Jon Stewart on the Shooting: “Draw a Distinction”

Jon Stewart opened his show tonight to give a short, serious speech about the shootings in Arizona, but he didn’t cite political discourse as somehow responsible for the tragedy.

“I wouldn’t blame our political rhetoric any more than I would blame heavy metal music for Columbine,” he said, adding that “Boy, would it be nice to draw a straight line from this horror to something tangible, because then we could convince ourselves that if we just stopped this, then the horrors will end.”

“You cannot outsmart crazy,” he said. “You don’t know what a troubled mind will get caught on.”

Stewart’s comments had been highly anticipated, given that he led the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington in October. While he criticized media hyperbole at that event, he didn’t cite it as a factor in the Arizona shootings.

He said, “I don’t know if there is a way to make sense of this thing.”

He did call for toning down the highly charged rhetoric, “if for no other reason than to draw a distinction.”

“It would be really nice if the ramblings of crazy people didn”t resemble how we talk to each other on TV,” he said. “Let’s at least make troubled individuals easier to spot.”

His full speech is here.

More Voices

  • Hollywood Safe Workplace

    Why Hollywood Needs to Lead the Way in Showing How to Create a Safer Workplace

    Jon Stewart opened his show tonight to give a short, serious speech about the shootings in Arizona, but he didn’t cite political discourse as somehow responsible for the tragedy. “I wouldn’t blame our political rhetoric any more than I would blame heavy metal music for Columbine,” he said, adding that “Boy, would it be nice […]

  • Seven Seconds

    Fighting the Racial Bias at the Core of Hollywood’s Cop Shows (Guest Column)

    Jon Stewart opened his show tonight to give a short, serious speech about the shootings in Arizona, but he didn’t cite political discourse as somehow responsible for the tragedy. “I wouldn’t blame our political rhetoric any more than I would blame heavy metal music for Columbine,” he said, adding that “Boy, would it be nice […]

  • Harvey Weinstein Trial

    Column: Documentarian Barry Avrich Ponders Whether Harvey Weinstein Will Be Convicted

    Jon Stewart opened his show tonight to give a short, serious speech about the shootings in Arizona, but he didn’t cite political discourse as somehow responsible for the tragedy. “I wouldn’t blame our political rhetoric any more than I would blame heavy metal music for Columbine,” he said, adding that “Boy, would it be nice […]

  • Janet Mock Pose

    'Pose' Writer Janet Mock on Making History With Trans Storytelling (Guest Column)

    Jon Stewart opened his show tonight to give a short, serious speech about the shootings in Arizona, but he didn’t cite political discourse as somehow responsible for the tragedy. “I wouldn’t blame our political rhetoric any more than I would blame heavy metal music for Columbine,” he said, adding that “Boy, would it be nice […]

  • Tony Awards Sightlines Column

    How to Produce the Tony Awards: 5 Unsolicited Tips

    Jon Stewart opened his show tonight to give a short, serious speech about the shootings in Arizona, but he didn’t cite political discourse as somehow responsible for the tragedy. “I wouldn’t blame our political rhetoric any more than I would blame heavy metal music for Columbine,” he said, adding that “Boy, would it be nice […]

  • Under the Silver Lake

    Cannes 2018's Hidden Thrill: The Opportunity to Find New Voices

    Jon Stewart opened his show tonight to give a short, serious speech about the shootings in Arizona, but he didn’t cite political discourse as somehow responsible for the tragedy. “I wouldn’t blame our political rhetoric any more than I would blame heavy metal music for Columbine,” he said, adding that “Boy, would it be nice […]

  • Kathryn Bigelow Kathryn Bigelow poses backstage

    It's Time for Action, Not Promises, to Get More Women in Filmmaking (Guest Column)

    Jon Stewart opened his show tonight to give a short, serious speech about the shootings in Arizona, but he didn’t cite political discourse as somehow responsible for the tragedy. “I wouldn’t blame our political rhetoric any more than I would blame heavy metal music for Columbine,” he said, adding that “Boy, would it be nice […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content