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Jon Stewart claims Apple discouraged him from interviewing FTC Chair Lina Khan


Jon Stewart claims Apple discouraged him from interviewing FTC Chair Lina Khan

“Daily Show” host Jon Stewart said Apple discouraged him from interviewing Federal Trade Commission Chairperson Lina Khan while he was employed by the tech giant.

In a new interview with Khan that aired late Monday on Comedy Central, Stewart claimed Apple leaned on him to avoid talking to Khan, who took over as head of the FTC in 2021.

“I wanted to have you on a podcast and Apple asked us not to do it,” Stewart said. He continued: “They literally said ‘please don’t talk to her,’ having nothing to do with what you do for a living. I think they just … I didn’t think they cared for you is what happened.”

Stewart had a brief stint on Apple TV from 2021 to 2023 with a show called “The Problem With Jon Stewart,” which had an accompanying podcast. The partnership ended over creative differences last fall. Stewart returned to Comedy Central as a part-time “Daily Show” host in February.

Lina Khan, chair of the Federal Trade Commission, speaks at RemedyFest in Washington on Feb. 27. Valerie Plesch / Bloomberg via Getty Images

“Like, what is that sensitivity?” Stewart said Monday. “Why are they so afraid to even have these conversations out in the public sphere?”

Representatives for Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a post on X Tuesday morning, Khan thanked Stewart for the interview.

“Thanks to @jonstewart for having me on to talk about @FTC’s work to lower the cost of asthma inhalers, the importance of holding corporate executives accountable for lawbreaking, and how monopolies can use their power to bully, coerce, and censor speech,” she wrote.

While the FTC under Khan has not specifically targeted Apple, it has challenged other firms commonly grouped under the Big Tech umbrella, most recently pointing at Amazon, Google and Microsoft and their forays into artificial intelligence. 

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a sweeping antitrust suit against Apple last month accusing it of monopolizing the smartphone market.

And while she working for a House subcommittee, Khan wrote a 449-page report calling for the breakup of large tech companies, including Apple, comparing them to Gilded Age monopolies.

Watch the full episode below:

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