RSS
WATCH: The Daily Show skewers CNN for its Navy Yard shooting coverage
All cable news is unreliable in emergency situations, says Jon Stewart, but one network seems to do it on purpose

The Daily Show's Jon Stewart pretty regularly takes potshots at Fox News personalities, but he really loves to hate CNN. And CNN makes it easy for him, providing ample fodder for his occasional savaging of the pioneering cable news network. On Tuesday, Stewart looked at CNN's coverage of the shooting rampage at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., and found it lacking.

Stewart actually started out the show with his media-criticism finger pointing at all the cable news networks. Collectively, he pointed out through a "wrongnado" video montage, they managed to get nearly everything about the Navy Yard shooting wrong. This is classic Stewart: He distilled cable news "down to its crunchy center" and showed a split-screen of a baboon masturbating and Frankenstein raging incoherently.

The next 15 minutes of the show, however, are aimed squarely at CNN, which takes the prize for its "sheer accumulation of breathtaking wrongness," Stewart said. This starts out as a standard-issue Daily Show critique of the "make sh*t up" ethos CNN seems to apply when it comes to breaking news about gun violence.

But then Stewart had an epiphany — or spawned a conspiracy theory, take your pick. CNN sows this confusion on purpose, because their botched coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing really juiced their ratings. Stewart played an interview of CNN chief Jeff Zucker kind of conceding that point, though Zucker attributes the ratings boost to CNN's post-Boston display of humility.

"The lesson they take from this is, it doesn't matter how much they betray our trust, we'll keep coming back," Stewart concluded. "We're in an abusive relationship with CNN!"

To show how ridiculous CNN's breaking-news tactics are, Stewart deployed his "Best F#@ing News Team Ever" — John Oliver, Samantha Bee, Jason Jones, and Aasif Mandvi — to give CNN a taste of its own medicine, outside its headquarters in New York. Watch:

Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian, and plays in an Austin rock band.

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week