Speed Reads

The Daily Showdown

Jon Stewart sees a good bit of projection in Fox News' coverage of the Ferguson protests

In the Fox News universe, the people protesting the grand jury verdict in Ferguson, Missouri, aren't motivated by longstanding racial injustice and the all-too-common shooting of black youths by police, Jon Stewart explained on Monday night's Daily Show. No, the rioters (and peaceful protesters) are being duped into anger and action by "racial arsonists" (and "race hustlers," "race grievance industry leaders," and "racial racketeers").

Sean Hannity says the instigators are President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Al Sharpton. ("Be honest my friend," Stewart taunted. "Are those the three people responsible, or did you just name the only three black guys you could think of?") But the underlying narrative at FNC is the same regardless: Blacks have a "victim mentality." Stewart obviously savored this bit:

A gentleman on Fox News said that black people have been convinced by a network of shrewd propagandists that they are somehow victims, and that it's wrong to agitate a population — to scare them — utilizing all the tools of modern communication (graphics, music, etc.), to stoke these people into a resentful frenzy. Fox News feels that's just damaging to this great nation, and tears at our very fabric. [Stewart]

If you somehow don't see where this is going, The Daily Show has a nice Fox News highlight reel. "It almost makes you think that the crime they're really upset about over there isn't race pimping or race arson," Stewart concluded: "It's race plagiarism." Whether or not that actually makes sense, it's a pretty memorable turn of phrase. --Peter Weber