Speed Reads

The Daily Showdown

Jon Stewart warns of a 'sanity resistant' Ebola-fear outbreak in cable news and Congress

Nina Pham, the Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola while treating Liberian patient Thomas Eric Duncan, says she is "doing well," and doctors are hopeful about her recovery. Not that you'd know that from watching the news, says Jon Stewart on Tuesday night's Daily Show. "Clearly the news anchors are having trouble drawing the distinction between a person contracting the disease after working in close contact with an Ebola patient," he said, "and the inevitability of all of us all getting it now! Run!"

This is especially frustrating, Stewart said, because experts on the same news programs uniformly warn against Ebola panic, noting that it isn't an easy disease to contract. "Now let's hear from the opposite of an expert: a congressman," he said, showing an interview with Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), in which Sessions urges the U.S. to ban all travel from West Africa to the U.S. The congressman from Dallas "is carrying a dangerously mutated, sanity-resistant strain of fear that has now gone airborne," Stewart warned, letting Dr. Sanjay Gupta explain why quarantining an entire part of Africa is a bad idea.

Stewart closed out the segment by turning Sessions' own logic against him, ending up proposing that the U.S. border fence seal off Texas from the rest of the U.S. That was an easy laugh, but it might come back to bite Stewart when he moves his show to Austin in a week and a half. --Peter Weber