NYT: Jon Stewart ends show after Apple tells him to back off China and AI

Jon Stewart's topical news show, The Problem, is ending its run at Apple TV. The New York Times reports that it's because Apple pressured him not to discuss China and AI.

"Mr. Stewart told members of his staff on Thursday that potential show topics related to China and artificial intelligence were causing concern among Apple executives, a person with knowledge of the meeting said."

You might say that that largest publicly-traded company on Earth, founded in and headquartered in the U.S., takes orders from elsewhere. But it's really about where it makes orders: half its hardware is made in the PRC.

The New York Times reports that along with concerns about some of the guests booked to be on The Problem With Jon Stewart, Stewart's intended discussions of artificial intelligence and China were a major concern for Apple. Though new episodes of the show were scheduled to begin shooting in just a few weeks, staffers learned today that production had been halted.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, ahead of its decision to end The Problem, Apple approached Stewart directly and expressed its need for the host and his team to be "aligned" with the company's views on topics discussed. Rather than falling in line when Apple threatened to cancel the show, Stewart reportedly decided to walk.

Back in the day, I would crudely photoshop pics of Steve Jobs in a Mao suit or whatever as an amusing noncommittal joke about how supply chains wag the dog, but Apple guys would get so upset by it. They would email angry and blog their angry email. For anyone still in that place, now's a great time to move on from the "only company that respects me" stage to the "of course, it's unreasonable to expect otherwise, you're naive if you think different" stage.