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August 17, 2010

Jon Stewart vs. Glenn Beck

First, the Stewart clip that sets off Beck (and takes a cheap shot at him).

As a preamble, I have to note my friend not_steve_in_hb's complaint: Gee, we can't say boo about Islamic murder and mayhem, at least not with a wink to let the audience know that we certainly don't believe that sort of thing about one of the World's Great Religions, but no such winking is necessary when making old jokes about the Catholic Church -- see how the audience hoots up a storm and breaks out into Pavlovian applause for that.

One point, though: There is exactly one funny line in this, near the end, when the British Christian guy is telling Stewart that Jews shouldn't wear yalmulkes on Good Friday. And it is a damned good line. That exchange begins at 7:00 and ends at 7:45, in case you want to skip the rest of it, which I don't blame you at all for doing.

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Notice the rollicking nature of that exchange -- all in good fun. No one imagines that this guy is really knocking Jews, and no one really thinks that Stewart is anti-Christian.

But we're apparently allowed to joke about Judaism and Christianity (including Catholicism). One religion, however, remains above such blasphemies, and that makes it frighteningly close to an official religion protected by the state, and even more so by critical institutions.

But here's Jon Stewart, brave, hip comic, bravely lighting out after Jews and Catholics. I haven't seen this sort of courageous comedic skewering of taboos since Red Skelton painted a clown with a sad face.

Here's Beck responding to Stewart.

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posted by Ace at 03:40 PM

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