COMMENTARY | The fascinating aspect about the Daily Caller's article on Jon Stewart's wealth and how he acquired it is the breathless air of surprise. Only in America can one get $15 million a year for smirking and making sarcastic comments.
After all, one can go to any middle school in the country and get that for free.
Accumulating $80 million for essentially mocking conservatives is great work if one can get it. By contrast, using the same Celebrity Net Worth site the article used to find out about Stewart's wealth, one sees comic actor Will Ferrell, who is famous for his mocking impersonations of former President George W. Bush, is worth about $80 million. But Ferrell made his pile in the movies, most of which were not political though.
Most comedians have not accumulated a fraction of the wealth Stewart has. Even the late, great Richard Pryor died with only $40 million. Pryor was far more talented than Stewart could dream of, but then again a lot of his money was spent on his various addictions.
What about the obvious hypocrisy charge, that a rich guy like Stewart is being a little unseemly criticizing another rich guy like Mitt Romney for being rich? Big Hollywood reports Romney made his money starting companies and creating jobs, thus adding to the economic vitality of the U.s. Stewart made his money by being a smart aleck.
But this is America. Stewart is taking advantage of two things America allows one to do, even in the age of Barack Obama. They are to speak one's mind and to make money. That he does the latter by doing the former is not relevant. Stewart's speech is often smarmy, partisan and hypocritical. But the First Amendment says he gets to do that.
Romney and Stewart have prospered by pursing happiness. Romney was made happy by building up companies and providing thousands of people with jobs. Stewart was made happy by mocking Romney for doing so, not perhaps realizing that if it is bad for Romney to be rich, it might be bad for him to be rich as well.
But the former leader of China, Deng Xiaoping, had it right when he said, "To be rich is glorious," something Stewart should think on.