The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart became serious in a rare moment on Thursday. A somber mood overtook both the host and the show as Stewart spent five and a half minutes delivering a somber monologue about the Charleston church shooting.
“I have one job and it’s a pretty simple job,” Jon Stewart said Thursday night as he launched into his thoughts on the massacre that took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. “I come in the morning and we look at the news, and I write jokes about it.”
“But I didn’t do my job today. So I apologize,” the Daily Show host continued. “I got nothing for you…because of what happened in South Carolina.”
Jon Stewart expressed his heartache and exuded a sense of despair when he looked to the coming days and what he expects will amount to ‘a largely non-response by Americans to the attack.’
He said he is baffled by “the disparity of response between when we think people that are foreign are going to kill us and us killing ourselves,” referring, of course, to the threat of Islamist extremism, both in the U.S. and abroad.
“This is a terrorist attack,” Stewart said of the Charleston shooting. “This is a violent attack on the Emanuel church in South Carolina, which is a symbol for the black community. It has stood in that part of Charleston for a hundred and some years and has been attacked viciously many times as many black churches have.”
The one time in this monologue that Jon Stewart elicited laughter from his audience came in a moment of bittersweet truth that likely hit everyone who listened to him right between the eyes. If it didn’t, then it fell on deaf ears.
“I’m confident, though, that by acknowledging it and staring into that, and seeing it for what it is–we still won’t do jack s–t,” he said.
— Variety (@Variety) June 19, 2015
In keeping with the somber mood of the evening, Jon Stewart segued from his monologue about the Charleston church shooting into an interview with 17-year-old Nobel peace prize-winner and human rights activist, Malala Yousafzai.
Those who follow Jon Stewart and are fans of The Daily Show no doubt realize they captured a rare segment where reality trumped humor–and Stewart slammed racism in this country–hard.