Jon Stewart skewers Fox News for dismissing anger over Ferguson as ‘race arson’
Daily Show host Jon Stewart returned on Monday night by dissecting Fox News’ insistence that protests against police violence in Ferguson, Missouri were incited by liberal “race arsonists.”
“I don’t know if I’m supposed to overthrow the government or get one of those panic rooms,” Stewart said. “It almost makes you think that the crime that they’re really upset about over there isn’t race-pimping or race arson — it’s race plagiarism.”
Fox is quick to criticize who they see as race baiters stoking anger within the Black community, Stewart argued, while giving ample air time to inflammatory headlines and statements telling white conservatives that President Barack Obama was trying to infringe upon their civil liberties.
Stewart also took a swipe at one of his favorite targets, Sean Hannity, for blaming Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and MSNBC host Al Sharpton for the demonstrations that have taken place in the city since a grand jury decided not to indict local officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing 18-year-old Michael Brown this past August.
“Be honest, my friend,” Stewart asked. “Are those the three people responsible, or did you just name the only three Black guys you could think of?”
When they aren’t accusing outside interests of conjuring up a “resentful frenzy,” Stewart said, Fox contributors like Bernie Goldberg try to downplay the anger the shooting caused within the community by saying, “Ferguson, Missouri is not Selma, Alabama.”
“Right,” Stewart said in sarcastic agreement. “Almost by definition, Ferguson, Missouri is not Selma, Alabama. Of course, if Fox had been around for Selma, Alabama, the headline probably would have been, ‘Relax, Selma isn’t slavery.'”
Cable news networks in general, Stewart argued, were content to dismiss Brown’s shooting as an isolated incident — ignoring the context that places his death alongside similar shootings around the country involving Dante Parker, Tamir Rice, Kendrick McDade, Armand Bennett, and John Crawford, among others.
“The point is, 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,” Stewart said sarcastically. “But these are merely an unending bizarrely-similar series of unrelated incidents.”
Watch Stewart’s commentary, as posted online on Monday, below.