Thursday, September 25, 2014


Jon Stewart rips Congress and the media for ducking the ISIS war debate

On tonight’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the first segment, “The Way We War,” was devoted to Jon Stewart venting his frustration that the Congress won't even talk about the war against ISIS, and the news media is doing anything but hold their feet to the fire. Embedded video and an unauthorized transcript follow, after the fold. (update: attributions clarified, with several names added; still don't know the name of the reporter who asked Speaker Boehner about Congress’ role)

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This is an unauthorized rush transcript of the lead segment of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Thursday, September 25, 2014 (2014-09-25). [Source video copyright ©2014 Comedy Central]

Jon Stewart: Breaking news today: Attorney General Eric Holder stepping down after nearly six years on the job.

President Obama: Eric has agreed to stay on as attorney general until I nominate a successor and that successor is confirmed by the Senate.

Stewart: [exaggeratedly] So. he. will. never. leave. [laughter] Because not only is Congress slow to move on any confirmation hearings, currently they're. busy. shitting. their. pants.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), 2014-09-20: ISIS is a threat.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY, Senate Minority Leader), 2014-08-28: They have the potential to hit us here at home.

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), 2014-09-21: They have killed thousands, they are marching on...

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), 2014-09-21: We can't bury our head in the sands [sic] on this...

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), 2014-09-03: Action must be taken.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), 2014-09-14: This President needs to rise to the occasion before we all get killed back here at home!

Stewart: [affecting a Southern belle] All of us killed! ALL of us!! We'll be as dead as the art of how to properly squire a lady at cotillion. [stage whisper] (Always bring an extra pair of gloves, for punch can spill!)

So, we appear to be facing an existential threat, urging the President to act, but I was under the impression CONGRESS could also do something about this. Like, uh, uh, Declare. War.

television reporter on C-SPAN, 2014-09-11, to Rep. John Boehner (R-OH, Speaker of the House): If the Congress is such an equal partner — as it is — why not write a resolution on your own?

Speaker Boehner: Typically, in my time here in Congress, that's NOT how this has happened. [... flash cut ...] The President of the United States would REQUEST that support, AND would supply the wording of a resolution to authorize this force. And at this point in time we've not gotten that request, we've not seen that language.

Stewart: We would LOVE to help stop the greatest threat our country has ever known — [laughter] — but not if it means we're going to be RUDE. We're not gonna be rude! That would be gauche. But at least Congress can agree on one thing... [sigh/laugh] I'm just kidding; they can't.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV, Senate Majority Leader), 2014-09-10: [
on the Senate floor] The President HAS the authority he needs now to act against ISIS.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Fox News, 2014-09-10: The President should come to Congress and ASK for authorization...

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), 2014-09-11: [
from the Capitol building] The President has the authority to immediately act... [sic, split infinitive and all]

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) on Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, 2014-08-29: I think the President has to come to Congress.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, 2014-09-11: I believe he [President Obama] has the authority to move on it.

Leader McConnell (R-KY), 2014-09-09: [with other Republican Senators behind him] The President should be seeking Congressional approval, PERIOD.

Stewart: It is so heartening to see Congress, usually gridlocked along partisan lines, finally reaching across the aisle and COMING TOGETHER to get nothing done. [laughter] Or, is there something else going on here?

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) on C-SPAN, 2014-09-12: I think, at some point in time, when we come back, after the elections, I think there will be a CONSIDERATION of a larger authorization for the use of force.

Stewart: AFTER the midterms! We'll do it after the midterms! We won't deal with the country's Existential Threat until Congress deals with ITS Existential Threat. All right.

[graphic: map of Syria indicating recent bombing sites, a warplane, and the Capitol dome; caption: THE WAY WE WAR]

So, what we've got here is an incredibly complicated Constitutional conundrum — what James Madison in Federalist #51 referred to as "a total pigf*#k." [laughter] WHICH branch of government has the power to take us to war?? Is this even a "war" at all? If it isn't a war, then what is it?? NOW is the time for an adult conversation about how our government makes its most important decisions and functions in crisis. And to lead that discussion, I give you Our National Media.

