Considering the line of work Jon Stewart is in (satire, comedy, poking fun at news and events), I’m sure the tragic shooting in France at the site of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo hit especially close to home. It’s only natural for someone like Stewart to take this attack somewhat personally when people who work in a field very similar to his get brutally gunned down and murdered for simply doing their jobs.
While all tragedies like these are senseless, it’s baffling for me to sit here and think that there are 12 people who are dead because they wrote satirical articles and cartoons. It wasn’t because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time or worked in some sort of building linked to a government some terrorist group opposes.
These weren’t soldiers, police officers, fire fighters or people from some other kind of profession where death, while still heartbreaking, sometimes is an unfortunate part of the job.
These were comedy writers.
But I digress. Nothing I can say can top what Stewart said last night in a somber moment where he put comedy aside to address this shocking shooting.
“Our hearts are with staff of Charlie Hebdo and their families,” Stewart said. “I know very few people go into comedy as an act of courage, mainly because it shouldn’t have to be that. It shouldn’t be an act of courage, it should be taken as established law. But those guys at Hebdo had it and they were killed for their cartoons.”
“A stark reminder that for the most part the legislators and journalists and institutions that we jab and ridicule are not in any way the enemy,” he continued. “For however frustrating or outraged the back and forth can become it’s still back and forth, a conversation amongst those on let’s call it ‘Team Civilization.’ And this type of violence only clarifies that reality.”
It’s a rare moment when you see Stewart not his usual, sarcastic comedic self on The Daily Show. After all, his show is on Comedy Central.
There’s nothing I can really add to what Stewart said. When I think about the fact that the people killed at this newspaper were killed because of their cartoons, I just can’t help but think how stupid this is. Like I said earlier, all of these kinds of shootings are senseless and tragic, but to be killed because you drew cartoons…
You can watch the segment below via Comedy Central: