Speed Reads

Late Night Antics

The Daily Show dissects the GOP's Freudian fixation on Ukraine

Comedy Central

"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar," Sigmund Freud (possibly) said, poking fun at the idea he popularized, which says that everything is based on subliminal, often phallus-based signals. But you can smoke a cigar. Why, Jon Stewart asked on Tuesday night's Daily Show, are "such serious people in America so seriously sad" about Russia's invasion of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula. After all, he noted, Crimea isn't "really part of our strategic or fossil fuel-type interests."

The answer, Stewart decided, is that conservatives think Russia's aggression makes America look weak. He showed some video clips of Republican pundits to bolster his assertion. "As you know, we have a foreign policy that is focused primarily on comparative penis size," he concluded. After discussing Crimea for a while, Stewart brought it back to subliminal urges — Russian President Vladimir Putin, he suggested, is driven by his own yonic fears. --Peter Weber