The Daily Show despite its news trappings is a comedy show and has had a difficult time dealing with the recent cases of police killings of black people. They could not ignore these stories since they were so huge but at the same time, how can you get humor out of tragedy especially when the events are so recent? They managed to do so with the events in Ferguson but the failure of a grand jury to indict the New York police officer who killed the unarmed Eric Garner when he posed no threat to anyone was too much for Jon Stewart to handle and he simply threw his hands in the air and allowed himself to editorialize about tragedy and humor.
(This clip aired on December 3, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes covered the demonstrations in NYC and shows a video clip of the time when Eric Garner is motionless on the sidewalk while the EMTs are on their way. You see at the 3:00 mark a man in the background playfully waving to the camera and then later you learn that it was the police officer who had put the chokehold on Garner, a chilling reminder of how casually he viewed what he had done to him.