Speaking of laughingstocks…how about the vice president?

Two thoughts on watching this video: Dick Cheney is a contemptible tool, and Jon Stewart is one of those national treasures who makes me think being an American isn’t so shameful after all.


  1. says

    There’s nothing shameful about being an American, PZ– I don’t agree with practically anything this administration has done– but I’m not about to let their BS keep me from being proud of my country. It’s beautiful, and still full of lots of good people and ideas. Don’t forget it! –DaveX

  2. Caledonian says

    Unless you have something to do with its beauty and ideas, you have no cause to be proud of any country. Do you flatter yourself by being proud of Jupiter’s Great Storm? The shape of the Milky Way? The atomic weight of boron?

  3. Christian Burnham says

    Stewart has worn out his schtick. No-one can do effective satire four nights a week for several years running. It’s getting so tired.

    Don’t forget the fawning interviews with McCain, or the night when Stewart gave Santorum a free-pass. (And of course, Stewart appears to give all Dems a free-pass.)

    Oh- and I get the joke (that’s repeated every single night) that the Daily Show reporters ‘ironically’ take the stoopid right-wing hick stance, and Stewart gets to play the straight man. Yawn.

    Perhaps it’s an unfair comparison- but Maher’s show is far more biting. Also- HBO and Maher have the good sense to restrict Maher to one hour a week, several weeks a year.

    (Oh, but the DIck Cheney bit was excellent. Stewart is a great comedian- I’m just saying that he’s overused.)

  4. BlueIndependent says

    “National treasure”…I used those exact words when I first saw this clip earlier this afternoon on C&L. The Darth part is soda-through-the-nose funny.

  5. says


    Are you confusing natural wonders with human creations? And hell yes, I’ve had something to do with this country being great! I create art, I participate in my community, I’m a citizen furthering the common cause of enriching humanity through an ongoing multi-layered dialogue… there’s really no end to what good people in any nation can be proud of, to be honest. I’m sick of this notion that just because we have a moron for a president means we should be ashamed to be Americans. I’m not about to tell you that there isn’t a HUGE amount of work that needs to be done to fix serious national problems– but I also have a real belief that Americans are up to the challenge. Maybe instead of showing off (c’mon– boron? Was carbon too gauche?) you should think about what YOU could do to help out. Then maybe you’d find something to be proud of as well. –DaveX

  6. MattL says

    The trick to not getting tired of the Daily Show is only watch once in a while. I couldn’t stand to try and watch it every night of the week.

  7. says

    I think Caledonian is proud of being the most prolific commenter at Pharyngula; like it was beyond his control and beyond his ken.

    Just my opinion.

  8. says

    Don’t forget the fawning interviews with McCain, or the night when Stewart gave Santorum a free-pass. (And of course, Stewart appears to give all Dems a free-pass.)

    Stewart has his flukes for sure, but he still asks tougher and more intelligent questions than just about every anchor on cable news or the networks. And I wouldn’t agree that he gives “all Dems a free pass”. He certainly didn’t give Schumer a free pass when he tried to make the ridiculous claim that Republican under-performance was the result of their “hatred” of government. And in the end we all seem to forget that Stewart is still a comic, albeit one that we’ve come to expect a lot from due to the dismal state of our media outside of a scant few outfits (e.g., The New Yorker, The Nation, Harper’s, etc.)

  9. says

    Jon Stewart always reminds me that not all American are dumb and ignorant red-necks. He’s one of the most funny men in the world. She should be president, and Scott Adams vice-president!

  10. Jason Spaceman says

    If you want dumb and ignorant you have to read Pat Boone’s latest at WingNutDaily. Yes, a 1950’s has-been crooner feels he knows more about biological evolution than scientists.

  11. QrazyQat says

    Not only is Sonja Vader gay, she can make anyone else gay just with the power of her mind.

    But then so can Ellen Degeneres, so watch it.

  12. says

    As it happens, I am responsible for the atomic weight of boron. All the non-metals and metalloids, actually. Except iodine, which was done by somebody else while I was on break. I thought Group 16 (oxygen, sulfur, selenium, tellurium) worked out especially well.

  13. Caledonian says

    Stewart also tends to give people lots of rope in the hope that they’ll hang themselves. When a guest looks particularly foolish, but hasn’t made Stewart angry, he’ll often just let the audience draw their own conclusions.

    He only seems to go for the throat when he’s personally offended by the nonsense.

  14. says

    I’m a comedian, for God’s sake. Viewers shouldn’t trust me. And you know what? They’re hip enough to know they shouldn’t trust me. I’m just doing stand-up comedy. – Dennis Miller

  15. llewelly says

    Jessica, do you admit to deliberately creating only radioactive isotopes of Polonium? Would Marie Skłodowska-Curie have lived a little longer if not your bloody hands?

  16. remy says

    One can be both proud and ashamed of the behaviour of one’s country. It is the tendency toward either-or thinking that has polarized America. Cut it out.

  17. says


    PZ said “makes me think being an American isn’t so shameful after all.”

    This is quite a bit different than saying he is ashamed of SOME American’s BEHAVIOR.

    You either ARE proud of yourself or not. In my opinion, its the lazy sentiment that we can have something whichever way is most convenient (or hell, BOTH ways!) that screws things up more than polarized opinions.

    What’s up with this, anyway? A successful professor (free to share his atheist viewpoint, and maybe even make a bit of money with a book) who is ashamed to be an American, and another fellow essentially saying that having a strong opinion is wrong? I think you SHOULD be ashamed, but not for any of the reasons you’ve mentioned.

  18. says

    Jessica, do you admit to deliberately creating only radioactive isotopes of Polonium? Would Marie Skłodowska-Curie have lived a little longer if not your bloody hands?

    Yes and no. I set the weights, but determining which isotopes would be radioactive was the job of the Weak Nuclear Force Department, down the hall from me, and they have strange senses of humor (Didn’t you always wonder about technetium and promethium?). My suggestion, which they promised to take under advisement, had been for Po-209 to be stable.

  19. Johnny Vector says

    Setting nuclear weights, eh? I thought that was God’s job. Anyway, I did see the following in the guest sign-in book at the Princeton physics building one long-ago Saturday:

    Time in: 9:00 AM
    Time out: 9:05 AM
    Name: God
    Comments: I changed the fine structure constant. Ha ha.

    I had to completely start over on my Lamb Shift measurements. That guy is a bastard!

  20. Keanus says

    No satirists can be “on” for every show with new material. Some takes fall flat and some cut to the core with the precision of a rapier. In that spirit I’m quick to tune out Stewart if he doesn’t grab me in the first few minutes.

    But Cheney’s performance on CNN this week just begged to be satirized; in fact it was so inviting that I almost wondered if Cheney was a closet fan of Stewart’s who felt the need to get him material. Whatever the genesis of it, Stewart’s Darth Vader bit had my wife and me laughing so hard our dog wondered if we’d lost our senses. And his interview with Chuck Schumer was no cakewalk for Schumer, as much as he wanted to push his new book. Stewart derided Schumer’s subtitle mercilessly and made it hard for Schumer to get a word in edgewise, a feat with any politician, especially one who likes the mike as much as Schumer.