After a week-long break, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show aired a memorably funny new episode on Monday night. Host Jon Stewart spent the first segment of the show discussing Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the recent news surrounding him. Stewart then performed a scathing dissection of Fox News host Sean Hannity’s defense and justification of Bundy’s actions.
The segment began with Stewart doing a quick recap of Bundy’s story. Basically, he pointed out that Bundy had failed to pay grazing fees for twenty years and that it culminated in an armed standoff. A clip of former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack was played, where he stated that they planned on placing women on the frontline to get shot in order to make some kind of point about the evilness of the federal government. This culminated in Stewart offering up a new mock segment for the show title ‘I Don’t Get It,’ brought to you by ‘Ehh.’
At this point, Stewart wondered, “How is this guy a hero?” A clip is aired of Bundy saying he doesn’t believe that the US government actually exists. This led to a pretty funny moment where Stewart pretends he is Bundy waxing philosophical, discussing Descartes and the true meaning of laws and whether or not we are all just brains in a jar. This is followed up with a video clip of Bundy riding a horse waving a US flag proclaiming his victory. The irony wasn’t lost on Stewart, as he pointed out the extreme hypocrisy shown by a man waving the flag of a nation he claims he doesn’t believe in. At least the Confederacy was able to come up with their own flag.
However, Stewart really turned up the heat when he shifted to one of his favorite targets: Hannity. He questioned who would actually be on Bundy’s side, considering that no courts, state or federal, support any of Bundy’s claims. On queue, a video of Hannity was shown. Stewart then tore Hannity apart, showing his obvious duplicity and insincerity when it came to his support of Cliven Bundy.
First, Stewart pondered the thought of only following laws that you want to follow, much like Bundy is doing with the grazing fees. He then aired clips of Hannity chastising guests on his show for cherry-picking laws. The Daily Show host then wanted to know how Hannity felt about people not giving up, even though they’ve lost in court, much like Bundy has done several times. Of course, we were shown times where Hannity ripped into guests telling them they’ve lost in court and it’s time to give up.
Stewart wasn’t done with Hannity. Stewart wondered how Hannity would feel about people not paying their fair share to the government and scamming the system. This was followed by a clip of Hannity with Fox News’ favorite red herring, the Food Stamp Surfer. Finally, Stewart posits that perhaps Hannity is just enamored with Bundy’s cowboy hat, since everything else Bundy stands for Hannity has railed against in the past. A picture of Bundy is then changed to make him appear like an Occupy protester. Of course, we then see a clip of Hannity criticizing Occupy protesters for trespassing and breaking the law.
“How far out there is Hannity?”, Stewart asked. A Glenn Beck clip was aired with Beck interviewing Bundy. During the interview, Beck called Bundy a ‘welfare rancher’ and told him that grazing fees are pretty much the norm for ranchers. Stewart then exclaimed, “Sean Hannity has now made Glenn Beck the voice of reason!” Stewart ended the hilarious and piercing segment by pointedly telling Bundy, who has compared himself with the Founding Fathers, the following: “Dude, you’re a welfare rancher trying to pull off the largest cattle dine and dash.”
While Stewart was off the air last week when the Bundy fracas was major news, he made up for it in his first show back by providing a biting takedown of Hannity’s backing of a freeloading lawbreaker like Bundy. In fact, by being a few days removed from the story, Stewart was able to provide a nice, all-encompassing review of the idiocy surrounding Hannity’s embrace of Bundy, as well as giving the audience a fully thought out opinion of Bundy’s views and perspective.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).