Jon Stewart started out Thursday night's Daily Show by trotting out his impersonation of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — the one where Graham sounds like a slightly effeminate Southern Gothic character. The occasion: Graham predicted after President Obama's State of the Union address that his Iran policy means "the world is literally about to blow up."
Stewart was inclined to dismiss Graham's histrionics — until he got to the news from Atlanta. After an usual snowstorm, Atlanta fell apart: Cars stranded on the highway; children forced to sleep in their schools; adults sleeping in stores or their automobiles. How much snow did it take to cause what one news anchor called this "zombie apocalypse"? Stewart asked. Three feet? Ten? Nope: Two inches.
Stewart briefly tried to figure out how two inches of snow could shut down a major city — his speculation centered around probably offensive Southern stereotypes — but he pretty quickly moved on to the other big question: Why wasn't Georgia prepared for its modest version of the snowpocalypse? Gov. Nathan Deal (R) had an answer: The storm was unexpectedly severe and nobody could have predicted the problems that developed.
The obvious rebuttal is that TV meteorologists predicted the storm exactly. Stewart's cherry on top of his schadenfreude sundae? The Weather Channel is headquartered in Atlanta. Oh, and Deal was given a memo warning of the Atlanta snowstorm. And where was Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed during this emergency? With Deal, accepting a Georgian of the Year award.
For more on the situation in Atlanta, Stewart turned to Aasif Mandvi. We don't learn much, but there are some are some decent penis jokes and a running gag about Mandvi being caught in a rotating grid of talking heads.
The situation in Atlanta compassionately mocked, Stewart turned his gaze to Toronto, where both crack-smoking Mayor Rob Ford is in trouble again — for allegedly trying to get his sister's ex-boyfriend beat up in prison — and, more surprisingly, Justin Bieber was arrested for battering a limo driver. Stewart had a pretty funny re-enactment of how that fight must have gone, then asks the question that's probably on all our minds: "What the f—k is going on in Canada?"
It's a bunch of easy jokes, but Stewart brought it home on a serious note. Fox News is treating accused violent felons Bieber and Ford as lovable "bad boys," while it denounced black, Stanford-educated Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman as a "thug" for just "saying things loudly in a celebratory post-game interview." Stewart said he can't imagine what's behind the disparity in treatment, except maybe "some deep, systemic bias... against Seattle."
Stewart's guest Thursday night was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who fielded some moderately tough questions on the rollout of ObamaCare, whether Democrats are undermining faith in government, and problems with the contract procurement process. It's not funny, but it's interesting. Watch: