The Daily Show Covers FOX News Covering the ‘War on Christmas’

In case you missed it last night, Jon Stewart covered FOX News Channel’s coverage of the “War on Christmas”… and called atheists “annoying.” (WHAT?! WE’RE NEVER ANNOYING!)

At least he put Dave Silverman‘s exchange with Bill O’Reilly center stage in second clip…

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • David Dionne

    Stewart actually calls atheist activists “a small group of annoying people with incredibly limited control over our culture.”  This is not the first time he has characterized atheists in an unflattering way.   I thought I was a fan, but after this latest snipe, no so much.  Colbert is much funnier anyway.

  • maxxx123

    Not too surprised here. Jon Stewart’s always loved arguments to moderation.

  • Bram Kaandorp

    To be fair, he wasn’t saying that atheists are annoying. He is reading what to fill in on the paper, which is (in parody) supposed to be made by Fox News.

  • Dirk

    you just handed that atheist another thing he cant believe!!

  • chicago dyke

    we’ll know we’ve arrived when one of john’s guests calls him out for being just as “annoying” in his bias against us as the right wingers are. kicking the tiny minority, yeah that’s “liberal.” at least the believers aren’t trying to pretend they respect or understand our views. 

  • Thalfon

    For Canadians, here’s the clip:

    It’s all together in that one clip on this link.

  • Paul Little

    So, I’m not sure if you guys noticed, but John Stewart is… a comedian. He makes jokes. When he says that atheists are annoying, and you get insulted, that just shows that you are lacking a sense of humour. 

  • Rwlawoffice

    Stewart is spot on in the discussion of Bill O’Reily’s comments. There is no doubt Christianity is a religion.

  • Patterrssonn

    Paul, Hemant’s reaction to the ‘atheists are annoying’ thing was a joke.

  • C Peterson

    Hey, having jokes made at a group’s expense is just one step in the process of societal normalization. I’ll bet that in the last few years, ordinary people have had the word “atheist” cross their attention more times, and in more ways, than ever. That sort of regular exposure was key to the advancement of civil rights for blacks, it was key to the advancement of civil rights for gays, and it will do the same for atheists.

    Being the butt of a joke, even if a little unfair, is humanizing.

  • Jeff P

    To Christians atheists ARE a very small group of annoying people thus the whole idea of a war on Christmas is rediculous. I think that was what John was trying to get across. John has to appreciate atheists because we do the heavy lifting on issues of separation of church and state which benefits all minority religions (including The Jewish faith).

  • ortcutt

    Branding someone who takes the Establishment Clause and open access to Public Fora seriously as an annoying malcontent is a way of belittling our concerns.  I’m not offended by it.  If Stewart wants to get his laughs that way, it’s his business, but that’s one reason I watch Colbert and not The Daily Show.

  • Patterrssonn

    “societal normalization” Exactly, a joke by John Stewart about atheists being annoying is great, perfect for defusing people’s fears about atheists.

  • C Peterson

    Yes, I think so. People fear what they don’t understand, what they don’t interact with. Just introducing atheism into normal discourse is hugely valuable in the long run. Atheists can only be “annoying” if they are around you, after all. They need to be in your club, at your school, on TV, in the paper. It’s to be expected that as the process of recognizing our presence begins, people will initially fall back on stereotypes. Better “annoying” than “evil”. The former is amenable to humorous treatment; not so much the latter.

  • Robyman4

    Ohhhh, far be it for a COMEDIAN to speak with tongue in cheek. I guess some people didn’t notice that Jon says the word “f–k” several times, talks about “Santa’s balls” exploding, lists the mind-boggling array of commercial and media outlets enslaved toward the holiday (having, of course, nothing at all to do with crass, revolting materialism), shows people being cutthroat in their search for gifts and, oh yeah, then there’s this clip, which emphatically proves his unfailing respect toward Christianity:

  • Octoberfurst

     Stewart was just being sarcastic.  Lighten up.  :-)

  • Nicole C

    Fox news needs a bad guy to create outrage with their base and if it is not the Liberals, it’s “The Atheists”

  • Ryan

    In addition, by pointing out how little power atheists have, he is pointing out how out-of-proportion the Fox reaction is.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    No, he wasn’t.

  • Drew M.

     That wasn’t a snipe. I’m surprised you get Colbert.

  • A potentially friendly atheist

    John is being sincere in his thoughts that atheist groups are annoying to him. He has talked about us atheists as being the reverse side of the coin. At a show he did in Niagara Falls he even equated scientists with clergyman because “they both think they know.” He mentioned the clergy “knowing” God and scientists knowing about “dark matter” being there even if you can’t see it. The audience didn’t seem that impressed and only a small group applauded.

