Earlier this month, Jon Stewart ripped Fox News for its mania over individuals abusing government-provided food stamps. Well, Fox News saw the segment, and decided to defend themselves – they were just "shedding light" on the issue, they said – and "school" Jon Stewart. Yes, a Fox News pundit actually said he was going to "school" him. Do you really think Stewart was going to let that slide?
There are episodes of The Daily Show when Stewart truly tears into something, with the full force of his rage. Last night was one of those episodes.
"Perhaps you really are a watchdog for the American people," he said speaking to Fox News. "And like watchdogs you do occasionally bark at burglars, but mostly just the dishwasher and shadows."
What is the cost of this rampant food-stamp fraud that Fox News hounds on? Roughly $3 billion. That, as Stewart said, isn't anything to scoff at. Perhaps Fox News is reasonable in their panic over $3 billion in waste. Except for the small fact that the same pundit – Eric Bolling – that said he was going to "school" Stewart on food stamps called the $4 billion in tax subsidies and loopholes that go to oil companies a mere "pittance." So, $3 billion is an outrage but $4 billion is trivial? "What I have learned today from my 'teacher' is that $3 billion in taxpayer money is greater than $4 billion in taxpayer money. I think we're done here," Stewart said.
And if $3 billion gets Fox News all in a fluster, what about the estimated $150 billion lost in tax revenue through loopholes and avoidance schemes by large corporations? "I can't imagine what you're going to say about corporations that take full advantage of our tax laws and government programs. I got my money on 'leech vultures,'" Stewart said.
Of course Fox News defends these corporations, arguing that they simply take advantage of what's available to them. But when an impoverished individual or family does the same with food stamps, Fox News is quick to vilify.
Stewart summed everything up: "So what I'm getting from Fox is this: Exploiting government largess, while reprehensible and morally corrupting for individuals, is A-OK for corporations."
That's "bullshit mountain," for you, as Stewart calls it.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.