Never let it be said that Jon Stewart allowed a chance to slam the Fox News Channel slip through his fingers -- even when to do so, he has to apologize for making a blunder on The Daily Show on the Comedy Central cable television channel
During his Monday evening edition, the liberal host said he was sorry for including Dante Parker of San Bernardino County in California in a list of black men who were recently shot and killed by white police officers.
That error on Friday night quickly drew fire from Mike Ramos, the county district attorney, who charged Stewart “was so wrong” about the facts in the case that he demanded an on-air apology.
As part of a segment entitled “A Single Factual Error,” Stewart did apologize but stated what drove him crazy was the idea that his “sloppiness” was being used by Fox News to avoid having a conversation about race and the police.
“That's what's so tough about working in media 'counter-errorism,'” he said. “The Daily Show has to be right 100 percent of the time. Fox only has to be right once.”
Stewart began Monday's segment by stating: “Now some of you may have noticed last week, we had sort of an impromptu theme week focusing on systemic injustice, and one of its important side-effects, remember?”
He then replayed a clip in which he sarcastically called the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., “an isolated incident” like the killings of other black men in such places as Cleveland, Ohio; San Bernardino County and Pasadena, California; and New Orleans, Louisiana.
“As you saw, one of the examples that we used, out of many, came from San Bernardino County, California. Now, the DA there had some issues with this 'Jon Stewart feller's' report.”
Ramos was then shown stating:
Jon Stewart .. talked about sheriff deputies shooting Dante Parker in our county. He was so wrong about those facts. They did not shoot him, they tasered him after he had committed a burglary, and he was attempting to assault a deputy sheriff.
We later found that he was under the influence of many types of drugs, which was the cause of his death. We need to get our facts straight before we start making statements like that.
Stewart responded: “All right, two things! One, why is your set nicer than mine?” Before discussing the second item, he hesitated for several moments before admitting: “District attorney Ramos was right about that; we were wrong.”
“I f**king hate making errors like this,” he continued before saying “Stupid, stupid, stupid” while slapping his forehead three times.
He also stated: “Now, rather than having to have the uncomfortable conversation about a judicial system that may be biased or a disturbing pattern of unarmed black men being shot by police or a certain element of militarization of force that's crept into some aspects of law enforcement culture, my stupidity, my sloppiness … can become an opportunity to negate the entire conversation, and shift it back to slightly safer, let's say, less nuanced ground.”
A clip from the Fox & Friends morning show then appeared, with co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck stating: “Coming up on the program, Jon Stewart uses his show to slam the cops.”
“That's what I'm talking about,” Stewart shouted, “and I can't even fight back! ... Because of 'one factual error' that in no way changed the preponderance of evidence in the piece -- but you know what? I have no one to blame but me.”
“That's what's so tough about working in media 'counter-errorism,'” the host grumbled. “The Daily Show has to be right 100 percent of the time. Fox only has to be right once.”
The liberal host also asserted: “You can truly grieve for every officer who's been lost in the line of duty in this country and still be troubled by cases of police overreach. Those two ideas are not mutually exclusive.”
He then ran a fictitious version of himself on Friday wearing a huge mustache and cape while declaring: “All cops are evil!”
“The point is this,” Stewart stated: “Raising these issues is not the same thing as denigrating the police.”
Ramos was then shown during an edition of Fox & Friends discussing the Comedy Central host:
He talks about a bigger picture. The bigger picture for me is men and women of the honorable profession of law enforcement and how they're being attacked in this time period in the United States.
Regarding factual errors, the liberal host's assertion that Fox News “only has to be right once” in its 24/7 schedule is nothing short of ludicrous. Meanwhile, Stewart's program only airs for 30 minutes five nights a week. So who's really under pressure to be right all the time?