News Trending Viral Worldwide

‘The Problem With Jon Stewart’ Is Good, But Can It Be Effective?

The first episode of AppleTV+’s The Problem With Jon Stewart (which is available to stream on Apple TV+) reminds me of Stewart’s remarkable “it’s not a fucking game” takedown of CNBC’s Jim Cramer for his and his network’s rah-rah behavior during and in the run-up to the 2008 financial and housing market crisis. Watch the clip for greater context, but Stewart was, in effect, a prosecutor, countering Cramer’s spin and efforts to come off as a “doe-eyed innocent” by showing his hypocrisy in real-time. It was a moment that was highly satisfying and which illuminated Cramer’s bullshit for all who chose to see it.

The title of Stewart’s Apple TV+ debut is “War.” Specifically, it’s about the tragedy of soldiers suffering from long-term medical issues due to their exposure to burn pits and the bureaucratic tangle that stands in the way of us taking care of them.

If you’ve followed Stewart all these years, you know this issue runs in parallel to his efforts fighting Congress and bureaucrats for Ground Zero first responders and their long-term care. So the empathy and passion are doubtless, and it really comes through here when he’s talking, in studio, with veterans living through the consequences of this toxic exposure and the ensuing inaction. It also comes through when he is, once again, using his access to act as a pseudo prosecutor while talking with Denis McDonough, the US Secretary for Veterans Affairs.

I don’t want to take away from the impact of seeing Stewart juke past mollifying “I’m on your side, buddy” tactics to pose sound and tough questions to McDonough. Seeing it is kind of the point. But I will say that, while this is a very different situation with different circumstances, it illuminates the bullshit blocking the way on this issue and it’s similarly satisfying to the Cramer takedown, albeit in more of a truth-to-power (no-matter-who-is-in-power) kinda way.

In these conversations and in the way Stewart approaches and experiences them it becomes clear that The Problem With Jon Stewart is going to be very good. Is it going to be effective? And how is that even defined now? Those are more complicated questions. Before we get into them, though, we need to spend some time talking about Stewart’s Daily Show and the six years since he left.

In many ways, Stewart’s 2015 exit proved the power of his legacy. Late-night had an awakening. Daily Show alums Sam Bee, John Oliver, Trevor Noah, Jordan Klepper, Larry Wilmore, Hasan Minhaj, Stephen Colbert, and Roy Wood all made noise in the post-Stewart era through their own shows, docs, and other projects that were largely set in the late-night space. Collectively, that work helped to shape and (more importantly) examine the conversation while diving deeper into often overlooked single issues. They’ve also packaged their message in creative ways engineered to reach audiences that detached from standard TV viewing. The impact is clear and widespread, primed for Stewart to come back and add to what his peers have done. You just have to acknowledge the limitations of the form to not get distracted.

It’s a fallacy to think that a TV show, no matter how well-intentioned and well-oiled, can singlehandedly change the world or swing a sword of truth so powerful that it can pierce the bomb shelter thick walls of our ideological bubbles. Jon Stewart gutting his way through six more years at his old desk would not have stopped the ascent of Donald Trump or lessened the chaos of a presidency that took a wrecking ball to American life. We know this because, at the height of his powers, with next to no competition and a media landscape that was less splintered and more focused, Stewart’s constant pushback against the Bush administration failed to put John Kerry in office in 2004. But that’s not a mark against Stewart and it doesn’t make irrelevant what he can do or what his peers did in his absence simply because they never found the right combination of phrases to awaken half of the country and cancel Trump. That’s not really their job.

If you are over 30, you were raised to believe in the decimating force of the gotcha moment. A sex scandal, a crude gaffe, and revelations of corruption or hypocrisy would end careers or render politicians and pundits irrelevant. The Stewart Daily Show leaned heavily on the wow factor of those last two even as their power clearly eroded. It was still thrilling to see, even if it never brought the warranted results because politicians long ago found pockets of acceptance for their ill deeds, upending the need for broad approval. Because if you’ve got 100% of 40% of the voters, you can mud sling and con your way to the other 10.1%. That’s the key to Trumpism, but its roots are in the way politics and politicians have been covered for years.

As Trevor Noah told me in 2017 when speaking about the evolution of his Daily Show, “hypocrisy and shame don’t hold the power that they once did.” This was six months before Nazis brought violence to Charlottesville, Virginia, prompting President Trump’s disastrous “fine people, on both sides” response. And while there were condemnations from politicians on the right, most re-bent the knee as the mainstream coverage changed from a rising scream to a fading memory. Suddenly, we were all made to accept that that’s just the kind of thing a President says in the era of tear-sipping politics where the points are doubled if you tell the opposing side to fuck their feelings. This is the “game” Jon Stewart is walking back into with his new show.

