'Jon Stewart Shoots Self In Foot' While Talking Gun Control With Bob Costas

Washington Post TV writer Lisa de Moraes wrote that Daily Show host Jon Stewart "shot himself in the foot" when interviewing NBC's Bob Costas on Monday night's show. They discussed all the fuss Costas caused by pompously editorializing during a halftime break on NBC about how handguns never accomplish anything good.

Costas told Stewart he’d been let off the hook when “Newtown happened.” He said Newtown, “as horribly tragic as that was, if it did redirect the debate and people are now at least somewhat more willing to think about this rationally and compassionately…then that is a good thing.” Don't you love how liberalism equals rational and compassionate thinking? The Post writer reported Stewart pulled the gun on his own foot by bringing up pop culture:

“How do we change the culture then?” Stewart asked earnestly. “Is it that guns look cool? Is it real self protection? Is it real Second Amendment rights, or the idea, ‘I’ve seen enough movies to know if I go in somewhere and do this?” Stewart asked, making a gun-in-hand
hipster gesture.

This is a slippery slope for Stewart, given that any discussion of gun culture invariably touches on violent movies and video games and that his show is one of advertisers' fave places to promote those products because he attracts a high concentration of young male viewers.

And, sure enough, Costas went there: "Right now, everywhere you look there is a commercial for a . . . Sly Stallone movie called 'Bullet to the Head,' " Costas responded.

This was awkward because, immediately before Costas came on stage to chat with Stewart, "The Daily Show" ran a "Bullet to the Head" ad.

"Bullet to the Head," as its title suggests, stars Stallone as a hitman who teams with a young Washington detective after they're brought together by two vicious murders; together they exact Revenge.

It was the show's second ad break. The first one featured a commercial for another guys-with-big-guns flick: "A Good Day to Die Hard," in which Bruce Willis reprises his John McClane role - this time traveling to Russia to get his son out of the slammer, only to become caught up in a terrorist plot.

(The third and final ad break featured a plug for yet another guys-with-big-guns flick, "Snitch." Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson plays a dad who cuts a deal with the U.S. attorney's office to infiltrate a drug cartel after his son is wrongfully arrested for distributing drugs and sentenced to 10 years in the hoosegow - though we had no way of knowing that while Costas was prattling away about "Bullet to the Head.")

Anyway, the reference to a media landscape littered with "Bullet to the Head" ads seemed to make Stewart uncomfortable. Or maybe we're giving him too much credit.

"That's a working title," Stewart began to joke/soft-shoe, adding: "Once you've thrown Mama from the train, what difference does it make?"

Costas chuckled. "There are many aspects to this," he acknowledged.

The moment was gone.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis