Jon Stewart on Beck's remark to Keith Ellison: "Finally, a guy who says what people who aren't thinking are thinking"

Video ››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER

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On the November 16 edition of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart addressed a recent remark that CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck made to Rep.-elect Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim ever elected to Congress. As noted by Media Matters for America, Beck said: "I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.' " After airing Beck's comment, Stewart declared: "Finally, a guy who says what people who aren't thinking are thinking."

On the previous day's program, Stewart addressed a report from Fox News' On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, in which, as Media Matters also noted, Fox News correspondent Steve Harrigan underwent what he described as three "phase[s]" of the controversial interrogation technique known as "waterboarding" on camera. Harrigan concluded that the technique is "a pretty efficient mechanism to get someone to talk and then still have them alive and healthy within minutes." After airing Harrigan's conclusion, Stewart stated: "You know, it's nice to see a reporter discussing waterboarding with the same enthusiasm Ron Popeil uses for his oven roaster."

From the November 16 edition of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:

STEWART: But enough about the war in Iraq. There's also a battle being waged to protect our homeland. Because the Army can't be everywhere, it's up to concerned citizens like CNN's Glenn Beck to spot possible enemy combatants, like Keith Ellison, a newly minted Minnesota representative and the first Muslim ever elected to U.S. Congress.

BECK [video clip]: No offense, and I know Muslims. I like Muslims. I've been to mosques.

STEWART: This, uh, is not going to end well.

BECK [video clip]: I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, "Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies."

And I know you're not. I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way.

STEWART: Finally, a guy who says what people who aren't thinking are thinking.

[laughter]

The congressman stuck -- the congressman --

[applause]

The congressman stuck to his guns -- not that he has guns!

[begin video clip]

ELLIS: There's no one who is more patriotic than I am. And so, you know, I don't need to -- need to prove my patriotic stripes.

BECK: I understand that. And I'm not asking you to.

[end video clip]

STEWART: I'm just asking you to.

[laughter]

Just like as a conservative white guy, the burden is on me to prove to you I've neither blown up a federal building with a fertilizer bomb, nor sucked off a gay hooker in the men's room of a Denny's.

From the November 15 edition of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:

STEWART: But my hunger for seeing what's almost definitely torture isn't satisfied. I want -- nay, demand -- waterboarding!

Yeah! That's the snuff! That's Fox News' Steve Harrigan cutting right to the chase.

HARRIGAN [video clip]: So many people have been talking about waterboarding over the past couple of weeks -- is it torture, should the U.S. use it -- we left those questions on the side.

STEWART: On the side! Is it torture? Should the U.S. use it? You know, the ethical debate is a dish best served like ranch dressing.

[laughter]

I'm sorry, Steve, you were drowning?

[begin video clip]

MAN: Ready to talk?

HARRIGAN: No.

MAN: Come on.

HARRIGAN: I'm starting not to like these guys in the black masks.

[end video clip]

STEWART: Yes, you know, I find that often if I see someone wearing a black mask and I'm not sitting on a ski lift, something bad is about to happen. So rarely do you see someone in a black mask bring you something you like.

[laughter]

So if you're not saying waterboarding is or is not inhumane, what is it exactly?

HARRIGAN [video clip]: To me, this seemed like a pretty efficient mechanism to get someone to talk and then still have them alive and healthy within minutes.

STEWART: You know, it's nice to see a reporter discussing waterboarding with the same enthusiasm Ron Popeil uses for his oven roaster.

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