Last night on The Daily Show, as part of his ‘Doubtbreak ’09” segment, Jon Stewart sarcastically pilloried the news media’s coverage of H1N1 and the imminent availability of a swine flu vaccine, especially FNC’s Glenn Beck. Stewart pointed out to Beck that, “I think the virus is more interested in killing you than the government is.”
Here is the video:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Doubt Break ’09|
While CNN’s Gupta and Cooper came in for some light teasing over sharing their actual experience with the disease, along with other CNN talking heads trying to stir up some excitement over the vaccine, it was only the sarcasm warm-up for ripping into Fox News’ Glenn Beck. This was exemplified by his rhetorical question, “Can anyone develop a vaccine that inoculates against scaring?” Steward added, “Perhaps no one embodies this fear mongering ethos better than Dr. Glennithan Beck, MD.”
Stewart then goes on to ridicule Beck’s comments, noting how Beck distorts the issue and misses the real point, when Stewart adds, “I always thought the main question was does the vaccine promote the growth of H1N1 antibodies, that could help ward off infection. I think the virus is more interested in killing you than the government is.”
In contrast, Stewart labels Fox News Bill O’Reilly as the new “sane guy”, for his questioning of Beck’s intentions regarding getting a flu shot. When Beck plays coy about his decision to get or not get the vaccine, it is the perfect set up for Stewart to point out that Beck was not so shy when it came to discussing his “ass surgery on You-tube”, lambasting Beck for now, suddenly, deciding to be “a little bit more discrete and lady-like”.
Stewart builds to a great finale for this segment, with his For versus Against arguments for getting a swine flu vaccination, listing on the For side, Protects, Found Safe, and Can Keep You From Infecting (those most vulnerable to the swine flu). Listed arguments on the Against side were Government Out To Get You, Science Out To Get You, and Look Behind You! Kudos to Stewart for so effectively puncturing the efforts of the conservative voices to fear monger, sensationalize and generally try to exploit topics instead of covering them objectively and fairly.