Jon Stewart Doubles Down, Says Trump Is Source Of Cancel Culture

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 24: Jon Stewart attends the 23rd Annual Mark Twain Prize For American Humor at The Kennedy Center on April 24, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Jon Stewart fashions himself a court jester, but often he’s just a fool.

Consider his bewildering take on cancel culture, which the press often cites with either scare quotes or prefaced by “so-called.”

There’s nothing imaginary about it.

Tell that to Stewart, who in 2021 claimed it was just a myth, a mirage. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

People that talk about cancel culture never seem to shut the f*** up about it…Like, there’s more speech now than ever before. It’s not ‘you can’t say it,’ it’s that when you say it—look, the internet has democratized criticism. What do we do for a living—we talk s***, we criticize, we postulate, we opine, we make jokes, and now other people are having their say. And that’s not cancel culture, that’s relentlessness. We live in a relentless culture. And the system of the internet and all those other things are incentivized to find the pressure points of that and exacerbate it.

Roseanne Barr would like a word. She might be the most infamous cancel culture victim, her career and signature show erased for one racially charged tweet for which she immediately apologized.

Or four rebel comics canceled by a Seattle comedy club for telling the “wrong” jokes.

Or a white male comedian allegedly canceled by his management for being a white male comedian.

Or a conservative comedian allegedly canceled by a comedy club for being a conservative comedian.

Or the jokes never told because comedians censor themselves to avoid cancellation.

Or sitcoms memory holed for blackface-themed gags. Or a beloved episode of “Fawlty Towers” temporarily shelved by the BBC for racist language. The bit in question mocked racism, but never mind.

Both shows and humans get canceled by the mob, and Stewart pretended it didn’t exist.

His talking points had a short shelf life.

Later that same year, Stewart defended fellow comedian Dave Chappelle after cancel culture came for him. Chappelle’s Netflix special “The Closer” featured jokes targeting the trans community, along with a longer bit that paid homage to a late trans comic. His white-hot career and legacy seemed on the verge of collapse.

The media savaged his shtick. Netflix employees picketed their own company. 

Stewart rushed to his pal’s defense.

…. he’s one of my favorite people on the planet and he’s just a good, decent… – you know, if there is any miscommunication, I’m sure that – I love that dude, like as a person.

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 13: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been digitally enhanced) Comedians Dave Chappelle and Jon Stewart kick off a limited three-city run at Wang Theatre at Boch Center on June 13, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Pilot Boy)

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Pilot Boy

Stewart thought added context could save Chappelle. He forgot the Barr example.

She has said she went out of her way to hire minority writers on “Roseanne” to improve the show’s diversity. Former “Roseanne” scribe Norm Macdonald backed up that claim. That context couldn’t save her career from cancel culture.

Chappelle’s special could have been canceled by Netflix. Few would have been surprised by that turn of events and imagine the chilling impact it might have had on his fellow comedians.

Gosh, if the comedy GOAT like Chappelle can be canceled, what about his peers?

Shockingly, Netflix stood tall and defended the comedian.

Cancel culture was real then. It’s real now. Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker can tell us all about it, from the Change.org petition demanding the team fire him for his pro-Catholic views to sports scribes echoing those demands.

Stewart picked an odd time to re-engage with the cancel culture conversation. He did it, of course, to smite Donald Trump and the Right.

Screenshot: The Daily Show/YouTube.

Screenshot: The Daily Show/YouTube.

The former and current “Daily Show” host once dabbled in bipartisan yuks. Now, those moments are increasingly rare. He’s more akin to the Colbert School of Comedy. Propaganda, not satire.

Case in point: He brought up Butker’s imbroglio to once again claim cancel culture is about accountability, not punishment. Why a Catholic must be held accountable for sharing Catholic beliefs at a Catholic college wasn’t cited in his rant.

He once again summoned his favorite strawman, that we’re “surrounded by and inundated with more speech than has ever existed in the history of communication” to deny cancel culture’s existence. Yes, but that doesn’t negate the chilling effects cancel culture has on both comedy and the culture at large.

He doubled down, saying cancel culture doesn’t exist. It’s just a cudgel wielded by the Right.

Because the idea that there is an all-pervasive, all-powerful threat to free speech called ‘cancel culture’ has become a central tenet of modern conservatism. They celebrate their being silenced at conferences. They celebrate their being silenced on podcasts and streaming outlets. They celebrate their being silenced with over 700 book titles about ‘being canceled’. Why are there so many of these f***ing books?

Stewart pivoted to Orange Man Bad to placate the show’s clapping seals. Turns out the real cancel culture is happening on the Right, and it’s all Trump’s fault.

Anyone who dares speak out against him, or refuses to buy into Trump’s stolen election claims, you’ll lose your job like Liz Cheney or countless others…In fact, everything the right says cancel culture does to them is actually being done by MAGA.

Countless others? How are political realities the same as cancel culture? Wasn’t Cheney’s plight the most extreme example of a politician betraying her own party over and again and being voted out of office?

It’s deflection. It’s insincere. And it ignores the obvious truth. Cancel culture is a product of the Left.

Why would Stewart deny it? Because he’s felt the Left’s wrath more than once, and he knows he better steer clear of it if he still wants to keep peddling jokes on fancy TV shows.

In 2021 Stewart enraged the Left by saying, on “The Late Show” no less, that COVID likely came from the lab where the virus originated. He was shocked by the fallout from that comic rant.

My bigger problem with that was I thought it was a pretty good bit that expressed kind of how I felt, and the two things that came out of it were I’m racist against Asian people, and how dare I align myself with the alt-right.

Sounds not-so-MAGA like.

More recently, he returned to “The Daily Show” and admitted that President Joe Biden is old, frail, and far from a strong candidate for re-election. The backlash from the Left was ferocious.

He’s been Colbert-like on the show ever since. That’s the best way to keep cancel culture off your back, and he knows it.

* * *

Christian Toto is an award-winning journalist, movie critic and editor of HollywoodInToto.com. He previously served as associate editor with Breitbart News’ Big Hollywood. Follow him at @HollywoodInToto.

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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