Gabrielle Giffords | Jon Stewart | News | Tucson

Watch: Jon Stewart's Thoughtful Remarks on Tucson Shooting

Stewart

Jon Stewart said the vitriolic rhetoric of violence should not be matched by the media:

"I do think that its important for us to watch our rhetoric, I do think that its a worthwhile goal not to conflate our political opponents with our enemies if for no other reason than to draw a better distinction between the manifestos of paranoid mad men and what passes for acceptable political and pundit speak. It would be really nice if the ramblings of crazy people didn’t in any way resemble how we actually talk to each other on TV. Let’s at least make troubled individuals easier to spot."

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Comments

  1. Meh.

    Though the quote above is worthwhile, I thought the rest of what he said was lame. I think it IS important to equate what happened in Tuscon to the viloent rhetoric -- it will be the only way the violent rhetoric will stop.

    Posted by: TC | Jan 11, 2011 9:21:35 AM


  2. Nice speech Jon. But I don't think they would all recoil.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jan 11, 2011 9:40:57 AM


  3. No. Those ignorant, destructive wingnuts like linmbaugh, palin and fox news need to be exposed for the hideous beings that they really are. The media should be all about revealing them and their lies.

    Posted by: actup | Jan 11, 2011 10:47:14 AM


  4. beck and limberger the big cheese are already out there defending palin and her type of rhetoric. those people will never getit they are too self absorbed to figure it out. these people just want to keep stirring the pot no matter how many people get hurt or die unless it's one of them.

    Posted by: walter | Jan 11, 2011 11:15:08 AM


  5. Ahh, Jonnyboy, ur a good kid, heck, an honorary gay too :-). ANd you got me to laugh. Which is something. Maybe what u did best was be honestly self-reflective about this. That's why people like u.

    But u were in the end maybe more carefully "balanced" than u needed to be. But maybe that's also safer and better for your viewership ratings, can't blame u my friend.

    But that doesn't make it less true that the gun-totin disrespect for others who are different theme and mantra IS the mainstay of specifically the far right.

    And yet, true enuf, the tryin times make ya feel ALMOST too partisan to speak the truth that that is the case. But it doesn't make it less true...to the extent that it IS true.

    Folks and media still need to put ideas down and bat them around.

    Granted, ur right, crazies will be crazies. But let's not put our hands up TOO quickly and hand power blithely to the diginity-disrespecting Repug "strong"man (or "mama grizzly") either. That's AS irresponsible.

    Just a thought

    Posted by: just a guy | Jan 11, 2011 11:27:27 AM


  6. LMAO at John Oliver's "Wham!" poster and panda pajamas. I'd be open to a 3-way with him and Jon. I know it ain't gonna happen. Just sayin.

    Okay ya'll can go back to your debating and seriousness. :)

    Posted by: sparks | Jan 11, 2011 11:32:23 AM


  7. Once again, Stewart and Colbert spent their segments disingenuously implying equivocancy; as though left-wing media in this country has been anywhere near the right-wing noise machine in playing up violent rhetoric. And once again, Bill Maher is the one who's calling "bullsh*t" to that idea.

    So Stewart's gonna pretend that the campaign add with Gifford's Republican opponent holding a giant gun across his lap is the equivalent of... what, exactly from the left? And Palin's crosshairs are similar to... which progressive politician's tactics? Stewart's commentary
    is kind of two-faced; on one hand he goes on
    and on about how we shouldn't be blaming one
    side or the other, and then lectures us about
    dialing down the "crazy" rhetoric, without giving
    any specific examples. But Maher is right here;
    when one ideology has been far more extreme
    in their rhetoric, it needs to be addressed. Stewart is acting like a parent who wants to scold two kids the same when one of them hasn't been saying "please" and "thank you" and the other one has been repeatedly torturing the neighbor's pets.

    Posted by: Bobbyjoe | Jan 11, 2011 11:51:25 AM


  8. @BOBBYJOE, thank you!

    Posted by: Carlie | Jan 11, 2011 12:00:40 PM


  9. I have no interest in joining this dialogue other than to point out the insanity of gun laws in this country. I'm sure many here feel the same. That's why it is in the extreme depths of bad taste to come to a site like this and see an ad for the "concealed carry" report, which I'm guessing is some right wing gun group who REALLY are the ones we should be pissing our pants about (I will not click the ad to find out though). I know you don't control the ads here, but come on...

    Posted by: gaylib | Jan 11, 2011 12:04:57 PM


  10. Poor Jon. He thinks the crazies in politics aren't crazy, just because they're crafty enough to get elected. I'm afraid our poor deluded boy is in for a rude awakening. The sides are NOT equally to blame here.

    Also, anyone in Canada wishing to see the clip, it is here:

    http://watch.thecomedynetwork.ca/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart/full-episodes/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart---january-10-2011/#clip399095

    Posted by: Randy | Jan 11, 2011 1:11:44 PM


  11. This is so absurd! Why are people avoiding the truth?

    The reason these violent tragedies keep happening, and the reason the US is (and will remain) the murder capital of the developed world, is because of our lunatic gun laws.

    Gun control will alleviate the murder epidemic in the US.

    The toxic rhetoric is not to blame. It is a symptom, not a cause.

    The gun laws are to blame.

    Incidents like this will continue to happen with the lack of gun control.

    Deal with it.

    Posted by: SteveC | Jan 11, 2011 1:26:42 PM


  12. Ah - more false equivalency from Jon Stewart. yay.

    Posted by: Tre | Jan 11, 2011 1:39:14 PM


  13. Rep. Giffords owns a 9mm Glock, which is the same weapon used in the attack. Her only mistake was in not 'carrying' that day, or she could have (1) saved others from being shot and (2) reloaded --- just in case --- then continued with her town hall meeting.

    When Australia restricted gun ownership, the gun crime rate went up. When Britain did so, knife crime went from minor to epidemic. If you take away guns and knives then people will beat each other with sticks. Then when you outlaw sticks, only outlaws will have sticks.

    Oh, and ask these guys how gun grabbing works:

    http://jpfo.org/

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Jan 11, 2011 2:24:55 PM


  14. I'm glad to see that I wasn't the only one disappointed by Stewart's monologue, and while I appreciate the difficulty of his position in such an instance -- we forget that his show is comedy and he's not equipped to deal with these types of tragedies -- after the "Rally to Restore Sanity" and his near-constant mockery of the RWNM, to bring it down to the level of "we're all guilty of inflamed debate" somehow devalues everything he's said and done.

    Obviously, the likes of O'Reilly and Beck are going to scream about being blamed for the consequences of their rhetoric and incitement to violence. And, likewise, I expected Olbermann and Krugman to seize the opportunity to direct culpability. The whole point of the left's argument is that we're all not equal in our ability to process information, and some (hopefully, a very small portion) are incapable of discerning a "round 'em and throw 'em out" (or worse) argument as rhetoric. For the right, Loughner would have had to write a manifesto naming them all and very specifically linking his actions to their words, and even then they would attempt to dismiss him as "crazy" or "deranged" or whatever.

    It is the left's responsibility to hold the right to account for their words and deeds, just as the right continually holds the left responsible for ours. Did I miss the point of the Rally to Restore Sanity, or was it not a calling to everyone to tone things down in an effort to work together? Well, Jon, where's the right's response to your call? Or is it to deflect responsibility and keep on fanning the flames of (dare I say it) revolution?

    Posted by: Jamie | Jan 11, 2011 2:44:06 PM


  15. well-said, Bobby Joe. Thank you.

    Posted by: just a guy | Jan 11, 2011 4:05:07 PM


  16. "When Australia restricted gun ownership, the gun crime rate went up. When Britain did so, knife crime went from minor to epidemic."

    Source for this statement?

    The murder rate in Australia and Britain isn't at epidemic levels like it is in the US. The US homicide rate is at embarrassingly high levels

    Guns are murder weapons.

    Gun control is a good thing.
    Thae fact that our country cannot even acknowledge this fact is a sure sign that tragedies like this will happen over and over and over.

    It's so laughable that people think that toning down political vitriol will solve the homicide epidemic but will not restrict the ownership of murder weapons.

