January 11th, 2011
12:19 PM ET
In light of the tragedy in Tucson, Jon Stewart kept the jokes to a minimum during "The Daily Show's" opening monologue last night.
"It's hard to know what to say. Obviously the events this weekend in Arizona weigh heavily," he said. "I can give you a typical compilation of the day's news excesses, but it doesn't really seem appropriate."
Instead, Stewart tried to make sense of Saturday's shootings, which killed six and injured 14 others.
"Did the toxic political environment cause this? A graphic image here, an ill-timed comment, violent rhetoric — those sort of things?" he asked. "We live in a complex ecosystem of influences and motivations, and I wouldn't blame our political rhetoric any more than I would blame heavy metal music for Columbine."
Stewart said it should only be so easy to say one thing was directly responsible for the other.
"Boy would it be nice to be able to draw a straight line of causation from this horror to something tangible, because then we could convince ourselves that if we just stopped this, the horrors will end," he explained. "To have the feeling, however fleeting, that this type of event can be prevented forever. But it's hard not to feel like it can't. You cannot outsmart crazy… crazy always seems to find a way. It always has."
Still, Stewart refuses to give in to despair.
"There is light in this situation," he insisted. "I urge everyone: Read up about those who were injured or killed; you will be comforted about [how] much anonymous goodness there is in the world... you realize people that you don't even know and have never even met are leading lives of real dignity and goodness. And you hear about crazy, but it is rarer than you think."
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