Jon Stewart speaks out about Tucson tragedy
January 11th, 2011
12:19 PM ET

Jon Stewart speaks out about Tucson tragedy

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."

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Cassie


    January 14, 2011 at 4:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tim

    WOW! NOONE dishes out more hatred than the left, just read their comments on these blogs! I'm sick of hearing about the right-its BOTH! However neither is the cause of this anymore than musical lyrics are the cause of suicide or violence. The kid was crazy pure and simple and it's reprehensible to try to main political leverage through such a horrific situation and show even more how full of hatred the left and media are! Just saying!

    January 12, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. D

    @Jezmundberserker-I bet you wouldn't be bitter and cynical if this tragic event had affected you directly as it did so to me-so shut the F*#@ up!

    January 11, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. heycarrieann

    There is a time for levity and a time for seriousness. His comments were well timed and well said. Thanks Jon for showing the rest of them how it should be done.

    January 11, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. lol

    Jon Stewart shows what a class act he truly is. Well done, Mr. Stewart.

    January 11, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ricky

    Jon Stewart is the most trusted news commentator in America today in no small part because he isn't an official news commentator. Walter Cronkite is smiling down on you, Jon, for so eloquently saying in your Tuscon monologue "that's the way it is".

    January 11, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Terri

    True class. Unlike, some who rem ain nameless, but you know who they are.... Great job John, Stephen and the writing staff.

    January 11, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Gary

    Well spoken. It would have been easy for him to come out at bash someone or a group, like so many others seem the need to do. He instead thought through a tragic and complex event and presented a thoughtful response. I would others on all sides of the political spectrum would step back and take a deep breath and think before they speak.

    January 11, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Monica

    Joh Stewart is a voice of compassion and reason. Increasingly, I look to him to distill the meaning of events. The fact that he manages to make me laugh in the process is wonderful. What a smart, wonderful guy.

    January 11, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Doug

    I usually watch the daily show because there is nothing on in the middle of the day. This came on again this afternoon and I just stopped what I was doing because to hear Jon not make a joke right away, and to have him be able to say what he did the way he did was absolutely impressive and I hope that he and others like him never stop being able to cut out the jokes and seriously talk about something when the time is right.

    January 11, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Paige Audia

    I'm from Tucson and I have been so consumed with grief and a lack of understanding that I have not been able to put into words how I feel. In true Mr. Stewart fashion, he was able to articulate what I need to say. Jon, you truly are a great communicator. Kudos!

    January 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. YAY JOHN

    it's a very tough topic to talk about for manny, especially if you're to talk about it on television. but i'm extremely happy how well John Stewart and his team of writers have handled such a tragic subject. THANK YOU JOHN STEWART TEAM!!!!! 😀

    January 11, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jezmundberserker

    So, Glenn Beck and his Nazi-Communist-Gold conspiracies get a free pass, again.

    January 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      It seems you're part of the "toxic political environment" that Mr. Stewart was talking about.

      January 11, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Pliny

    John...thanks for the dose-of-dignity.

    January 11, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. San Jose

    I watch the Daily Show every night, and I was interested to see how Stewart would handle this. I think he, along with his writers, did an amazing job speaking about the tragedy. Colbert did a great job as well. I was very impressed, as always, with these two.

    January 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |

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