    Posted by: SteveC | Jan 11, 2011 4:41:13 PM


  17. Calling bullshit on idiotic liberals who can't tell the difference between language calling for violence against minorities and protest for equality:

    We can't retreat from struggle

    January 11, 2011

    THANKS VERY much to Nicole Colson for her excellent article on the horrific and tragic shootings in Arizona ("Hatred strikes in the 'capital of bigotry'" [2]). It is important to highlight the responsibility of the right wing in creating the kind of climate that resulted in the shootings.

    Nicole quotes a comment made on Sarah Palin's Facebook page approving the murder of Christina Taylor Green on the grounds that she was likely to grow up to be a liberal! The callous and monstrous inhumanity that applauds the wanton killing of a 9-year-old child is almost beyond comprehension and comment.

    Unfortunately, one of the results of this horrible incident has been calls by the media and politicians for "toning down the rhetoric" on "both sides"--as if people attacking the civil rights of Muslims can be equated with those who fight for equal rights for all; as if people who are vehemently demanding that the government provide for people's needs can be equated with people who want to cut social programs and wages, and let people starve in the street.

    If "toning down the rhetoric" by people fighting for progressive social change means refusing to call out the politicians and others who are engaging in a wholesale attack on poor and working people, toning down the rhetoric from progressives will actually make incidents like the Tucson tragedy more likely.

    The right wing can only be backed down if people on the left are prepared to confront their outrageous lies and attacks. If we don't change some of the conditions that cause the insecurity and general crisis in this society, more people will lash out with assassination attempts or just random violence against families and neighbors.

    As SocialistWorker.org's Alan Maass commented in October prior to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" ("Down a notch or up?" [3]):

    Is that what's really wrong with U.S. politics--too much shouting and protesting?...[R]ight-wing monsters like columnist Bill Kristol or John Yoo, the architect of the U.S. government's justifications for torture, can express themselves in a perfectly calm and polite tone. The problem is what they say, not how they say it...

    [W]hat's wrong with protesting? Why shouldn't people get angry about the vile racism they hear from the right wing, or the pathetic backsliding of the Democrats? Why shouldn't they organize themselves to do something about it?"

    Marxists have always been against assassination. We believe that only mass action can fundamentally change the conditions in society and relations between people. Ironically, it is the politicians that now call for "toning down the rhetoric" who still justify mass murder and torture as tools of foreign policy, or call for the assassination of figures that threaten their power, like Julian Assange of WikiLeaks.

    We should demand that the politicians and right wing tone down such rhetoric. But there is no way that we should "tone down" our struggle for fundamental social change.
    Steve Leigh, Seattle

    Posted by: Lonnie | Jan 11, 2011 4:44:38 PM


  18. STEVEC:

    http://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=169284

    http://www.gunsandcrime.org/auresult.html

    In Australia, notice only suicides went down. That's because criminals aren't killing themselves when they're busy killing you.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Jan 11, 2011 5:10:14 PM


  19. Hmmm....how many people have been shipped off to gulags,camps, prisons and psychiatric hospitals under Marxist totalitarian governments over, say, the last 100 years? Tens of millions easily, probably over 100 million. How many humans have been starved to death under totalitarian Marxist governments over the same time period? Tens of millions.

    Marxists are non-violent my a**.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 11, 2011 10:33:43 PM


  20. I find it refreshing when one in the broadcast industry reveals his true self. John is obviously a caring and intelligent person. This piece shows him to be a much deeper thinking person than some viewers would notice. Comedy is hard work. Being funny all the time is difficult. In a most professional manner he points out the absurdities with which we all must deal...daily.

    I applaud his confronting a serious event without trying to make it lesser occurrence in all our lives. I would think that some will not appreciate his honesty in presenting his opinion... in his forum and possibly at some personal cost. Hopefully many of his viewers will appreciate the vision shown in this segment as much as other subjects that have been presented in a lighter fashion.

    John, I applaud you and have a much greater respect for you as an entertainer and a person.

    Keep it coming ... Thanx

    Posted by: Richard | Jan 11, 2011 11:21:32 PM


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