Stewart’s ’sh*tty daydream’ recalls attacks on anti-war protesters
By David Edwards and Stephen Webster
Published: August 11, 2009
Updated 4 hours ago Comedy Central host Jon Stewart has access to video archives, and he’s not afraid to use them.
Analyzing angry conservative protests against health care reform, Stewart experienced what he jokingly called “the tiest day-dream I ever had” and flashed back to a time, not so long ago, when anti-war protesters were smeared as “anti-American” and even “Nazis” by right-wing pundits. After a series of clips showing conservatives screaming things like, “We’re scared of Obama!” and “Watch Glenn Beck!” he zeroed in on an ABC News interview with Matt Kibbe, president of Washington, D.C. lobbying firm “Freedom Works,” founded by former Republican majority leader Dick Armey.
“When the left does this, it’s celebrated as the best of democracy, community organizing,” said Kibbe. “When conservative, free market activists show up, they’re called mobs.”
Stewart replied: “All we’re doing is enraging people with misleading information, then having them show up at meetings with the intent of shouting down the speakers and physically intimidating them. If that’s what you call a mob, well, then I guess … Well …”
He went rigid and mimed being intimidated. “Uh, Jesus! America! … RUN!” Stewart said before dashing off set.
Taking his chair again, he continued: “These people have the right to speak as loudly and as vitriolically as they want, and that’s a belief that conservative commentators have always held, for as long as I can remember…” The screen rippled and harps strummed, indicative of a flashback. Fox News pundit Sean Hannity, speaking on April 4, 2007: “You notice, how angry the left is today? I mean, the vitriol that comes outta them?”
“I think they get their marching orders from the left-wing blogosphere,” added Republican strategist Kellyanne Conway. Another Fox News host said on March 24, 2008: “They make such total fools of themselves and embarrass themselves and make the anti-war movement look more anti-American by the day.” Finally, Fox editorialist Bill O’Reilly himself, from December 8, 2005: “The far left in this country, the zealots — I mean, these are zealots — are Nazis. And this is exactly what the Nazis did. They disrupted rallies, they came in to shout people down. They intimidated, they smeared, they did all of this.”
Fading back to Stewart, stroking an imaginary beard as if deep in thought, he quipped: “That was the tiest day-dream I ever had.”
This video is from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, broadcast Aug. 10, 2009.