Apple TV+

It’s interesting how far away from his Daily Show this new series is. Stewart has ditched the suits and celebrities that came with the talk show facade. The set is homey instead of slick. At the moment, it seems that correspondents have been tossed in favor of intimate roundtable micro-chats between Stewart and his diverse staff. Clips play a role, but more as a sort of opening statement. The Daily Show wasn’t inauthentic, but this is somehow more authentic. Something that may be a result of it feeling less concerned with those efforts to be a comedy show while leading with humanity, empathy, and nuance. Which, I suppose, we can attribute to the power of being Jon Stewart and being able to worry exclusively about being good and doing the show you want and not so much about pulling viral moments or adapting to network notes.

I’m going to close as I began, by talking about satisfaction, effectiveness, and the value of identifying bullshit.

It feels fantastic to luxuriate in the moments when Stewart lights up a powerful person to the point where they stammer. It gives off the illusion of a consequence. But Jon Stewart’s value isn’t as a tank, it’s as an armory.

When I said Stewart illuminated the bullshit for all who chose to see, it was a purposeful distinction. We know not everybody chooses to see it, either because it offends their political bias or because they’re tired from apocalyptic headlines and the perfect circle of villainy, ineffectiveness, and fear coming from the halls of power. Cynicism is such a natural response to all of it. Pulling away too. I don’t watch as much late-night, Oliver, Bee, or Noah as I used to because, to an extent, it all starts to blend together and nothing seems to change. Maybe Stewart’s show will lose me too, but for now, I’m seeing this very personal, very deliberate conversation as something unique (even if that may be something of a mirage) and holding out hope.

It’s so easy to look at these shows and think that nothing that’s said will change anything. And again, directly, they will not. But we waste too much time thinking about the supposedly necessary correlation between calling out bullshit and punishing the bullshitters. We really have to forget all of that and realize that there are people who fight and feel empathy for true victims. People who need a light in the dark sometimes because we often ignore them. And so, if this show, and these shows, can deliver information and inspiration to those people in ways that get into the bones and bolster their causes and their resolve to outlast the bullshit, then that’s the definition of effectiveness. And that’s how, slowly, the game that isn’t a game gets won.

‘The Problem With Jon Stewart’ is available to stream on Apple TV+ with new episodes airing bi-weekly and a podcast launching new content weekly.

News Trending Viral Worldwide

Britney Spears Is Celebrating Her Newfound Freedom By Going On Vacation And Posting Nudes

It’s been a wild ride for Britney Spears over the last few years as support for the #FreeBritney movement grew. Soon after, it became clear to the world that something wasn’t right in the way Britney’s conservatorship had been established, and that her super fans might actually be onto something with their protests. Now, a judge has finally suspended her father from the legal system that controls her, and it looks like she’ll be able to free herself from it all together. In celebration of that important, landmark legal decision, she seems to be celebrating somewhere tropical.

After posting a beautiful boat ride or two and even a video of herself flying the private plane (!) Britney did what every girl does when she’s on vacation and feeling happy after a massive ordeal… she posted nudes. These are tastefully done nude photos with emojis covering up the explicit bits, pretty clearly shot by by her loving partner Sam Asghari and intended to celebrate her body and self-expression. I, for one, am all for them! Check out the photos from her Instagram post below the other videos.

“Playing in the Pacific never hurt anybody 😉💋🙊 !!!! Pssss no photo edits … the tub curves 😂😂😬😬 !!!” she posted as the caption, making sure to clarify that this bod is 100% real life.

News Trending Viral Worldwide

Ray J Started Trending On Social Media After Some Fans Realized He’s Brandy’s Brother

It’s a beautiful thing when the internet is used for good. Like helping the world learn something new, for example, rather than for negative things like cyberbullying and stan culture. An example of the former came on Thursday when a fan learned that singers Ray J and Brandy are siblings. It’s a fact that many people already knew, but better late than never to learn about it. That fan’s tweet likely came after Ray J got a tattoo of his sister’s artist logo, but their comments quickly went viral as some also learned something new as a result of it.

Others used it as an opportunity to reflect on Ray J’s biggest media moments and to remind people about the things the singer accomplished in his career.

One person recalled Ray J’s infamous interview with Complex where he claimed his Bunny Eyez glasses were indestructible, something that Complex’s Speedy Gonzalez proved incorrect just moments later during the sit-down. Another fan brought back a 2015 interview with Vince Staples on HOT 97 where the rapper asked for respect to be placed on the singer’s name due to the many things he’s accomplished in his career.

On the flip side, a number of fans had fed up reactions to people just learning that Ray J and Brandy are siblings. “I think I’m to old for Twitter because users are just now finding out that Brandy and Ray J are siblings & I’ve never been more confused on how someone can not know that,” one person wrote. Another person echoed a similar message, writing, “The fact Ray J is trending bcz people didn’t know him and Brandy are siblings is mind blowing.”

You can read more tweets about Ray J below.

News Trending Viral Worldwide

Danish museum gave an artist $84K for his work. He gave them a blank canvas instead.

When the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art loaned $84,000 to well-known Danish artist Jens Haaning, it expected to receive a recreation of his earlier works, where the artist had framed cash to represent the average annual salaries of an Austrian and a Dane. This recreation was slated to be part of the museum’s Work it Out exhibit, meant to explore the societal relationship to work.

Instead, the museum got two entirely blank canvases. Was the Kunsten victim of an elaborate heist? No. It turns out the artist kept the money himself, in the name of “art.”

According to a report from, the artist emailed the museum, saying “I have chosen to make a new work for the exhibition, instead of showing the two 14- and 11-year-old works respectively.” This “new” work was aptly given the title of Take the Money and Run.

Haaning, known for his activistic and often tongue-in-cheek art style, defended his vision and maintained that his piece did in fact reflect the exhibit’s themes.

His email to the museum continued with “The work is based on/responds to both your exhibition concept and the works that we had originally planned to show.” That email has apparently been printed out and placed next to the two blank pieces.

In a phone interview with CNN, reported in the article, Haaning argued that “I saw, from my artistic point of view, that I could create a much better piece for them than what they could imagine. I don’t see that I have stolen money … I have created an art piece, which is maybe 10 or 100 times better than what we had planned. What is the problem?”

The art world is full of works that question the value of art itself. Take Banksy shredding a painting at auction or Maurizio Cattelan taping a banana to a wall, for example.

Banksy sold a $1.4 million painting that shredded itself.

But Haaning seems to be using a more universal approach in his piece, one that takes all societal norms into account. In his official press release, as cited by CBS News, Hanning wrote “It is a statement saying that we also have the responsibility of questioning the structures that we are part of. And if these structures are completely unreasonable, we must break with them. It can be your marriage, your work — it can be any type of societal structure.” Breaking with them in this case meaning walking away with $84,000, it seems.

Though the Kunsten and Haaning are now in a debate over a contract breach, even the museum’s art director, Lasse Andersson, seems to be in agreement with Haaning’s stance. Andersson had his own interview with CNN, where he gave his interpretation: “Do we have to work for money, or can we just take it? Why do we go to work? All these kinds of things make us start to reflect on the cultural habits of society that we are part of.”

The topic does seem more relevant than ever before. The pandemic has been a major catalyst in shifting people’s mindset toward the output-to-income ratio. Unemployment wages, stimulus checks and WFH opportunities have had those previously overworked and underpaid choosing to “take the money and run.” Now, those same people are being urged to enter back into the workforce. But after finally having a brief taste of less hustle and grind, many are asking themselves: Is the money worth it?

So, is Haaning’s use of artistic interpretation clever, conniving or both? One thing is for sure, it has done a fantastic job of starting a conversation. Which arguably is what all good art does.

Haaning has no apparent plans to pay back his loan, but the museum is giving him until the exhibition ends in January before it pursues legal action. Until then, visitors will be able to view, critique or perhaps just stare blankly at the empty canvases.

News Trending Viral Worldwide

‘Rocky IV’ Is Getting A Director’s Cut With 40 Minutes Of New Footage For A One-Night Theater Event

While you probably did not manage to write your own King Lear during the pandemic, Sylvester Stallone was apparently hard at work over the last few months making a new cut of Rocky IV. And now the director’s cut of the 1985 film is coming to theaters for one night later this fall.

Stallone wrote, directed and starred in the Rocky Balboa film more than 35 years ago, but a new version of the film is apparently ready for screening and features 40 minutes of newly-restored content. As Deadline detailed, MGM and Fathom Events announced on Thursday that a remastered director’s cut of Rocky IV will premere in theaters on November 11, with it available to stream online afterward.

Stallone will show a live Q&A in select Fathom locations nationwide along with a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the recut film. Tickets are on sale today, and a complete list of theater locations are available on the Fathom Events website.

