Jon Stewart Sounds Off on the ‘Real Cancel Culture’

Comedy Central
Comedy Central

Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker has stirred up controversy after a right-wing rant during a commencement speech earlier this month where he complained about abortion rights and “degenerate cultural values,” and encouraged the female graduates to focus on getting married and having kids. The subsequent response by Fox News, which claimed Butker had become a victim of outrage since the speech, led The Daily Show host to take note.

“Not the advice you want to hear when you’re $100,000 in debt, earning a degree in electrical engineering,” Jon Stewart quipped in his opening monologue, before musing, “But I imagine that the cancellation of one Harrison Butker was swift and unforgiving at the White House.”

His statement was answered by a clip of White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirming that Butker was still invited to the White House to celebrate the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory.

Stewart responded, “I’m sorry, what was that? He can still go to the White House and be on his football team, and all that’s really happened is some people roasted him on TikTok?” He showed viewers a montage of aggressive Fox News coverage, depicting Butker as a tragic victim of hysterical liberal outrage.

“My question to the right, I guess, is… Have you never been on the internet before? Because that’s all it is,” Stewart said. “My God, you’re all so thin-skinned. Look, Jerry Seinfeld took more shit over the past two weeks promoting a Pop-Tart movie than Harrison Butker did for his entire speech.”

Stewart showed a montage of Fox News pundits declaring that people can’t voice their conservative opinions without having their lives ruined, followed up by footage of them doing exactly that with zero repercussions. It’s the right’s years-long tendency towards these claims, Stewart said, that makes him unsurprised by how they’ve responded to the lack of real consequences for Butker:

“Nothing about the right-wing reaction is surprising. Because the idea that there is an all-pervasive, all-powerful threat to free speech called ‘cancel culture’ has become a central tenet of modern conservatism. They celebrate their being silenced at conferences. They celebrate their being silenced on podcasts and streaming outlets. They celebrate their being silenced with over 700 book titles about ‘being canceled.’ Why are there so many of these fucking books?”

Stewart ended the segment declaring that the real cancel culture the GOP has to worry about is the censorship that comes from within, aimed at Republicans who speak out against Donald Trump. He showed news clips of politicians like Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney, and Chris Christie as they faced genuine ostracization from their own party for criticizing the former president.

“There is no level of loyalty deep enough to be free of Trump cancel culture. Ronna McDaniel literally dropped Romney from her name to keep Trump happy, and he still fired her,” Stewart said as he closed out his monologue. “Truth is, Trump is the real cancel culture—emphasis on cult.”

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