- The Daily Showdown July 22
Jon Stewart started out Monday night's Daily Show with a brief ensemble interpretive enactment of why it's so hard to discuss Israel's most recent battle with Hamas — the bit involves a lot of shouting — but he spent most of the show talking about Malaysia Flight 17. And he began by pooh-poohing Russia's hand-washing of any responsibility for destroying the civilian flight, apparently shot down by confused pro-Moscow Ukrainian separatists using Russia-supplied missiles.
The stakes here are high, because whoever shot down the plane will face a stream of global anger, Stewart explained. "And right now it looks like it's Russia's fault — because it's Russia's fault." But Moscow is doing everything it can to evade blame, including re-editing Wikipedia pages on the crash and pushing stories like one flying around Russia's state-controlled media that Flight 17, which took off from Amsterdam, was filled with corpses and run on autopilot then crashed to make Russia look bad. Yes, Stewart deadpanned, "the country that gave us windmills, pot brownies, and a bed sheet oven powered by farts now gives us the unprovoked flying zombie plane — that's so like the Dutch."
After mocking Russia's reaction to the tragic incident, Stewart looked at how Republicans are talking about Flight 17. One main theme, he said, is that President Obama isn't reacting forcefully enough, and ought to act more like Ronald Reagan did when Soviet Russia shot down a Korean Air passenger jet in 1983. There's only one problem, Stewart said: Reagan's quick, vigorous "response to that catastrophe was so special, so remarkable, it was enough to make us forget what actually happened." And to show what actually happened back in the 1980s, he draws on the recollection of Fox News' Chris Wallace, and Reagan's own diary. --Peter Weber
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
- How did Rick Perry escape blame for the Texas Ebola outbreak?
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- America's anti-feminist mega-corporations' toxic disregard for women must stop
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How foreign aid screwed up Liberia's ability to fight Ebola
Subscribe to the Week