insanity.

        1. veti Silver badge

          Re: Imagine the powerhouse $$INSERT_NAME_HERE$$ would become

          Oh no, there's many more dictatorships than those.

          But GP's point was that, if "competence" is what we're looking for, there's not a lot of convincing evidence that "dictatorship" is much worse than any other system.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Imagine the powerhouse $$INSERT_NAME_HERE$$ would become

            The advantage of not being a dictatorship is that at least the politicians aren’t in charge of everything. The downside of a personalist dictatorship, as China has become under Xi, is that there aren't even the limited checks and balances you get inside a one-party system like China was for the last thirty years.

            1. MyffyW Silver badge

              Re: Imagine the powerhouse $$INSERT_NAME_HERE$$ would become

              Yes, oh for the statecraft of a Brezhnev or Deng Xiaoping.

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                Re: Imagine the powerhouse $$INSERT_NAME_HERE$$ would become

                Deng, the murderous old bastard, was the leader who turned China round. He introduced much more freedom for Chinese people, so long as they stayed well out of politics. Which is a lot better than the capriciousness and malice of Mao. And opened the path to massively grow the economy and remove a billion people from absolute poverty. Admittedly by turning China from a communist dictatorship into a capitalist dictatorship.

                He also mostly stopped the purges of other party members. And brought in the system of the whole party leadership changing every ten years to try and stop Mao's viciousness ever happening again. So yes the Chinese people were still stuck with a dictatorship, but they could have some food to eat, some luxury goods and the hope that there wouldn't be a famine in ten years time because the leader suddenly decided to kill all the birds. Or have all the farmers sent to camps. Why the party voted to make Xi leader for life with the power to purge and lock them up is a mystery.

                Even Brezhnev, who presided over the dying husk of the Soviet economy, was better than Stalin. Because he had limits, and Stalin didn't.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    With?

    Surely that word should be 'is'.

  5. Grunchy Silver badge

    Who’s Jon Stewart

    I never heard of the guy.

    On a related note, who’s Apple computers.

    I have never bought anything from whoever those guys are.

    Shrug!

    1. Tomato42

      Re: Who’s Jon Stewart

      Well, first of all, congratulations on waking up from the coma.

      Second of all, the last 20 years have been a bit of a doozy at the best of times. so I'd suggest going back to a coma.

      1. Lon24

        Re: Who’s Jon Stewart

        Yep, I remember the Channel 4 days. His successors were very good but the Daily Show with Jon was unique and very much missed. He certainly gave the impression of taking no prisoners so good to hear he isn't compromising his principles over Apple's pecuniary interests. So hopefully we might find him doing something else and available on Freeview for us unwilling to pay the Apple/Netfix/Disney/Paramount .... shilling. Though I think it more than that these days!

        1. Ilgaz

          Re: Who’s Jon Stewart

          I wonder if YouTube could step in? Thing about YouTube is, he can setup a channel via his laptop and have 10M subscribers without dealing with anyone in suit. People/companies make insane amount of money on YouTube.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who’s Jon Stewart

      I never heard of the guy.

      He speaks highly of you.

    3. Spanners Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Who’s Jon Stewart

      He is a minor TV personality in an insignificant country far away from the developed world.

    4. JoeCool Bronze badge

      Re: Who’s Jon Stewart

      He's the guy that just demostrated how prevasive China's influence is in shaping the content of "non mainstream" media.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Who’s Jon Stewart

        Not to mention demonstrating quite clearly that there's no such thing as creative freedom when it's a corporate writing the cheques.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Who’s Jon Stewart

          And yet another way that the "convergence" of consumer-product and content-production-and-distribution companies has hurt mass culture. I wouldn't claim there was ever some golden age of mass-culture content creation, but at least when those two industries were largely separate the influence was less direct and more fungible, as it was primarily through advertising revenue, and there's often a different advertiser to buy time if you get pressure from your current sponsors.

  6. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    "We abide by the laws of the country that we're in."

    Ah yes, the civil law version of the Nuremberg defence.

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      FAIL

      "Wir haben es nicht gewußt"

      Ignorance, indifference and putting your head in the sand.

    2. Brian 3

      And PROVABLY UNTRUE, at least if it's the USA we are talking about. Like most modern megacorps, their business is highly reliant on ignoring and abrogating laws.

  7. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I mean considering the US and other western countries have banned Tiktok and other Chinese apps from government devices for fear of spying by the Chinese gov, i wouldn't be a surprise if China did mandate no iPhones for people in government positions for the same reasons. Especially when they have influence over companies like Hauwei that can make fully China developed hardware and software which they can be more confident won't have backdoors added by western governments.

    1. Ilgaz

      The solution to such paranoia is Linux on open hardware. China can do it. You will see how software and drivers become RISC-V/Linux compatible in a matter of weeks.

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    FAIL

    "Stewart wanted to explore controversial topics"

    Bad drone ! You should ignore China if you can't its praise. Don't want to risk the stock market valuation, now do we ?

    Ah, this from the land of Freedom of Speech. How courageous on Apple's part.

    Guess what Cook, you hire an artist, you hire someone who thinks out of the box. Ironic that you can't take that.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      can't sing it's praise.

      Damn brain goes faster than the fingers . . .

  9. xyz123 Silver badge

    Wait til he does a show on how Apple blames foxconn, but has direct control over the actual human SLAVES that make iphones, aren't paid and if they try to escape, their families are imprisoned and executed by the chinese government.

    Apple knows ALL about this, and actively encourages "efficiency" but fakes it and pretends it didn't know a damn thing.

    They even have 'display' factories now that Western people can visit. Far away from the actual slave camps.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I do hope

      that you have a very, very good lawyer on speed dial (of you Android phone naturally)

      And that you have evidence to back up your claims otherwise the Apple Law Company could well be filing a defamation suit against you.

      Naturally, IANAL and I most certainly do not play one on TV.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: I do hope

        If Apple went after every random Joe that shitposts them on the internet, they'd be broke in no time...

        Some fights aren't worth bothering about.

  10. DS999 Silver badge

    Unfortunately this is how all of Hollywood operates

    Filmmakers bend over backwards to avoid displeasing China, or even to add appeal to the Chinese market by going out of their way to portray China favorably. China's market is huge, they really want that to boost their worldwide box office and are willing to cater to the whims of China's government and its citizens to get it.

    As an example of what can happen when they don't, look at the controversy over the "nine dash line" contained in a cartoon map in the Barbie movie, which was briefly shown in the background and not mentioned let alone mattered in the movie in any way, that caused the Barbie movie to be banned from China's theaters!

    I had honestly never even heard of the nine dash line, and would never have recognized its importance even if I took a close look at the cartoon map. Obviously it matters to China though, and I'm guessing whatever member of the movie's huge production crew drew that cartoon map knew what they were doing by including those dashes but the director/producers had no clue. I'm a bit surprised they didn't recut a version without that map for China given how much Hollywood bends over for them normally, but perhaps they figured by that point the "damage" had been done and the movie was not going to be shown in China anyway.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Unfortunately this is how all of Hollywood operates

      You may have it backwards: the inclusion of the line was for China's benefit, and they were pleased with its inclusion. It was China's neighbors that have a problem with it and Vietnam in particular which banned the film for including it. Countries don't much like China deciding to claim it owns the ocean that's next to them and not next to China.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Unfortunately this is how all of Hollywood operates

        You're right I remembered it backwards, I guess I should have googled before posting instead of relying on my apparently faulty memory. Things are even worse than I suggested, even cartoon maps are being edited for them.

        Seems like it would have been easier to have created a cartoon map without any dashed lines or anything that looks like "China", given that it was apparently not relevant in any way to the story.

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Unfortunately this is how all of Hollywood operates

      If you read all that guff that appears at the start of movies, you'll see a lot of weird company names like Tencent and Shining Rainbow (etc etc) that are Chinese production companies. If they put up the money, they get to pull strings...

