Daily Show host Jon Stewart returned to the world of faux-French cinema on Wednesday to explain the country’s free speech debate surrounding a notoriously provocative comedian.
“We have similar speech issues here in America, generally erring on the side of the government allowing sh*tty people to say sh*tty things,” Stewart explained. “As long as we can’t see their boobs.”
While France embraced the value of freedom of expression in response to the massacre against Charlie Hebdo last week, Stewart said, it was “weird” for authorities there to arrest comedian Dieudonne after he expressed sympathy online for the attackers.
“Don’t get me wrong. That is a despicable Facebook post that that guy did,” Stewart said. “But isn’t that what the Unfriend button is for? No, France, you don’t just hide them from their timeline — that’s the coward’s way.”
Fifty-four people in all have been arrested since the attack on charges of “defending terrorism,” a situation that had Stewart admitting, “Je suis confused.”
“I’m beginning to think comedy isn’t France’s thing,” he said. “It’s nothing to be ashamed of, France. You’ve still got painting, kissing, and food that’s hard on the outside but soft on the inside — you’re the best at it. Stick to that. Stick to your bries, your baguettes, your broulez creme. Just stay away from comedy. That’s our thing.”
To get the point across, Stewart told the story of “The Anguished Pencil,” a pencil trying to reconcile his freedom of speech with the meaning of his existence.
“Make love to me,” his pencil lover asked. “Subsume your hypocrisy in the ecstasy of orgasm.”
“But is not love itself speech?” the titular pencil asked her. “When speech is restricted, is love, then, not violence against the state?”
“If you don’t want to f*ck, just say you don’t want to f*ck,” she responded. “I’m OK with that. If you don’t want to f*ck, I’m OK with that.”
Watch the melodrama — and Stewart’s commentary — as posted on Thursday, below.
Chris Wallace battles GOP chairwoman over laptop smear: ‘Do you have any proof Joe Biden took one penny?’
Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel on Sunday refused to say if she had any proof of allegations of corruption against Democratic nominee Joe Biden's son Hunter.
Fox News host Chris Wallace grilled McDaniel about the Trump campaign's smear against the Biden family on Fox News Sunday.
"Do you have any proof -- because he's denied it -- do you have any proof that Joe Biden every took one penny from either a foreign country or a foreign company?" Wallace asked.
"I think that's incumbent upon the press to start investigating," McDaniel replied. "I think what's frightening is we should have a free and fair press that should be looking at a laptop that has not been disputed by the Biden campaign to be authentic. These emails are deeply troubling as it looks like Hunter Biden is negotiating with a Chinese energy company to profit, not just for himself, but for his father."
‘Absolute farce’: Trump White House bashed for declaring COVID-exposed Pence an ‘essential worker’ so he can campaign
Appearing on CNN early Sunday morning, an emergency room doctor from Michigan expressed disgust with the White House for labeling Vice President Mike Pence as an "essential worker" so he can continue to campaign for Donald Trump despite the vice president's office being rocked by a COVID-19 outbreak.
Following news the Pence Chief of Staff Marc Short and senior adviser Marty Obst among others in the Vice President's office have tested positive for novel coronavirus, the White House announced that the vice president would maintain his hectic schedule in the waning days before the election.
WATCH: Obama drowns Donald Trump in a flood of mockery in a brutally hilarious speech
Former President Barack Obama took the stage in Miami, Florida, for a drive-in rally where people could social distance safely. That didn't stop Obama from bringing the heat against the president, however.
Speaking to a honking crowd, Obama mocked Trump for the overwhelming ignorance and cruelty that has persisted throughout his four years in office.
"When the daily intelligence briefings are flashing warning signs about a virus, the president can't be AWOL," Obama said. "When Russians put bounties on the heads of our brave soldiers in Afghanistan, the commander in chief can't be MIA. He can't be somebody who doesn't read the briefings. Joe Biden would never call the men and women of our military suckers and losers. He knows those troops are somebody's husband, somebody's wife, somebody's kids, somebody's spouse, somebody's father. And when a hurricane devastates Puerto Rico, a president is supposed to help it rebuild, not toss paper towels withhold billions of dollars in aid until just before an election. We've got a president who actually suggested selling Puerto Rico."