Jon Stewart takes aim at Republicans’ gun crime narrative: ‘Feelings don’t care about your facts’

The Daily Show host rebuked conservative media for scare-mongering when official statistics point downwards and GOP lawmakers ‘fight every attempt to bring some kind of order’ anyway

Joe Sommerlad
Wednesday 19 June 2024 08:10 BST
Jon Stewart roasts Republicans over hypocritical gun crime narrative

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Louise Thomas

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Jon Stewart used his Monday night slot on The Daily Show to take aim at conservative claims that gun crime is on the rise in American cities - when FBI statistics prove the exact opposite.

Responding to Republican presidential contender Donald Trump reportedly saying last week that Milwaukee was “horrible” a month before the GOP convention is set to take place there, Stewart launched into a savage broadside against cable news fear-mongering. Republicans then later tried to spin and say Trump was talking about the crime in Milwaukee.

Stewart began: “It’s one of the right’s favorite talking points – not just for Milwaukee, but for all Democratic-run cities – that those cities are crime-infested s***holes, where life is miserable and everyone hates everybody. But people who live in these cities know that this rhetoric is only kind of true…”

The comedian then presented a graphic compiling the FBI’s data and showing that violent crime was actually down 15.2 percent nationally in the first quarter of 2024, while murders were down 26.4 percent, rapes 25.7 percent, aggravated assaults 12.5 percent, robberies 17.8 percent and property crime 15.1 percent.

Jon Stewart attacked conservatives over hysterical gun crime narrative on The Daily Show that aired on June 17
Jon Stewart attacked conservatives over hysterical gun crime narrative on The Daily Show that aired on June 17 (The Daily Show/YouTube)

Despite this good news, right-wing media insists that cities do not “seem” or “feel” safe to their residents, the host noted, pivoting to clips of Fox hosts Jesse Watters, Martha MacCallum, Maria Bartiromo and Dana Perino echoing that claim.

“As the right always famously says, ‘Feelings don’t care about your facts.’ ‘F** Your Facts’, isn’t that the slogan on the right?” Stewart joked, showing off a spoof bumper sticker to that effect.

He went on to blame the hysterical graphics used by broadcasters for adversely influencing public sentiment and cutting to clips of Fox anchors including Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Watters introducing alarmist coverage to imply Joe Biden’s administration is not doing enough to confront the problem of urban malaise.

Pundit Gregg Jarrett delared that New York City was now a “dystopian hell hole of crime and violence” prompted Stewart to ridicule the legal analyst for supposedly being scared of Times Square Elmo, also championing the Big Apple’s pizza and bagel offerings and rationalizing Baritromo’s concern about citizens pushing each other onto its subway tracks.

Stewart subsequently struck a more serious tone as he sighed: “The balls on these right-wing motherf***ers talking about how there’s too much gun crime and chaos in our Democratic cities when Republicans are the ones who’ve enabled the flood of illegal weaponry into our cities in the first place.

“Ninety-three percent of the illegal guns used in crimes in New York City aren’t from here… The guns come from states like Florida and Georgia and South Carolina where the gun laws are lax.

“And, try as we might to put up some border controls to stem this invasion, this flood of literally undocumented weapons, Republicans fight every attempt to bring some kind of order and even pass laws to increase the chaos.”

Many Repblicans highlight guns and crimes in Democratic-run cities such as New York City, but federal data shows it isn’t true
Many Repblicans highlight guns and crimes in Democratic-run cities such as New York City, but federal data shows it isn’t true (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Stopping to attack Georgia congressman Andrew Clyde for sounding the alarm about gun crime while owning two gun stores himself, Stewart continued: “It’s almost as though Republicans must have a secret plan for this, funded by their billionaires, to flood our cities with illegal, undocumented guns, pouring them over our state borders in the hopes of killing off reliable Democratic voters.”

In a nod to racist, anti-immigrant conspiracy theorizing, he labeled this phenomenon: “The Great Displacement Theory.”

Stewart concluded by saying: “So, there’s only one real solution. Unfortunately, for the borders of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, we have to – what’s that word?”

“Build that wall!” came the answer via a clip of Trump supporters cheering on the former president at a rally.

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