  11. aerogems Silver badge

    It's a tough one

    I mean, if we expect TikTok to abide by US laws with regards to its operations here, or EU laws for that matter, it's kind of a difficult argument to make when you say "But we won't follow Chinese laws!"

    I'd love to see companies like Apple yank their products and manufacturing from China, because without all that western money fueling the Chinese economy, they won't be as able to keep the masses placated. Still, it's not like you can pull a Twitler of rounding up a few people and moving everything in a weekend. It can take years to find a suitable site, renegotiate all the supply chain contracts, and everything else.

    1. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: It's a tough one

      The reason they outsource manufacturing to big tech Chinese companies is because it's cheaper. The only things which might change that approach is if it becomes cheaper to move manufacturing somewhere else, or if there is actually a war between the US and China.

      1. cornetman Silver badge

        Re: It's a tough one

        > approach is if it becomes cheaper to move manufacturing somewhere else,

        Already starting to happen if what I hear is correct, India and some of the poorer countries starting to supply that low cost workforce at the expense of China.

  12. Omnipresent Bronze badge

    The Most Dangerous man

    is the one you can't control. The problem with Stewart is he announces it.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Laws

    "We abide by the laws of the country that we're in."

    Isn't that what every other country is forced to do by the US, even though they're not inside their country or part of their jurisdiction, everyone must follow US "law", or whatever their politicians choose to enforce.

    It is becoming clear to me that this is indeed and american publication, it is no longer an UK one, and so, it has to abide by their rules and do what they're told, or else. Maybe that's why in recent times i've seen the various articles that come out of this once trusted publisher, seem more and more biased, which i don't remember was the case in years long past.

    I expect reporting to be that, a report, not an opinion, and certainly not a weighted opinion.

    I don't advocate for anyone, nor i'm against anyone, but i don't want this space to become like "social" media or what legacy media is nowadays.

    /rant

  14. MachDiamond Silver badge

    A consolidation problem

    and also a problem with large firms who's core business is not media getting in on the game. Too much media is being dictated by too few mega-national companies. When somebody like Apple gets into content, they have to be careful of countries such as China where all of their products are made to be sure that their products continue to be made. It won't matter than Jon Stewert has his own production company and Apple doesn't have control over what they produce. It's not done that way in China so they will expect that Apple will have detailed control and exercise it as they also bow down to the Middle Kingdom.

    Anti-trust law needs to see regular use again in the US as well as getting back to media regulations that limited entities to only being allowed to control limited numbers of media outlets (TV, Radio, Magazines, newspapers). The only two ways I can see a concert these days is if I get in free by knowing somebody or Live Nation/Ticketmaster. That's pretty much it and LN/TM charges more fees than what scalpers added to the price of a ticket when I was a teenager.

  15. Hugh McIntyre

    There was an article last week with a bit more detail on the cancellation here: https://plus.thebulwark.com/p/jon-stewart-and-apples-low-reward

    Notably, although it does seem that worries about political content vs China (and also possibly for some customers at home) may have been a trigger, the show really was not that popular which no doubt also helped the decision to cancel.

    Despite The Register's claim in the article the show was popular, it seems the first season of the show was only getting ~40,000 unique views, with it seeming doubtful very many people paid for Apple TV+ just for Jon Stewart. Although the second season apparently improved a bit, for a claimed salary of "tens of millions of dollars" it's not surprising the show would be canceled even if there was no political concern (source: https://entertainment.substack.com/p/over-140-of-the-biggest-tv-show-flops?utm_source=%2Fsearch%2F%2522jon%2520stewart%2522&utm_medium=reader2).

    The bigger concern (even though this show seems to have deserved cancellation) is that TV is a very small part of Apple's empire, and therefore they have no incentive to take any risks that might damage their business elsewhere. Having broadcast media as a small side gig for larger companies is really not great for honest reporting, but there were probably other reasons as well for this specific decision.

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