Late Night Antics
March 5, 2014

On Tuesday night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart focused on Republican opposition to food stamps. The stated reason for opposing aid to the hungry is food stamp fraud, Stewart noted, before indulging in a little bit of light debunking. But amid all the tall tales of people using their food stamps to gamble and buy gym memberships, he noticed a strange obsession on Fox News with indignantly judging what kinds of actual food people are buying with food stamps.

The conservative annoyance over food stamps being used on junk food? Stewart said he could understand that: Maybe low-income people should be using taxpayer financed aid to eat healthy — like seafood. "People say, 'eat more fish," he said. "Why can't you spend it on that?" Nope. Roll tape of Fox pundits criticizing food stamp purchases of fresh fish and organic produce. Alright, Stewart asked conservatives, "what's the right mixture of quality and class-based shame poor people should aim for in their meal planning?"

It's not clear. But finally, Stewart walked us through to Fox personalities falling back on the old saying about teaching a man to fish. Ah, he said: Conservatives don't mind poor people eating seafood as long as they caught it themselves. Nope again. "For some f--king weird reason," he concluded, conservatives "really do not want lower-income individuals eating any seafood." It seem implausible, but hey, who's going to argue with a string of carefully selected Fox News clips? --Peter Weber

police shootings
6:57 a.m. ET
Scott Olson/Getty Images

More than 100 police, using dogs and helicopters, searched northern Illinois overnight for three suspects in the killing of Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, a veteran police officer in Fox Lake, Illinois, who was shot on Tuesday and later died of his wounds. Gliniewicz had radioed Tuesday morning to say he was pursuing three "suspicious subjects" on foot, and then he stopped responding to police dispatch. Schools in the Fox Lake area were on lockdown Tuesday, and police ordered a no-fly zone in the area and asked people to stay locked indoors and report any suspicious activity. The FBI is helping state and local police in the hunt.

Fox Lake is a town of 10,500 about halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee. "I've lived here for 30 years and never had to lock my door until now," resident Dan Christensen, 64, told Reuters. Peter Weber

Politics and Punchlines
6:01 a.m. ET

Next week, the 2016 presidential campaign heads to late-night TV. Jeb Bush is Stephen Colbert's first guest on The Late Show, which makes its debut Sept. 8, and three days later, on Sept. 11, Jimmy Fallon is having Donald Trump on The Tonight Show. On Sept. 10, Politico reports, Vice President Joe Biden is the headliner on Colbert's new show.

Biden isn't officially running for the Democratic presidential nomination, but of course Politico suggests that appearing on Colbert could be another move to position Biden for a 2016 run, should he decide to enter the race. Trump's performance will probably be entertaining, solemn date notwithstanding — after all, Fallon ticked Chris Christie off enough with a fat joke that he almost walked off the set on Monday. Few people know how tough or interesting an interviewer Colbert will be, though hopes are high. You can watch Fallon's weight joke — and the actually pretty great Christie story he almost never finished — below. Peter Weber

5:20 a.m. ET

On Tuesday, after a 15-0 vote from the Los Angeles City Council, the U.S. Olympic Committee has its official nominee to host the 2024 Olympics. Boston dropped out of the running in July, amid lack of public support and cost concerns. On Tuesday, L.A. officials said that most of the needed venues are either already built or would be anyways, and that the City of Angels can host the games at no cost to taxpayers, as it has before, in 1932 and 1984. "We're the only city on Earth that has hosted two profitable Olympics," said City Council member Paul Kerkorian.

Then things got a little bit feisty. "There's a little sadness today," said City Council member Bob Blumenfield, "and I think that sadness is being felt in Paris and in Rome, because their prospects for getting these Olympics just went down substantially, because L.A. is now in the mix and they're looking in their rear-view mirrors and they're seeing us there, and we're going to be unstoppable." Along with Paris and Rome, other 2024 contenders include Budapest and Hamburg. Watch the L.A. spirit on display below. Peter Weber

4:06 a.m. ET

A recent study from Texas A&M University found that traffic got worse in 95 of America's 100 biggest cities between 2013 and 2014, thanks to the improving economy, and that the average U.S. commuter spends 42 hours a year stuck in traffic. If that seems like a lot — and it does — remember, that's the average; things are much worse in the Top 5 worst cities. In this video, The Wall Street Journal walks you through those five metro areas, three of which are in California, leading up to the worst U.S. city for traffic, Washington, D.C. Commuters in the D.C. area spend 82 hours a year in traffic, at an average annual cost of $1,834 per driver.

"Gridlock in the capital," deadpans narrator Catey Hill. "You don't say." You can watch her report below. Peter Weber

2:45 a.m. ET

On Tuesday, Kim Davis, the county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, continued to refuse to issue same-sex (or opposite-sex) marriage licenses, despite losing at the U.S. Supreme Court, citing "God's authority." On Tuesday night's Last Word, host Alex Wagner asked columnist and gay-rights advocate Dan Savage if he thinks Davis is trying to become a "martyr."

"I think Kim Davis is waiting to cash in," Savage replied. She will probably lose her job and maybe spend a small amount of time in jail, he said, "and then she will have written for her a ghostwritten book, she will go on the right-wing lecture circuit, and she'll never have to do an honest day's work ever again in her life. This is about somebody hypocritically cashing in." Why "hypocritically"? Savage notes that Davis is justifying her refusal to do her job by arguing it violates "a central teaching of scripture, and of Jesus himself, regarding marriage," when Davis herself has been married four times. You can watch Savage's argument, and some thoughts on the split this is causing in the Republican Party, below. Peter Weber

The New Daily Showdown
1:35 a.m. ET

Trevor Noah signs on as host of The Daily Show on Sept. 28, and Comedy Central's newest ad campaign for its flagship topical comedy show seems aimed at reassuring viewers that Noah isn't going to crash Jon Stewart's car. And their main way of doing that is by mocking the Daily Show correspondents. In one new spot, Jessica Williams, Hasan Minhaj, and Jordan Klepper try to show off their affinity with Noah's native South Africa, only to be reassured that "nothing's going to change" (and that we've apparently all been pronouncing "zebra" wrong). In a second ad, Noah talks straight to the viewers to let them know he and his "Best F#@king News Team" will still cover the 2016 election (and try to sell them jewelry).

Perhaps the best new teaser features Williams and John Hodgman, who vie for Noah's attention with gifts and painful personal sacrifices. Here's hoping Hodgman plays a bigger role in the rebooted show. You can watch him mutilate his upper lip (not really) in the video below. Peter Weber

Sharing Economy
12:58 a.m. ET
EDUARDO MUNOZ/Reuters/Corbis

On Tuesday, a federal judge in San Francisco granted class action status to a lawsuit by three Uber drivers who argue that they are more employees than independent contractors, as Uber contends. The class includes up to 160,000 Uber drivers in California, as long as they have not waived their right to class-action arbitration. Uber says that leaves a small number of potential plaintiffs, while the lawyer representing the drivers says it will include many thousands, and many more if the class action is widened to include all U.S. Uber drivers.

Class action suits generally give plaintiffs more leverage, and if the case ultimately goes against Uber, the car-service startup could be forced to pay for its drivers' Social Security, workers comp, unemployment and health insurance, and automotive maintenance costs. That would upend Uber's entire business model and possibly affect other companies based on the "sharing economy." Uber says it will appeal Judge Edward Chen's ruling, while plaintiff lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan tells The Wall Street Journal that she and her clients "will seek reimbursement for expenses, as well as tips that were not distributed to Uber drivers, around the country." Peter Weber

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