In a segment titled "Meet the Knockers," last night's Daily Show took on the so-termed "knockout game," the wild new nationwide trend that isn't really a trend at all.
As Today's Jeff Rossen put it, "Can you imagine walking down the street minding your own business when someone punches you in the face for no reason at all?" "Well," Jon Stewart deadpanned, "I did go to high school in New Jersey, so yes."
The basic thrust of the game is as simple as that, but the media has fallen into hysterics covering it, claiming it has been taking place "in ten states coast-to-coast." But, as one reporter dutifully pointed out on CNN, the game is an "urban myth," has been occurring since 1994. "Could the news media be overhyping a danger?" Stewart mockingly wondered before cutting to a masterful supercut of TV networks doing precisely that.
Meanwhile, New York State legislators are reportedly drafting a new bill that would impose a 25-year sentence for teens who take part in the game—or even so much as "stand by and watch." Noting that 170 people were killed by guns last week alone (and that gun laws have mostly loosened since Newtown), Stewart lampooned the hysteria by wondering what would happen if the media were to cover a real violent trend—nationwide gun deaths—the way it obsesses over a seemingly fake one.
"There's a new trend sweeping this country!" he declared in his mock news-reporter voice. "People shooting other people! It's called The Shooty Game!"
"Ah, f-- it, it'll never work," Stewart eventually conceded.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.