Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Jon Stewart hammers Fox News’s refusal to debate gun culture

| »

The inane talking heads posing as journalists over at Fox News recently got their Second-Amendment-embroidered undies in a bunch when NBC sportscaster Bob Costas dared to break lockstep with the punditry’s complacence with the United States’s pervasive gun culture. As always, leave it to The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart to attempt to hammer home some basic common sense, not that he has much of a chance with their skulls so abnormally thick. Parts one and two:

Non-U.S. readers: Click here to learn how to enable Comedy Central videos (Firefox only)

Transcript: (click the [+/-] to open/close →) []

JON STEWART: But recently, the sports world has suffered some tragic off-the-field incidents. The Dallas Cowboys lost a player in a drunk driving accident this past weekend; a murder-suicide involving a Kansas City Chiefs linebacker the weekend before. That led to sports commentator Bob Costas commentating on this during halftime in the Cowboys-Eagles game.

BOB COSTAS [12/06/12]: You want some actual perspective on this? Well, a bit of it comes from the Kansas City-based writer Jason Whitlock. […] From the end of his article: “Our current gun culture,” Whitlock wrote, “ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy.” […] “In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions and their possible connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows? But here,” wrote Whitlock, “is what I believe. If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Cassandra Perkins would both be alive today.”

STEWART: “And now, the marching band!”

All right, obviously, there’s a tragedy, it’s more complicated than that, and if we’re gonna start addressing issues, we can begin with gun culture, but you gotta talk about domestic abuse, mental illness, the head trauma, football, the drugs they give the guys for pain; I’m assuming Costas was leaving that to Cleatus, the Fox Robot, to take care of. But still!

What he was doing was trying to start a conversation, and … he succeeded.

LAURA INGRAHAM [12/04/12]: That belonged on NBC cable channel, I mean, you kinda expect that over there. You don’t expect that during a football game.

ERIC BOLLING [12/03/12]: It’s NFL Sunday, it’s halftime, ‘God Bless America’’s playing in the background. Do I really want Bob Costas giving me a dissertation on the Second Amendment? […] I wanna watch football!

STEWART: Really? ’Cause that’s when I go take a piss, but okay.

Yes, an NFL halftime show is no time to talk about violence in the NFL! It’s a time to watch endless slow-motion replays of that day’s hardest hits. “Zoinks! That was a great hit! Yeah, I think the guy’s brain came out of his ear-hole on that one! Suck it up like a man! Of course, he’ll never be the same again. All right, well done.”

JON STEWART: So, halftime isn’t the right time. Now, what about at a press conference? Like after the Aurora shootings, when the Mayor of New York called for an examination of gun laws?

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE [07/23/12]: There were also bodies not even out of the theater, Dana, before he started to jump in this debate. Now, I think there is some level of political protocol that you need to have in a tragedy like this where you wait.

JUDGE JEANINE PIRRO [07/27/12]: Be quiet for 24 hours, at least!

STEWART: Clearly, in that situation, it’s not where it is being discussed, it’s when. I’m assuming that the venue was good; just that the mayor did not obey the commonsense waiting period we place on gun … conversations. You don’t want somebody in an emotional state just shooting off their … mouths.

But of course, it’s not just the “where” and the “when” of the conversation about guns; it’s the “who”!

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN [12/03/12]: Is this what you really wanna hear at halftime, sportscaster Bob Costas lecturing football fans – that means you – about gun control?

LAURA INGRAHAM [12/04/12]: Mr. Costas, you don’t know that much what you’re talking about, so stick to the area that you’re really smart about, which is sports. […] I wrote a book called Shut Up and Sing; this would be “Shut Up and Commentate on Sports”, because we’re not really interested in what Bob Costas thinks about guns.

STEWART: Right, but … why do you get to talk? ’Cause I – if I may, very quickly, no disrespect – I don’t much care what you have to say about anything. Yet, whenever I turn on the TV, you’re there, talking about everything. That’s the subject of my book, “Shut Up and Shut Up.”

So clearly, sports commentators, they don’t get to comment about gun violence, and singers don’t get to comment about gun violence, either, right, Fox?

FOX HOST #1 [12/03/12]: Ted Nugent issued a quote, saying, “We thought Bob Costas was smarter than that. Only fools blame tools instead of human failings.

STEWART: How come that guy doesn’t have to shut up and sing? Or shut up and whatever it is that he does?

I’m beginning to figure out the rules, though. If you wanna talk about gun violence, gun culture, gun control, you gotta be a gun expert. You can’t just be some sportscaster or musician. And even the right person can’t talk about it if it’s too soon after a tragedy; it’s disrespectful. How long do you have to wait to say there should be more guns after a tragedy, like the shooting in Oslo?

FOX CONTRIBUTOR [07/24/11]: You have 600 people there, Geraldo –

GERALDO RIVERA: On that island.

CONTRIBUTOR: – on that island, and the security procedures that were there were noneffective. […] If you have a gun, Geraldo, you don’t have security. I have a big laugh when they ask me for a security guard, “but we don’t want them to have a gun.” If you don’t want security to have a gun, then you’re not having security.

STEWART: “That’s the thing about these Norwegians, lemme tell you somethin’. They don’t understand how much they need guns. It’s a harpoon culture. D’you understand what I’m sayin’? They shoot whales! They don’t know [?].”

That was about the mass killing in Norway, but at least they respectfully waited until … 48 hours afterwards. See, in fact, if you wanna have a conversation about our gun culture, you better make sure you’re being tasteful and respecting the victims and their families. Of course, if you’re trying not to have that conversation …

ERIC BOLLING [12/03/12]: This guy, six- – I dunno, 6’4”, 320 [lbs], he could’ve killed her with his bare hands. It wasn’t a gun that killed her, it was Jovan Belcher that killed her.

INGRAHAM [12/04/12]: I guess Costas does not think Belcher is strong enough to asphyxiate his girlfriend, or smart enough to hook up a hose into his garage and kill her through asphyxiation.

MEGYN KELLY [12/03/12]: Look at O.J. Simpson. […] He went over there with a knife, he murdered his ex-wife and her friend.

SEAN HANNITY: Was Nicole Brown killed with a gun, or was she killed with a knife?

STEWART: Yeah! Knife! Knife! Knife! Knife! Nicole Simpson was murdered with a knife! Does Costas wanna ban knives? ’Cause then, we’d have to cut steak with our guns, and that would be terrible!

Still, I think I get the rules now. I’m just trying to get the rules. You can talk about guns, just not in the immediate wake of any event involving guns. But with approximately 30 gun-related murders daily in the United States, when will it ever be the right time to talk about the issue?

CNN HOST [11/29/12]: A rare moment in New York City. Police say there were no reported slaying, stabbings, shootings or knifings during a 36-hour period from Sunday night to Tuesday morning.

STEWART: Aah, it was two weeks ago! We missed the [fucking] window! But why ruin the celebration?

[W]hy do you get to talk? ’Cause I … don't much care about what you have to say about anything. Yet, whenever I turn on the TV, you’re there, talking about everything.” Perfect.