Speed Reads

The Daily Showdown

Jon Stewart revisits the Eric Garner case, clinically rebuts GOP cop apologists

Jon Stewart started out Thursday night's Daily Show with a correction: In his unusually somber first-reaction on Wednesday's show, he said nobody was indicted over the death of Eric Garner; in fact, unlike the cops, the man who videotaped the NYPD cops fatally choking Garner was indicted by a Staten Island grand jury. That cleared up, Stewart gave the Garner case the full Daily Show treatment it deserves.

Mostly, that involved pointing out the logical flaws or idiocy in reactions by Sean Hannity and various Republican politicians — Rep. Peter King (N.Y.), former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani, Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.). But Stewart also took a look at the structural problems in a system where, even in a seemingly clear-cut case like Garner's death, a grand jury won't send a police officer to trial on any charge, "not even reckless endangerment, which is, like, one degree above a party foul."

Grand juries normally do what prosecutors ask, he said, so maybe the problem is that district attorneys know and work so closely with the police. To illustrate this apparent conflict, Stewart imagines this seasonally appropriate question a prosecutor might ask of a cop he's cross-examining: "Hey, before I send you to prison, there's something I gotta ask you: This year, are you my Secret Santa?" --Peter Weber