Bill O'Reilly, The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News, 2014-09-24: [video of President Obama stepping out of the Marine One Presidential helicopter, saluting two Marines while holding a cup in his right hand and fixing his suit with his left hand, caption: LATTE SALUTE]: President Obama's so-called "latte salute"...

voiceover, Al Jazeera English, undated: [similar video footage] Holding a coffee cup in his right hand....

Megyn Kelly, The Kelly File, Fox News, undated: The great coffee escapade...

Rev. Al Sharpton, Politics Nation, MSNBC, undated: "Coffee-gate"

voiceover, Fox 5 New York, [similar video footage, caption: THE "COFFEE" SALUTE] President Obama in hot water....

voiceover, The Five, Fox News, undated: [similar video footage] Some people think it was disrespectful...

voiceover, Al Jazeera English: Hashtag #LatteSalute

Ronan Farrow, Ronan Farrow Daily, MSNBC, 2014-09-24: [caption: "Controversy in a cup: Latte Salute"] The coffee salute — went viral.

Andrea Mitchell, Andrea Mitchell Reports, MSNBC, undated: [caption: "Strike on Syria: U.S. launched more strikes in Syria and Iraq overnight"] This is blowing up online...

Stewart: We are so fucked! [laughter] I don't even know what to do. [cheering] First of all, we're currently fighting — if I may say — so, apparently we're currently fighting ISIS and Ebola, two things that are LITERALLY "blowing up" and "going viral." So, if you're NOT going to cover the important stuff, at least don't use words that REMIND US of the important stuff you're not covering.

[graphic: Obama and Marines cut out and dropped against the Presidential seal, caption: CUP IN THE AIR]

Okay, now, to be fair, latte-gate wasn't ALL the news talked about yesterday, but where I might have given the President salutes with coffee cups an espresso-sized shot of attention, the news channels went for the full double venti coverage, with ONE network going ESPECIALLY deep.

[quick succession of video clips: News Nation with Tamron Hall, CNN political commentator Margaret Hoover, abc7 NYC "The World News Now Mix", CNN clip, Today Show with caption: President's "coffee cup" salute draws criticism]

Sandra Smith, The Five, Fox News, 2014-09-24: LEARN the proper respect of the salute...

Karl Rove, Fox News, 2014-09-23, 10:19p EDT/7:19p PDT: [caption: "Unpresidential"] It's insensitive!

Stuart Varney, Fox News, "Minding your Business" segment, 2014-09-24, 12:28p EDT/9:28a PDT: [caption: Pres. Obama saluted Marines using a coffee cup in his right hand] What's the meaning of it?? That's it...

Brian Kilmeade, Fox & Friends, Fox News, 2014-09-24: It looks terrible...

Dr. Keith Ablow, Fox News, 2014-09-24, 12:27p EDT/9:27a PDT: [credited as "Fox News Medical A-Team" on "Minding your Business" segment] It's outlandish! And it's disappointing...

Steve Doocy, Fox & Friends, Fox News: PUT your coffee in the other hand...

Sean Hannity, Hannity, Fox News: Our commander-in-chief displayed his COMPLETE disrespect for the men and women in uniform...

Stewart: [stage whisper] Shut! Up! [cheers and applause] You don't really care — [cheers and applause] You don't really care about this. You have no principle about this. You're just trying to score points in a game that no one else is playing. Here's how we know:

Eric Bolling, The Five, Fox News, 2014-09-24: [caption: Criticism brewing over Pres Obama's informal salute to Marines while holding a latte] It's an arrogance that he portrays [... flash cut ...] These people put their lives on the line for us — [female voiceover: You're right!] — show the respect, salute these guys.

Stewart: So, the principle here is "Show respect for the people who are putting their lives on the line for this fight." Here's Eric Bolling on that VERY SAME episode:

Kimberly Guilfoyle, "One More Thing" segment: [caption: UAE's 1st female fighter pilot was country's team leader in Syria strikes; still photo montage of fighter pilot giving thumb's up, etc.] The first female pilot flying for the U.A.E. [United Arab Emirates] [... flash cut ...] dropped the bombs on ISIS on Monday night [... flash cut ...]

Eric Bolling: Would that be considered "boobs on the ground," or no?

Stewart: First of all, FORGET the rapant sexism in that statement. Second of all, she's a PILOT, so whatever gender-specific equipment she might be carrying — is in the fuckin' air! [laughter] And thirdly, what was the quote that someone said earlier in your program? These people are putting their LIVES ON THE LINE for us; show RESPECT. So, FUCK YOU and all your false patriotism! [cheering] When Bush took us to war, [cheering continues] any criticism was shouted down as TREASONOUS. When Bush took us to war, any criticism was shouted down as treasonous, but a President YOU don't like has the country poised on the same precipice, and no transgression — no matter how IMMATERIAL and RIDICULOUS — is too small to cite as evidence that this President "isn't as American" as you are. You want a hot cup of cognitive dissonance? Watch this!

Sean Hannity, Hannity, Fox News, 2014-09-23, 10:19p EDT, split screen with guest Karl Rove: Would President Bush ever DO THAT??

Karl Rove: Yeah, are we surprised? [flash cut in background video as it loops] I mean, we've got a chai-swillin', golf-playin', basketball trash-talkin', uh, "leadin' from behind," "I got no strategy," uh, "Osama bin Laden is dead, GM is alive," community-organizing commander-in-chief. HOW DISRESPECTFUL WAS THAT?

Stewart: Yeah, yeah, now, while "Palin-in-a-bald-cap" [Karl Rove] was feeding us a steaming bowl of liberal epithets, [mockingly] "He drinks chai!" So that means when he sucks dick in the back of a Volvo, it has that "cardamom zing"!

But in their haste, they forgot to ANSWER THE QUESTION: Would. President. Bush. ever salute the troops with a cup of coffee in his hand?? And the answer is NO!, because HIS HANDS were too filled with DOG [photo of President Bush holding one of his dogs while saluting] — a SCOTTIE, out of RESPECT. So, here we've got two Presidents, both sending the United States to war, citing the same legal authorities, BOTH, without any seeming exit strategy, and both holding shit in their hands while saluting our troops.

But in their diseased minds [photos of Keith Ablow, Sean Hannity, Karl Rove, and Steve Doocy], ONLY ONE did that because he loved America. The OTHER did it because HE HATED IT!

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Transcript: Capt. Ron Johnson press conf in Ferguson MO 2:21 A.M. 2014-08-19

[updated 5:25 A.M. CDT, with improved link to video clip]

Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol made a statement and answered some questions at an impromptu press conference at 2:21 A.M. on Tuesday, August 19, 2014, regarding the events of Monday night. You can watch the video here on St. Louis; what follows below the fold is a transcript of the whole thing. I have added emphasis in an attempt to reflect Capt. Johnson's vocal inflection.
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Friday, June 20, 2014


Transcript of Jon Stewart and Hamid al-Bayati 2014-06-19

Jon Stewart's guest on the 2014-06-19 episode of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart was Hamid al-Bayati, who served as Iraq's permanent respresentative to the U.N. from 2006 to 2013. They talked about recent events in Iraq. Embedded video and transcript of the broadcast segment, and links to the extended interview on the Comedy Central website, after the fold.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Debunking an "Obama is anti-Christianity" screed

A Facebook friend of mine recently posted a link to a list of supposedly SHOCKING!! quotes from President Barack Obama, with 20 quotes about Christianity and 20 quotes about Islam, supposedly demonstrating his hostility to the first and devotion to the second. I called him on it, and asked him to show me one single quote from the list and show how it demonstrates bias in any way. He couldn't, and yet he still maintains that somehow I am confused in not seeing the apparently obvious fact that Obama is the essence of evil, aiming to destroy the Christian heritage that made America great, or something like that.

Here is my point-by-point refutation of those claims, leaving them as a smoldering ruin.

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Monday, April 22, 2013


Transcript: Colbert’s Take on the Bush Presidential Library

Stephen Colbert did a segment on Monday’s 2013‑04‑22 Colbert Report about the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas on 2013‑04‑25 and its subsequent opening to the public on 2013‑05‑01.

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[clip from CNN, 4:57 PM: the George W. Bush Library will open to the public on Wednesday, May 1st, 2013‑05‑01.]

That’s right: May 1st, 10 years to the day since George Bush famously landed on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and declared “Mission Accomplished.” Which means the library will be finished in another 8½ years. Nation, I am so pumped! Because this thing is gonna be packed with Bush-nography: [quoting ABC-6 Action News from WPVI‑TV in Philadelphia] “More than 43,000 artifacts and 200 million e-mails will be on display…” And those 200 million e-mails could have almost eighteen non-redacted words. But that's not even the best part!

