The replacement of the departing Megyn Kelly with Tucker Carlson was an outside the box but, in retrospect, an obvious, brilliant move. Ever since Carlson was given a show in the seven o’clock Eastern timeslot, his cache has rocketed into the stratosphere.

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His hard hitting interviews, his caustic wit, and his evident preparedness has revealed a cable news superstar that had been always there inside the man who has been around TV for decades. Carlson’s seemingly instant success is also an example of he who laughs last laughs best.

Flashback to 2004, gentle readers, and we find Carlson as one of the cohosts of CNN’s Crossfire, first pioneered by Pat Buchanan and Tom Braden, with Paul Begala. Jon Stewart, then a rising superstar of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” was in the “Crossfire” where he tore into the whole concept of the show, with its emphasis on argument and partisanship.

Fox News Tucker Carlson (Gage Skimore - Wikimedia)
Fox News Tucker Carlson (Gage Skimore - Wikimedia)

In short order “Crossfire” was dead and Stewart’s reputation as a liberal purveyor of the truth was secured for an audience of left wing millennials.

In 2017, Stewart is retired and his own reputation has become tattered. His shallow approach to lampooning some favorite targets, but sucking up to others, and revelations that some guests were subjected to selected editing during segments to make them look foolish has revealed the former media superstar to be as fake as the news that he pretended to purvey.

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The shtick that worked well during the second Bush administration became tiresome during the Obama years. Stewart, having failed in his foray as an independent film director, is shambling about, bearded in the style of a homeless person, all but forgotten by audiences that almost adored him. His replacement on “The Daily Show.” Trevor Noah,” is noted for being unfunny and lacking even Stewart’s meager audience.

Carlson is ascending to cable news superstardom on the precipice of a new American era, with the end of the Obama presidency and the beginning of the Donald Trump administration.

Trump has defied every political expectation, having survived behavior that would have sunk any other politician. Stewart may be kicking himself, having fled late night comedy while such an obvious target bestrides the world like a colossus. But one thinks that Trump would get the better of any attempt by Jon Stewart to lampoon him with a well crafted tweet.

Carlson has been an unabashed Trump supporter since before the Iowa Caucuses. Now he, like the real estate tycoon and reality show star turned president, has been rewarded, not to mention for a life time of experience and honing his craft.

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Now is his time to be in the sun.

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