Jon Stewart does the definitive takedown of left-wing and right-wing anti-Mormonism

HT: BCC.

We all owe some thanks to Jon Stewart, who has made it clear that anti-Mormonism simply isn’t cool, whether it comes from the right or left.

Here is the link:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-may-2-2012/mormon–mo–problems

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B has had three main careers. Some of them have overlapped. After attending Stanford University (class of 1985), he worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. In 1995, he took up his favorite and third career as father. Soon thereafter, Heavenly Father hit him over the head with a two-by-four (wielded by the Holy Ghost) and he woke up from a long sleep. Since then, he's been learning a lot about the Gospel. He still has a lot to learn. Geoff's held several Church callings: young men's president, high priest group leader, member of the bishopric, stake director of public affairs, media specialist for church public affairs, high councilman. He tries his best in his callings but usually falls short. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

19 thoughts on “Jon Stewart does the definitive takedown of left-wing and right-wing anti-Mormonism

  1. So about 5 minutes of footage for the anti-Mormon propaganda to be repeated without rebuttal, then a simple funny-face shrug, a few censor bleeps, a blanket Republican insult, and we’re supposed to feel like it’s a take down.

    Generally, a take down involves offering up some kind of defense, not just giving more airtime to the same claims, without actually refuting those claims. Question, how many people in his audience do you think went away with a more negative impression of Mormons? How many had their impressions improved?

    He gave more time to the accusations, and didn’t really refute what was said only implied it was inane or out of bounds to say it.

  2. John Stewart is one of the lowest rated shows on cable. Why should anyone with half a sense to them care what he says? Please keep him where he belongs; in the smug cult following of deluded clapping seals.

  3. To follow up on my reaction to chris’s number 1: Jon Stewart will never be a Mormon apologist. You can never expect him or any popular figure to go through the many, many reasons the attacks on the Church are ridiculous. What you can expect, at best, is for him to make fun of people who attack Mitt Romney *for being a Mormon*. Attacking Mitt Romney for being a Republican is fair game (even though the particular attack in this clip, the Republicans promote anti-black policies, is over the top). I think Jon Stewart has successfully made the case in this clip that attacks on Mitt’s Mormonism are simply not cool and not acceptable in polite company. This is much, much more than we can and should expect from a liberal comedian, and I for one applaud Stewart.

    Jettboy, the Daily Show is as popular as some of the Fox News shows and more popular than most of the MSNBC lineup. Most importantly, it is the “cool show” that young people watch and link to on social media. I disagree with Stewart all the time, but to claim he has no influence is simply incorrect.

  4. Normally I don’t go in for Stewart, however, I thought this was very funny. Even the jabs at Republicans were funny — if we can’t laugh at ourselves then what?

  5. I guess my point is that the media personalities who trashed Mormonism did so to smear Mitt Romney and give voters a negative opinion of him because of his faith. That video did nothing to effect a change in the idea that you should have a negative opinion because of Mitt Romney’s faith. Quite the opposite, the sketch serves to continue the smear of Romney via his faith to Stewart’s audience, while at the same time revealing the partisanship of Romney’s detractors.

    So the audience all gets to laugh at how stupid and partisan Romney’s detractors are, while at the same time adopting a more negative opinion of him via the portrayal of his faith. That’s the way I see it…

    This is the kind of shtick Stewart always employs. When he attacks the right he’s out for blood and effectively ruthless. When he seeks to moderate his partisanship he defends the right by undermining and passive aggressively attacking them. When he attacks the left, he usually does it by attacking the right in the process and making the left seem the less crazy of the two.

    I’m not hyperventilating over it or anything. But I think the way this kind of imagery works is subtle. From this video, I suggest people are more likely to take away the message that Mitt Romney is weird and his religion is screwed up (which calls into question Romney’s judgement) than viewers are to become less sympathetic to attacks on his faith.

  6. Jettboy, your comment about Stewart’s ratings isn’t even remotely accurate, and does more to reveal your own bias against him than anything of substance – or did you miss how last year he beat Fox News in the ratings?

    http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2011/12/more-people-watch-the-daily-show-than-fox-news

    Moreover, there’s a reason he’s been selected as the most trusted news man in America – because he’s funny and more accurate than any of the other nonsense you get from the cable news cycle.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/200907/why-jon-stewart-is-the-most-trusted-man-in-america

    Just sayin’, Jettboy – maybe you’d better check your sources before you spout falsehoods.

  7. I watched the whole train wreak a couple of times and I completely agree with Chris.

    “But I think the way this kind of imagery works is subtle. From this video, I suggest people are more likely to take away the message that Mitt Romney is weird and his religion is screwed up (which calls into question Romney’s judgement) than viewers are to become less sympathetic to attacks on his faith.”

    Stewart was attacking Romney and the LDS Church thru passive aggressive means; ultimately this damages us just as much, or maybe more than the anti-mormon rhetoric he was mocking. He gave an even greater audience more ammo to hit us with.

  8. Psychologists have shown that negative PR (which this isn’t really) is better than no PR. I really liked the “Whoremonger and the Sourcerer” gag.

  9. I think it effectively showed that Evangelicals would never pick a member of the LDS cult over a “real” Christian unless of course that “real” Christian happens to be a Democrat.

    Jettboy, your comment about Stewart’s ratings isn’t even remotely accurate, and does more to reveal your own bias against him than anything of substance –

    I’m shocked, shocked I say.

  10. After hearing for these past few years about how funny and inciteful Jon Stewart’s show is I watched a segment on Hulu a couple months ago. It was supposed to be something making fun of Newt Gingrich, and I figured with a target like that this couldn’t fail to be entertaining. The routine consisted of playing clips of Gingrich being bombastic and offensive interspersed with Stewart calling him Newton, making goofy faces and commentary in a goofy voice like “How about that?” It was pretty underwhelming. The man needed much better writers. Not a single line that would really qualify as a joke. Stewart had a look on his face like he had something going on his head that is going to be really funny, so funny that he had to struggle to kept from busting out laughing, but he was just acting; he didn’t say anything funny. Maybe it was a bad night and I should give this Mormon clip a look.

  11. But I will point out that the “smug cult of deluded clapping seals” thing is not the nicest thing to say to the people who like Jon Stewart.

  12. Geoff B. I agree it wasn’t the nicest thing to say about a group of people with a question if it should have been said, but it wasn’t personal.

  13. My favorite bit was with O’Donnell and Harry Reid. Why doesn’t being a Mormon affect Senator Reid’s credibility? Why doesn’t Senator Reid have to face the same kind of questions?

  14. Because the Evangelical Republicans don’t care if Democrat Harry Reid is a Mormon, two paths to hell, as far as they are concerned. Democrats only care about religion if it is a Republican. John Stewart was clever enough to stick it to the Evangelicals and the Mormons.

  15. O’Donnell is so far off base it is amazing. He has his history wrong, and he has not real interest in getting anything right or finding out more. He’s just trying to score points by tearing someone down without any facts. Very similar the birthers and to the people on the right who claim that Obama is a secret Muslin.

  16. Jon Stewart is one of the most insightful political commentators out there. That he’s funny is icing on the cake. He’s great at distilling current trends and weasels rhetoric and ridiculing it (or, as is often possible, letting it ridicule itself).

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