[clip from MSNBC] Would you have invaded Iraq if you were President? Or, would you bail out Wall Street? Former President George W. Bush wants to know what you would’ve done; it’s all part of this new interactive theater that’s featured in the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museums…

Yes, the library includes interactive role-playing where the President hands over the reins of power to someone else, just like he did when he was President. [photo of Dick Cheney] Like, uh, what’s it like? It’s like a Presidential “choose your own adventure.” [referencing The New York Times,] I mean, would you deploy federal troops after Hurricane Katrina or rely on local forces? Would you bail out Wall Street or let the banks fail? Would you invade Iraq or leave Saddam Hussein in power? I mean, it really gives you perspective. I mean, let’s see you sift through mountains of intelligence saying Saddam didn’t have weapons of mass destruction to find the one memo that implies that he might. But, folks, as excited as I am, I must confess that there is one thing that deeply disappoints me about the Bush Library: I am not invited to Thursday’s [2013‑04‑25] dedication.

[audience:] Awwwwwwww.

Thank you. And I am hurt, on my inside feeling parts. I mean, at the end of this man’s Presidency, even as my fellow conservatives  were abandoning Bush like rats from a sinking ship on a crash course with Cat Island! I remained faithful. And I’m sure he knows that, from the warrantless wiretaps he authorized. But that’s okay, Mr. President, I forgive you. And I will be there on Day One. And so should you, Nation; you can buy your tickets online now. Of course, some of them will be for the Bush Presidential Library and some of them will be for the Gore Presidential Library, but the ticket counters will read them all as Bush.

We’ll be right back.


Monday, November 12, 2012


Transcript: Huckabee on Daily Show

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, now a host on the Fox News Channel, was Jon Stewart's guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, discussing politics, religion, and their intersection. The full transcript appears below the fold, with embedded video.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Transcript: Dan Rather on The Daily Show

TV news icon Dan Rather — my brother's former boss — was the guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, talking about “liberal media bias” and the politicization of TV news. The embedded video clip and full transcript follow below the fold.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012



Errata • أخطاء مطبعية

The telephone area code website, on the Africa page, lists +212 52 as a telephone prefix for several places in southern Morocco. It previously included an incorrect listing for ⴰⵝⴰⴷⵉⵔ, ⵓⵎⵔⵔⵓⴽ. That listing should have indicated ⴰⴳⴰⴷⵉⵔ, ⵍⵎⴻⵖⵔⵉⴱ (ⴰⵎⴻⵔⵔⵓⴽ). regrets the error, and apologizes to anyone who may have been seeking telephone information about ⵍⵎⴻⵖⵔⵉⴱ in ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵜ, ⵜⴰⵙⴻⵍⵃⵉⵜ, ⵜⴰⵔⵉⴼⵉⵜ, ⵜⴰⵇⴱⴰⵢⵍⵉⵜ, or ⵜⵉⴼⵉⵏⴰⵖ. The errors have now been corrected.

Interestingly, was the only place on the Internet that the misspelling “ⴰⵝⴰⴷⵉⵔ” appeared, at least as far as Google could tell. Note also that ⴰⵎⴻⵔⵔⵓⴽ (امهرروک) should not be confused with أمريكا.

Annotated version:

The telephone area code website, on the Africa page, lists +212 52 as a telephone prefix for several places in southern Morocco. It previously included an incorrect listing for ⴰⵝⴰⴷⵉⵔ, ⵓⵎⵔⵔⵓⴽ [Athadir, Morocco, written in North African Berber Tifinagh alphabet, with the country name spelled in Algerian dialect]. That listing should have indicated ⴰⴳⴰⴷⵉⵔ, ⵍⵎⴻⵖⵔⵉⴱ (ⴰⵎⴻⵔⵔⵓⴽ) [Agadir, Elmeɣrib (Elmeghrib) (Amerruk) — Morocco as spelled in Moroccan Berber]. regrets the error, and apologizes to anyone who may have been seeking telephone information about ⵍⵎⴻⵖⵔⵉⴱ [Elmeghrib, or Morocco] in ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵜ [Tamazight, or Central Atlas Berber], ⵜⴰⵙⴻⵍⵃⵉⵜ [Tashelhiyt, or Shilha Berber], ⵜⴰⵔⵉⴼⵉⵜ [Tarifit, or Rifian Berber], ⵜⴰⵇⴱⴰⵢⵍⵉⵜ [Taqbaylit, or Kabyle Berber (Algeria)], or ⵜⵉⴼⵉⵏⴰⵖ [Tifinagh, the Berber name for the Berber alphabet]. The errors have now been corrected.

