Fox News has been an incessant source of commentary over the causes of the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, and Jon Stewart has had enough of it. On the December 1 edition of The Daily Show, Stewart took on the Fox talking heads over Ferguson and race, as only Jon Stewart can do. He had a particularly pointed commentary for Fox News’s Sean Hannity, who thinks he knows who is at fault for what is going on in Ferguson.
Stewart opens the segment by saying that if those who took part in protests over the Ferguson grand jury’s decision “thought they were speaking out against systemic injustice, they could not have been more wrong.” He then rolls a montage of Fox commentators (and one from MSNBC) who all say some version of “These protests have nothing to do with civil rights.” The clip ends with Fox contributor Bernard Goldberg, who says,
Please America, let’s not turn this kid into some kind of civil rights martyr, because that he is not. Ferguson, Missouri, is not Selma, Alabama.
Stewart agrees that Ferguson is not Selma, “almost by definition.” He then observes that if Fox News had been around during the 60’s, they would have said, “Relax: Selma isn’t slavery.”
“So, this isn’t a civil rights thing,” Stewart says. “I don’t know. The protests I saw seemed pretty civil rightsy.” He then plays a clip of several protests from around the country that erupted following the grand jury decision.
Stewart follows that clip by saying he gets what the Fox talking heads are saying, that what happened in Ferguson is not a systemic problem, but an isolated incident. He mentions the other young black men who have been killed by police in recent months, and observes that those were also isolated incidents. “The point is,” Stewart says, “these shootings are clearly not a manifestation of systemic inequality, and mistrust between the African-American community, and the somehow always justified police-American community. But these are merely an unending, bizarrely similar series of isolated incidents.”
Stewart saves his most pointed comments for his favorite foil — Sean Hannity
Stewart wants to know why so many people around the country would spend so much of their time and energy protesting a non-existent problem. His next clip is Fox News commentary from race relations “experts” Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, who blame the problem on “racial arsonists.”
The protests may look like a “spontaneous groundswell of frustration, grief, and anger,” Stewart says. But they are actually “just the bidding of America’s race puppeteers.” And who are these puppeteers? Stewart turns a clip from Sean Hannity, who knows exactly who is responsible: President Obama, Attorney General Holder, and Al Sharpton.
Stewart asks if Hannity thinks those are the people who are really responsible for the unrest, or, “did you just name the only three black guys you could think of?”
Here’s the clip, courtesy of Comedy Central:
Screen capture: The Daily Show/Comedy Central