Moment of zen
June 15, 2020

Here it is, your Moment of Zen.

Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart returned in a lengthy new interview with The New York Times Magazine on Monday to discuss a wide range of topics including the killing of George Floyd, arguing that "in some ways, the issue is that we're addressing the wrong problem."

"The police are a reflection of a society," Stewart said. "They're not a rogue alien organization that came down to torment the black community. They're enforcing segregation. Segregation is legally over, but it never ended. The police are, in some respects, a border patrol, and they patrol the border between the two Americas." He added that "the root of this problem is the society that we've created that contains this schism, and we don't deal with it, because we've outsourced our accountability to the police."

Stewart went on to observe that "white people lasted six weeks" in coronavirus quarantine before protesting stay-at-home orders, and "that's six weeks versus 400 years of quarantining a race of people." On the subject of the pandemic, Stewart decried the fact that "we allow the mask-wearing to be reduced to its symbolic meaning" and become an "avatar of political representation." He also slammed President Trump's response as the "wildest thing" because "I've never seen anybody who can say in the same breath, as the president does, 'I am in charge, only I can fix this, and I take no responsibility.'"

The comedian additionally blasted those defending Confederate monuments by saying, "It's not history! It's hagiography. ... Enraging doesn't begin to describe it." This interview with Stewart came ahead of the release of his new political comedy, Irresistible, although he acknowledged that coming out with a movie right now "feels ridiculous."

"It's like showing up to a plane crash with a chocolate bar," Stewart joked. "There's tragedy everywhere, and you're like, 'Uh, does anybody want chocolate?'" Read the full interview at The New York Times. Brendan Morrow

June 17, 2019

Jon Stewart doesn't need his own show to continue lambasting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — and McConnell now has a response.

Stewart last week delivered a fiery speech in a House Judiciary Committee hearing, urging Congress to permanently authorize the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. During the hearing, he blasted Congress for the hearing's low attendance, saying the sight of a "nearly empty Congress" is an "embarrassment to the country and it is a stain on this institution," also saying that those who weren't there should be "ashamed of yourselves."

McConnell dismissed that complaint in a Fox & Friends interview on Monday. "That frequently happens because members have a lot of things going on at the same time," McConnell said. "It sounds to me like he's looking for some way to take offense."

The Senate majority leader also responded to an interview with Stewart on Sunday in which the former Daily Show host complained that McConnell has never dealt with this issue "compassionately" and has "always held out until the very last minute" and only moved on the issue after "intense lobbying and public shaming."

"Many things in Congress happen at the last minute," McConnell said in response, promising the issue will be addressed and wondering why Stewart is "so bent out of shape." If this public feud continues, it may not be long before Stewart begins dusting off the turtle comparisons. Brendan Morrow

June 11, 2019

Four years after leaving The Daily Show, Jon Stewart is far from finished putting Congress on blast.

Stewart testified on Tuesday during a House Judiciary Committee hearing about funding for the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund, and from the start, he tore into lawmakers who weren't present.

"As I sit here, I can't help but think what an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process that getting healthcare and benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to," Stewart said. "Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders, and in front of me, a nearly empty Congress."

The former Daily Show host was on Capitol Hill urging Congress to pass a bill funding the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund past 2020, The New York Post reports. But the Post's Nikki Schwab reports that only five members from the subcommittee were at the hearing.

Stewart called this an "embarrassment to the country" and a "stain on this institution," telling those who didn't attend that they should be "ashamed" of themselves.

"There is not an empty chair on that stage that didn't tweet out, 'Never forget the heroes of 9/11. Never forget their bravery. Never forget what they did, what they gave to this country.' Well here they are," Stewart said. "And where are they?"

Stewart also shamed Congress for its "disrespect" of the first responders, drawing a standing ovation after finishing a fiery speech by saying, "They did their jobs with courage, grace, tenacity, humility. Eighteen years later, do yours." Brendan Morrow

October 31, 2018

Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart still thinks the media is covering President Trump in completely the wrong way, and he came back to roast them about it once again.

Stewart said in an interview with CNN this week that what Trump has done so well is take advantage of the media's "own narcissism." Journalists are "personally wounded and offended" by Trump, Stewart explains, and so they always take the bait when he goes after them, instead of focusing on more important things. "They take it personally, and now he's changed the conversation to, not that his policies are silly or not working, or any of those other things," Stewart said. "It's all about the fight."

The comedian also observed that this fight with the media, which the president clearly loves since it redirects the public's attention, is one that Trump is always going to win. He added that when the media continuously expresses outrage at the way Trump treats them, they should think of how communities of color feel. Watch a portion of Stewart's interview below. Brendan Morrow

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