A day after the Washington Navy Yard mass shooting, Jon Stewart delivered a scathing critique of CNN’s coverage of the event, arguing that sloppy, speculative reporting has become as depressingly predictable as these bloody rampages.
“For every all too familiar American tragedy, you can be sure the news will exacerbate it with yet another Force 5 Wrongnado,” Stewart quipped Tuesday on “The Daily Show."
Although this time around CNN managed to avoid any obviously inaccurate reporting, there was still plenty for Stewart to get worked up about, such as anchor Wolf Blitzer, who wondered what the shooter’s all-black ensemble might say about his possible motive and even warned viewers that some of the on-air speculation may not prove accurate.
“I know you think that saying this could all be wrong makes it OK, but it doesn’t make it OK,” Stewart said.
Nor did he believe the chaos was an unavoidable byproduct of breaking news coverage because, as he put it, "Sadly, the one thing in this country they should have great practice in covering are these horrific shooting tragedies.”
Instead, Stewart argued that all the “vomit onto the screen” was an intentional editorial practice -- “a feature, not a bug."
To boost this theory, he showed a clip of CNN chief Jeff Zucker boasting that the network earned its highest ratings in a decade two just days after its now-infamous misreport of an arrest in the Boston Marathon bombing.
“The lesson they take from this is it doesn’t matter how much they betray our trust, we’ll keep coming back. We’re in an abusive relationship with CNN!” Stewart concluded, urging viewers to kick the network to the curb like a bad boyfriend.
“We have to remember, this network was created by Ted Turner, not Ike Turner."