Everyone has some troubling impetus that gets them to join Twitter for the first time — I think mine was a failed concert ticket giveaway. For Jon Stewart, who had steered clear of the platform for more than a decade, it was the GameStop-Reddit stock debacle. After a day that found the company’s stock plummet and rebound amid sales restrictions on the popular trading app Robinhood, Stewart showed his face on Twitter.
In his first ever tweet, Stewart threw his indignant support behind the r/WallStreetBets community that’s been clashing with hedge funds short-selling GameStop stock. “This is bullshit. The Redditors aren't cheating, they're joining a party Wall Street insiders have been enjoying for years,” Stewart wrote. He aptly continued that we’ve “learned nothing from 2008,” before signing off as “StewBeef.”
Although this tweet was fired off just after 4:00 EST, it wasn’t confirmed as Stewart’s official verified account until later in the evening. (Stephen Colbert spilled that it was legit less than an hour after the first post went up, however.) Stewart came back with another nighttime post, promising to use the app in a “sporadic and ineffective manner,” as the lord intended.
Although the machinations are still hard to comprehend for any non-finance knowers (here’s our best stab at filling you in), it’s one of the rare huge cultural events to garner some bipartisan support against Robinhood’s overreach. When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ted Cruz, and the Barstool guy are all united on the same front against big finance guys, you know some novel political alignment is going on.
Stewart, who perhaps savvily kept a lower profile during the Trump years, has just become the latest Aughts bellwether to make a return under the Biden presidency. Besides the stray film flop or impassioned Congressional testimony for 9/11 first responders compensation, he shied away from forecasting late-night resistance brain on a nightly basis.
It’s harder still to guess why this was the event from the past decade to get him to post. Was he a Reddit-only guy, who couldn’t take that platform’s attempt to stymie the effort? Maybe he had one of those anon accounts before and craved that engagement boost? Maybe that Apple deal is about to pick up? The world may never know.