Jon Stewart Beefs With ‘The New York Post’ Over Claim That He Pulled A Trump Move During Duplex Sale

Jon Stewart Beefs With ‘The New York Post’ Over Claim That He Pulled A Trump Move During Duplex Sale

After Jon Stewart skewered the conservative media machine’s defense of proven fraudster Donald Trump, The New York Post targeted the Daily Show host’s own real estate dealings to discover a dark secret – Stewart got a great deal when he sold his home. 

In recent weeks, the details of the civil fraud case against Trump, for which the former president faces a nine-figure penalty, have been skewed, distorted and willfully misrepresented by many so-called “experts” hoping to downplay the severity of Trump’s actions and paint the trial as another “witch hunt.” Factually speaking, Trump was found liable for falsifying business records in the second degree, issuing false financial statements, insurance fraud and conspiracy when he inflated the value of his assets in order to secure loans, sometimes claiming that his properties were three times their actual size to do so. On Monday night, Stewart dissected the defense that figures like Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary have put forth for Trump’s offenses as they claimed that Trump’s misdeeds were “victimless crimes” and too common among real estate developers to warrant such penalties.

Yesterday, real estate reporter Mary K. Jacob published her exposé on Stewart’s own dealings in finance and property in The New York Post, finding that, in 2014, Stewart sold his duplex in the Tribeca neighborhood in New York for millions of dollars more than its assessed value. Presumably, Jacob wants Stewart prosecuted for being too gifted in the art of the deal.

Critically, Jacob's argument against Stewart centers around a tweet from alt-right provocateur Tim Pool, whom the Election Integrity Partnership once described as a fake news “superspreader” for his role in promoting unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about the validity of the 2020 presidential election and alleging voter fraud despite lacking any evidence of it. On Tuesday, Pool tweeted, “Did @jonstewart commit fraud when he sold his penthouse for $17.5M? NY listed its market value at $1.8M an AV at around 800k Who did he He defraud?? I am SHOCKED.”

“Comedian Jon Stewart ranted this week that Donald Trump’s civil real-estate case overvaluing his properties was ‘not victimless,’ yet when it came to his own home, Stewart benefited from a similar inflation,” Jacob claimed in her article about the above tweet. Though Jacob went to great lengths attempting to draw parallels between Stewart's completely legal property sale to Trump's proven fraud, she did admit, “The difference between Stewart and Trump’s cases is that a judge ruled that Trump sometimes exaggerated to lenders about how big his properties were, including the square footage of his Trump Tower apartment.”

But that's not the only difference at all – selling property and securing a loan based on falsified valuation of assets don't just have differences, they're completely separate scenarios altogether. As Stewart explained in the Daily Show segment, Trump tried to pretend that his penthouse had three times its actual square footage to secure a lone. Even by Pool's assessment of the transaction, Stewart committed no such deception when he sold his home – he simply sold it to the highest bidder in a transaction that was so completely legal it's positively mundane.

As for the discrepancy between the assessed value of Stewart's duplex and its eventual selling price, that, too, is a real estate principal so simple that it's embarrassing for a self-proclaimed “real estate reporter" to pretend not to understand it. Forbes has a better explanation for why assessed value on a property is typically less than its market value, and even New York Post readers seemed to understand the very basic real estate concept better than Jacob.

“No fan of Jon Stewart or Donald Trump, but it seems to me there are some differences,” the top comment on the article reads, “If there's a buyer who makes an offer, and the seller takes it, that is the market price. By definition! Nothing has any inherent cash value, other than cash.” They added, “Taking a ‘higher than market value’ selling price (which, again, is a contradiction in a free market economy) is just a different thing from making a loan application.”

It seems unlikely that Jacob didn't understand the extremely rudimentary reasons why Stewart's home sale and Trump's fraudulent loan procurements are completely incomparable. Instead, Jacob probably (and incorrectly) believed that throwing a bunch of numbers and real estate terms at her readers would both confuse them and convince them to accept her bad-faith argument and her authority without question. This is exactly the kind of disinformation narrative that Stewart raged against on Monday, and it proved a point more hilarious and outlandish than anything the Daily Show writers could muster – New York Post readers are smarter than New York Post writers.


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