Jon Stewart on Thursday again jumped to the defense of Barack Obama, slamming those who questioned the cheering at Wednesday's memorial for the Arizona shooting. After playing a clip of Michelle Malkin complaining about the event, he derided the conservative: "You're not a primitive nematode, capable only of autonomic response to outside stimuli. You have a choice."
Trading jokes for straightforward insults, Stewart mocked, "You went to Oberlin." (Malkin attended Oberlin College.)
The liberal comedian expressed outrage over the fact that Brit Hume dared refer to the blessing, involving feathers and given by the University of Arizona's Carlos Gonzales, as "peculiar." Stewart mocked, "Yeah, yeah, I like my benediction like I like my coffee. Christian!"
[See Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Shifting into an impression of Hume, he continued, "I got to say, I also think the people of Arizona made a dire mistake afterwards eating sandwiches and a corn pancake instead of on a more American slice of bread."
The Comedy Central host even defended those who hooted and cheered throughout the service: "I have never been sadder and laughed harder in my life. And I got news for you guys, amen ain't that far from woohoo!"
This certainly seems to be a far different Stewart than the comic who bashed George W. Bush for almost everything. Remember, Stewart is often credited for speaking "truth to power."
A transcript of the January 14 segment, which aired at 11:01am EST, follows:
JON STEWART: It was a message not lost on the purveyors the of the next news cycle who across political lines roundly praised the President's speech for nearly two to three minutes before allowing politics, point scoring and pettiness to kick off the reunion tour.
CORNELL BELCHER (Democratic strategist): We saw Barack Obama at his finest.
UNIDENTIFIED: President Obama did a wonderful job.
MARC THIESSEN (Bush speechwriter): I thought that speech was particularly courageous.
MICHELLE MALKIN: You do have to question the timing of it.
STEWART: No, no, you don't have to. You're not a primitive nematode, capable only of autonomic response to outside stimuli. You have a choice. You went to Oberlin. Yes, once it had been established that the President successfully delivered a healthy infusion of support, inspiration and comfort to a community in dire need there was nothing left to do, but just really wonder about the seating arrangement.
BRIAN KILMEADE: I thought it was kinda strange that they didn't put the people that tackled, that tackled the shooter and knocked away Ms. Masch [sp?] why weren't they in the first two rows?
STEVE DOOCY: Absolutely. It would have been better if they had them in the front row.
STEWART: Yeah, yeah that would have made it much better. That would have made it a better show. But, you know, it's a memorial service, not the Emmys. Even the blessing, by Dr. Carlos Gonzales, a member of the U of A faculty and the Yaqui tribe came under scrutiny.
CARLOS GONZALES: Oh, creator, I have come to give a blessing.
KILMEADE: The Native American who opened up the show which I found very strange.
STEWART: It's not a show! He didn't open up a show! It's mourning with a U. You are confusing a morning show which you are on with a show of mourning which is what this is. Didn't you wonder why no one threw to commercial? Veteran journalist Brit Hume was even more perplexed.
HUME: Gonzales, who by the time it was over with, he had blessed, you know, the reptiles of the sea, prayed to the four doors of the building, and while I'm sure that's all, that's an honorable tradition with his people, it was most peculiar.
STEWART: Yeah, yeah, I like my benediction like I like my coffee. Christian! [Doing Brit Hume impression.] I got to say, I also think the people of Arizona made a dire mistake afterwards eating sandwiches and a corn pancake instead of on a more American slice of bread.
STEWART: but if there was one thing everyone agreed on it was that the memorial service audience. [bleeped] it up for everyone.
ALISYN CAMEROTA: The students at the University of Arizona didn't get the message. They thought they were at a pep rally.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER:: The audience, mostly students was reacting with cheers and yells in what was supposed to be, intended to be a very solemn memorial.
DAVID GERGEN: But, instead, it turned into much more of a pep rally.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You can either have a pep rally or a memorial service. You can't have both at the same time.
STEWART: Have you ever been to an Irish wake? I have never been sadder and laughed harder in my life. And I got news for you guys, amen ain't that far from woohoo!
— Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.