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Jon Stewart rips into Apple, his old boss, on The Daily Show


By Jordan Valinsky, CNN

New York (CNN) — Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” Monday revealed what led to his abrupt exit from Apple and the cancellation of his short-lived show on its streaming TV platform. Stewart said that the tech giant prohibited him from discussing artificial intelligence or interviewing Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan.

Khan was a guest on Stewart’s Comedy Central program, which he returned to in February and hosts on Mondays. Stewart and Khan discussed Big Tech monopolies, after the US Justice Department and more than a dozen states sued Apple last month in a blockbuster antitrust lawsuit that accused Apple of illegally monopolizing the smartphone market.

Stewart said he had his own issues with Apple, telling Khan that he wanted to have her on the TV show’s companion podcast and “Apple asked us not do it.”

“They literally said ‘please don’t talk to her,’” Stewart said. “Having nothing to do with what you do for a living, I don’t think they cared for you.”

Although Khan’s FTC is not involved in the Apple antitrust lawsuit, the regulator has sued a number of tech companies recently, including Amazon.

Stewart also said that Apple wouldn’t let him talk about AI, which he did in the first act of Monday’s show, when he discussed the “false promise” of the budding technology.

“What is that sensitivity? Why are they so afraid to have these conversations out in the public sphere,” he asked Khan. “I think it just shows the dangers of what happens when you concentrate so much power and so much decision making in a small number of companies,” she replied.

Khan also hinted at what tech regulations may be coming down the pike, noting that the FTC and Justice Department are scrutinizing how companies potentially use algorithms for price-fixing. Two weeks ago, the two agencies filed a statement of interest about price fixing in a case against Caesars Entertainment.

“The Problem with Jon Stewart” ran for two seasons from 2021 to 2023 on Apple TV+. He told his show staffers that Apple had concerns about the subject matter he had planned for three shows during the upcoming season, a person familiar with the discussions told CNN in October. Those topics included China, Israel and AI.

Although Apple gave Stewart creative control over the show, he grew increasingly frustrated that the company was pushing back on the show’s guest list and show subjects, he told staff.

Stewart returned to “The Daily Show” earlier this year, marking a welcomed arrival for the show that lost much of its its cultural relevancy when Trevor Noah hosted it. A rotating line-up of comedians who will helm the program the rest of the week, Tuesdays through Thursdays.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Business/Consumer

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