President Barack Obama warned that the next news cycle after the service for the Tucson shooting victims shouldn’t drift away into “point scoring and pettiness.”
But that’s exactly what happened at Fox News, even before the memorial service had ended: a reality difficult for Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart to stomach.
Conservative pundits “praised the president’s speech for nearly two to three minutes before allowing politics, point scoring and pettiness to kick off its reunion tour,” Stewart observed.
“You do have to question the timing of it,” conservative blogger Michelle Malkin told Fox News only minutes after the service ended.
“No, no, you don’t have to. You are not a primitive [multi-celled organism] capable only of autonomic nervous response to outside stimuli,” Stewart noted.
“Yes, once it was established that the president successfully delivered a healthy infusion of support, inspiration and comfort to a community in dire need, there was really nothing left to do to but wonder about the seating arrangement,” he said before presenting a clip of Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy doing just that.
“I thought it was kind strange that they didn’t put the people that tackled the shooter… why weren’t they in the first two rows?” Kilmeade asked.
“Absolutely, it would have been better if they had a camera there or had them up the front row,” Doocy added.
“It’s a memorial service, not the Emmys!” Stewart exclaimed.
Fox News pundits even criticized the the tradition Native American blessing delivered by Carlos Gonzales, an associate professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.
“Gonzales, who by the time it was over with, he had blessed the reptiles of the sea, and he had prayed to the four doors of the building, and while I’m sure that’s an honorable tradition with his people, it was most peculiar,” Fox News’ Brit Home said.
“Yeah, yeah, I like my benediction like I like my coffee: Christian!” Stewart said sarcastically. “But if there’s one thing that everyone agreed on was that the memorial service audience fucked it up for everyone.”
“The students at the University of Arizona didn’t get the message,” Fox News morning show host Alisyn Camerota quipped. “They thought they were at a pep rally.”
“The audience, mostly students, was reacting with cheers and yells in what was supposed to be a solemn memorial,” Fox News pundit Charles Krauthammer remarked.
“You ever been to an Irish wake?” Stewart asked. “I’ve never been sadder and laughed harder in my life.”
This video if from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, broadcast Jan. 13, 2010.