Interestingly, was the only place on the Internet that the misspelling “ⴰⵝⴰⴷⵉⵔ[“Athadir”] appeared, at least as far as Google could tell. Note also that ⴰⵎⴻⵔⵔⵓⴽ [Amerruk, western Berber spelling of Morocco] (امهرروک) [Amerruk, written in Arabic script] should not be confused with أمريكا [Amrika, Arabic for America].

…and just in case you see a bunch of boxes above instead of funky Berber words, here’s what it should look like:

Monday, January 30, 2012


Transcript: Lou Dobbs on The Daily Show

Jon Stewart’s guest on tonight’s Daily Show was the Fox Business Channel’s own Lou Dobbs. They talked about capitalism, democracy, Occupy Wall Street, and Republican primaries. Embedded video and a complete transcript of the extended interview follow, after the fold.
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Thursday, November 17, 2011


Analysis of Ranked-Choice Voting: SF D.A. 2011

The bulk of the media attention to last week's local election in San Francisco has been directed at the mayoral race — the first competitive contest under both public financing and ranked-choice voting (RCV). However, digging a bit beneath the surface of the election of the District Attorney sheds some light on how RCV played out. I was able to download the entirety of the ballots from a public website. To be clear, I cannot tell how a specific person voted; however, I can tell you exactly how many people voted for Bill Fazio in 1st place, George Gascón in 2nd place, and David Onek in 3rd place: 1,055. I can also tell you that the progressives who supported the ticket of Onek–Bock–Fazio (recommended by the San Francisco Bay Guardian/ and others) had the unintended effect of helping George Gascón to an easy win. Although she was the second choice of the "anybody but Gascón" crowd, Sharmin Bock's core supporters clearly were not fully on board with the concept.

An important caveat is that the data I downloaded were preliminary results, and do not include the last 2,603 ballots (1.39%) to be processed.

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Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Transcript: Bill Clinton on The Daily Show

Bill Clinton was the featured guest on tonight's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central. The extended interview is in 3 segments, embedded video below, with the transcript of part 1 after the jump. Parts 2 and 3 of the transcript will be added tomorrow. Update: transcript of all 3 segments completed.

Copyright ©2011 Comedy Central, all rights reserved. Transcript presented under "fair use" in the furtherance of political discourse.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Transcript: Billo on Daily Show 9/28/2011

Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly was the guest on tonight's Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The embedded video and transcript appear after the fold. (Update: complete transcript of Part 1 [as aired on Comedy Central] and Part 2 [web extra from])

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Thursday, May 19, 2011


Transcript: Jon Stewart's rap about Fox News

I only just saw last Wednesday's Daily Show, with Jon Stewart's slam of the Fox News coverage of the invitation for the rapper Common to perform at the White House. Since I didn't find this gem transcribed, here's the conclusion:
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Friday, May 06, 2011


David Barton on The Daily Show: full transcript and videos

Jon Stewart on Wednesday (2011-05-04) had one of his most controversial guests ever, David Barton, a fundamentalist Christian who is trying to reclaim some of the "forgotten" history of the United States, and pass along that message to children through their textbooks and curricula. Barton is the darling of the Fox News crowd, and highly praised by the likes of Mike Huckabee and Michele Bachmann, but much less highly regarded by history scholars — people with actual advanced degrees in history — and many educators. The interview as aired on Wednesday's program is about 8 minutes, but the entire interview is available through; the embedded video clips and the full transcript, followed by some commentary and links to sites debunking Barton's historical narrative, appear below the fold. The full interview is broken into five segments, and totals about 40 minutes.

Comedy Central/Comedy Partners owns the copyright to this material, which is presented here under "Fair Use" in the interest of furthering political discourse.
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