The movie is very much a Red Scare flick framed by the Cold War, so it will be interesting to see how that story is altered after the fact. The news of the Fathom event came with a new trailer for the classic film, which you can watch above. There’s no real indication of what the movie’s new footage will include or how it will reframe the film, but for fans of the series it’s certainly a must-watch to see what’s new. Unless it means they remove all those beloved robot scenes that Stallone reportedly wants to get rid of.

News Trending Viral Worldwide

Bartenders Tell Us The Best American-Made Craft Beers For Oktoberfest

By now, you’ve probably heard that Oktoberfest was canceled for the second straight year. Let’s hope you didn’t book a hotel and flight in hopes of hoisting giant steins of Spaten, Paulaner, or Augustiner — it’s not going to happen until 2022. But don’t worry, just because the official festivities aren’t taking place doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate the 211th anniversary of the world’s biggest beer fest with a few brews and some singing of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”

Since you can’t actually travel to Munich this year to enjoy a drunken bacchanal, why not try an American Oktoberfest-style beer from a local craft brewer? We can assure you, few reach the heights of the Munich originals but American Oktoberfest beers bring their own vibe to the table — one that’s defnitely worth checking out.

We asked a handful of well-known bartenders to help you find the best American-made craft beers to pair with sweet mustard, sausage, big pretzels, lederhosen, and dirndls. Check them all out below and click on the prices to give them a try.

Great Lakes Oktoberfest

Great Lakes

Hayden Miller, head bartender of Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in Miami

ABV: 6.5%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Great Lakes Oktoberfest is my go-to Oktoberfest beer. Characteristically malty and round but with a slightly higher ABV it is a bit dry compared to the slightly heavy mouth feel expected from most Oktoberfest beers.

Vonn Trapp Oktoberfest

Von Trapp

Chandra Richter, vice president of beverage development and chief mixologist at Drinkworks

ABV: 5.6%

Average Price: $6 for a 12-ounce beer

Why This Beer?

Von Trapp makes a great Oktoberfest beer. It features nice toffee and caramel notes and finishes with a bit of sweetness. I love the body of this beer and the sweeter notes are well balanced by the subtle hops. I think it’s one of the best beers to kick off the fall season.

Victory Festbier


Sue Stia, bartender at TPC Jasna Polana in Princeton, New Jersey

ABV: 5.6%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Victory Festbier is a perfect autumn Oktoberfest beer. It’s filled with great fall flavors. The slight sugary, vanilla flavor makes it very drinkable. It’s a rich, sweet, malty beer I look forward to every year.

Highland Clawhammer


Robbie Robinson, sommelier and mixologist at The Ballantyne in Charlotte, North Carolina

ABV: 5%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Highland Brewing’s Clawhammer has to top the list of the best American Oktoberfest beers. It’s light and crisp with honey and bread characteristics on the palate. Quite a bit of toasted vanilla on her nose.

Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest

Sierra Nevada

Emily Lawson, bartender and founder of Pink House Alchemy in Fayetteville, Arkansas

ABV: 5.5%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Sierra Nevada’s Oktoberfest beer is just right to initiate the fall season. It is an amber Marzen, which is a traditional German beer. It’s malty, hoppy, a little sweet, and a little bitter, it’s all the right things for the changing of the seasons.

Karl Strauss Oktoberfest

Karl Strauss

Stephen George, director of outlets and bartender at 20 | Twenty Grill in Carlsbad, California

ABV: 5%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

I’m going to stick with a San Diego classic, Karl Strauss Oktoberfest. It’s very traditional, Bavarian in style, and that’s what Oktoberfest is all about — tradition. malty, slightly sweet, and perfect for fall.

Founders Oktoberfest


Evan Hosaka, lead bartender of The Dorsey at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas

ABV: 6%

Average Price: $14 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

My favorite American Oktoberfest beer is from Founders Brewing Co. I’ve been very impressed with beers coming out of Michigan as a whole and this one does not disappoint. Malty with a slight sweetness, and flavors of toast, biscuit, and caramel are present with some light hops for balance. Founders import the malt and hops directly from Germany for this seasonal beer offering.

It’s a very approachable Oktoberfest beer for those new to the style.

Saranac Octoberfest


Katherine Ball, consumer engagement & mixology director at Black Button Distilling in Rochester, New York

ABV: 6%

Average Price: $16 for a twelve-pack

Why This Beer?

Saranac Brewery makes by far the best American Oktoberfest beer. It’s easy to sip on and refreshing, but it has the caramel and malty notes that a Märzen style beer should have.

