Given how many young people say they get all or most of their news from Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show,” it’s too bad Stewart’s not more scrupulous about the truth of his comedy. Case in point: A six-minute segment Wednesday night in which Stewart mocked the family-owned Christian business Hobby Lobby, calling it “Jesus Christ Superstore.”
In the segment, Stewart misrepresented the case, saying Hobby Lobby was “denying its workers contraception.” Stewart also mischaracterized Hobby Lobby’s position, claiming that it’s owners, the Greens, believed any type of contraception was tantamount to abortion. “Contraception is not the same thing as abortion. That’s a scientific fact,” Stewart condescended.
Stewart went on to ridicule Hobby Lobby’s lawyer Paul Clement assuming men had no legitimate reason to argue against this case because they couldn’t get pregnant: “Sure there's no compelling interest to Hobby Lobby's lawyer Paul Clement, he’s got a penis. Babies rarely grow inside of those.” Continues after the clip.
Stewart even went so far as to insinuate anti-semitism on the part of Christian business owners who want to run their company according to their Biblically-based beliefs.
In reality, Hobby Lobby owners the Green family, already pay for employees to access 16 different types of contraception that are required under the HHS Mandate. The Greens only contest four additional types of contraception which they consider abortifacients, such as Plan B (“the morning-after pill”) and IUDs.
These drugs stop the fertilized egg from implanting in the woman’s uterine wall. This process is considered by many religious people to end a human life, which is why the Greens are against paying for these drugs in their employees health insurance plans.
Stewart gets to say what he wants under the guise of satire, and that’s as it should be. But he’s also a smart guy, who should have the intellectual honesty not to misrepresent a serious moral issue to an audience that, sadly, won’t learn about it anywhere else.
But Stewart is afar from an equal opportunity satirist. As Newsbusters’ Matt Hadro discovered, “The Daily Show” mocks conservatives 10 times as often as liberals.
Watch the full segment below.