Big Storm Oktoberfest

Big Storm

Rachel Stidham, bartender at Paul’s Landing at The Vinoy St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg, Florida

ABV: 6.4%

Average Price: $10 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

Big Storm’s Oktoberfest Beer is a definite fall favorite. This beer has a clean, malty finish with sweet flavors of caramel and nutmeg. It’s a great seasonal beer.

Jack’s Abby Copper Legend


Frederic Yarm, bartender at The Smoke Shop BBQ in Boston

ABV: 5.7%

Average Price: $11 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Jack’s Abby Copper Legend Festbier is a release that I look forward to every Oktoberfest season. Light toffee malts, red apple, caramel, honey, and bready notes delightfully balanced cinnamon-peppery hop bitterness makes for an enjoyable beer each September.

As a Drizly affiliate, Uproxx may receive a commission pursuant to certain items on this list.

News Trending Viral Worldwide

Lizzo’s Ted Talk On The History Of Twerking Is Everything You Hoped It Would Be And More

Lizzo has been one of the most vocal proponents of body positivity in pop music in recent memory. As a Black woman of size, she’s been very open about the cultural pressures she’s faced, not only growing up, but even after making it as a global star. So, she took it upon herself to help share the history of twerking with the world, since this ass-shaking dance also represents a major component in her own acceptance of herself. In the talk, she lets fans know that her butt was her least favorite part of her own body, and that embracing twerking was what helped her see it as a positive.

But she also wants to be clear about the rich twerking of history, which was derived from Black people and culture, with a direct parallel to West African dances like mapouka. As Lizzo explains, the dance was carried over to America through the transatlantic slave trade, and she traces it from Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith to Josephine Baker and more. “Black people will not be erased from the history, the creation, and the innovation of twerking,” she asserts. And it’s definitely stars like Lizzo that will make sure this history remains intact. Check out the full talk above.

News Trending Viral Worldwide

Scars don’t make you evil: Disability activists are speaking out over outdated movie trope

One of the longest-running tropes in popular entertainment is having a villain with a scarred or disfigured face. Try to think of a horror film where the bad guy doesn’t suffer from some sort of disfigurement.

Candyman has a hook. Freddy Krueger is severely burned. Jason from “Friday the 13th” is bald, burned and disfigured beneath the hockey mask.

It’s also popular in science fiction and adventure films. Darth Vader has to wear a mask to hide his deformity. In Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman,” Jack Napier becomes The Joker after having an acid bath that leaves him with a bizarre grin. The bad guy in “The Lion King” is named Scar after a mark on his face.

One film franchise that has relied on the disfigurement trope for far too long is James Bond: Raoul Silva with a deformed jaw in “Skyfall,” Le Chiffre’s disfigured eye in “Casino Royale,” and Alec Trevelyan’s scars in “GoldenEye.”

Now, in the latest Bond adventure, “No Time to Die,” 007 faces two villains with facial differences, Rami Malek’s Safin and Christoph Waltz’s Blofeld.

Author and disability advocate Jen Campbell called out the Bond franchise in a recent viral tweet thread:

“[The face is] the #1 part of the body we use for socializing and is strongly tied to our sense of personal identity, so in essence, destroying a person’s face is the equivalent to destroying his or her life,” TV Tropes writes. “This trope can include those who die from the disfigurement, but it’s more effective (and more horrifying) to have the victim live with it,” the site continues.

The problem is that after being bombarded with countless bad guys who have facial irregularities, we begin to associate facial scarring and disfigurement with evil. This leads to discrimination against people with facial differences.

Actor and presenter Adam Pearson, who has neurofibromatosis, says it’s not just about banning villains with scars from TV and film but showing that there can be protagonists and love interests with facial differences, too.

“When the only character with a scar or disfigurement is shown on screen as the villain, it’s perpetuating the use of an old-fashioned and outdated trope,” he told ITV News.

“This isn’t about banning baddies from having scars or telling people not to enjoy a trip to the cinema, it’s about putting a line in the sand and saying now is the time to ensure other characters can be seen on screen with a visible difference too,” he said.

The film was also criticized by Phyllida Swift, the CEO of Face Equality International, an alliance of groups working to promote face equality.

“‘This is not simply an outdated stereotype, or a poor creative choice, this is indicative of a society that doesn’t see facial difference as an equality issue worthy of respect and consideration,” she said in a statement.

“No Time to Die” marks the final performance of Daniel Craig as James Bond. In a few years, there will no doubt be a new 007 and some new villains for us to root against. Maybe a new era will bring fresh ideas and villains who are threatening for more reasons than their appearance.