    That’s fine. I agree with Bill Maher (someone who used to profess the “atheism is the reverse side of the coin” mantra before changing his mind and happily labelling himself an atheist):  John is definitely a secular ally but is also rigidly moderate; yet in the end, John is beneficial to us atheists.  Another great guy, Lewis Black, is similar to John in his thoughts. He wrote in his book “Me of Little Faith” that although for most of his life he has associated with people who are atheists, he can’t understand why atheists would organize and become activists. Sigh. It’s not worth arguing since it seems very obvious as to why. But I think it’s hilarious that Lewis says that being an atheist is just too scary a thought for him, so he’s knowingly delusional (fideist).

    John is just echoing an connundrum for non-accomodating atheists like myself and others here. There are a large number of Goldilocks within the secular community who like John, don’t want atheists to be too hot (being too cold is obviously a lot less of a concern to them). Essentially, they see “faith” as a virtue and atheist activism as being just another religion that is ruining their efforts.  I emphatically reject both of these thoughts but I can still appreciate having these people as allies in the culture wars.

  • Octoberfurst

    Well said! I agree that both Lewis Black and Jon Stewart are our allies.  It’s interesting that both are secular but don’t want to call themselves atheists.  And I agree that Stewart seems to see faith as a virture even if he himself is not religious. He likes “moderate” atheists and “moderate” believers. Although I am not quite sure what a being a “moderate” atheists entails. Maybe it means we keep our views to ourselves. (In which case I am NOT a moderate atheists.)  I guess speaking up makes you a “militant” atheist.  Oh well.

  • BenZ

    Just look for the clip “In God We Fuss” from an old Daily Show, and you’ll think even less of him. It’s Jon at his worst.

  • Trickster Goddess
  • chicago dyke

    i laugh at actually funny things. i don’t laugh at lame attempts to retain acceptance by the ruling media elite as the ‘most’ cutting edge liberal on  the air. 

    attempts which may include but are not limited to lighting puppies on fire, asking little boys with no arms if they understand why their wedding party was bombed, and picking on oppressed minorities cause they can’t fight back and don’t butter your bread/paycheck. the right wing is famed for “humor” that mocks the oppressed. we don’t normally call that “funny” around here and just because stewart is doing it doesn’t change the fact that it’s not.

  • Carmelita Spats

     I’m 100% Mexican (not Chicana, Latina, or Mexican-American), I’m female, I’m a vocal atheist and I live in Texas…They tell me I’m supposed to be an oppressed minority in this Southern Baptist Screwmeland. However, I still make jokes about Mexicans, Mexican housewives, quinceañeras, hysterical breeding in my community, glorious mullet-latino haircuts, the Virgin of Guadalupe, The Misadventures of Diabeto-the-Tamale Boy, Mexican-Americans loving education, Olmec heads, my atheism and Latino Fundamngelical nutjobs on Christian radio. I learned to detest thin-lipped preaching and sanctimony when I moved to this country.

  • SeekerLancer

    That was great, I wish the message would get through to Fox News but I guess it doesn’t matter as long as there’s ratings to get.

    And seriously, people worried about the “atheists are annoying” jab. He was completely thrashing and making fun of people who disagree with us the entire video. Surely you can just laugh and say, “yeah we can be a bit annoying sometimes.”

  • Kris

    I would have my panties twisted up more if I were on the O’Reilly recieving end of that skit. Stewart was clearly having our backs there and making humour out of something most of us thought was hilarious.  Funny to you may not be to someone else…. but perhaps this staunch approach of yours to “I laugh when things are actually funny” Is what he is referring to as the annoying atheist?

  • Kris

    That, aside from Dave Silvermans face when O’Reilly said “Christianity is not a religion”  had to be one of THE best lines I’ve heard yet.  Too funny.

  • Anna

    Slightly OT, but Stephen Colbert does a recurring segment on the “War on Christmas” and the most recent one delivered a smackdown to the Pope.—pope-benedict-xvi

    When I see things like that, I wonder how he can possibly be a practicing Catholic!

  • Cicada

    Where can an Australian see the video?

  • Octoberfurst

    Stewart does satire and he is brilliant at it.  I don’t for one minute think he actually believes that atheists are “annoying”.  As I said he was just being sarcastic.
      I have no clue what you are talking about when you talk about people who find humor in “lighting puppies on fire” or asking little boys with no arms if they understand why their wedding party was bombed.  Who does that?

  • Darrell Ross

    Are people really offended by the “annoying” label? LOL!

    Get real man. Atheists are very annoying to right-wing Christians who are some of the loudest out there. Seems like there’s no pleasing some people.

  • Sandy Kokch

    Context is king – when Jon referred to an “annoying group” he was using the language of the Foxbots – what THEY think, not what HE thinks. I can however give the outraged pearl wringers below a by given they are citizens of a nation who turned the language of Shakespeare into the language of Louis Gohmert and Bubba Gump. And you wonder why we Brits have that cliche that most yanks dont understand satire, irony and sarcasm?

    As to Dave Silverman – I never understood why the hell he kept appearing on Brillo Pad’s show but now I think I do.

    Its because every time he does, he somehow gets Brillo to say something even more stupid and offensive than the last time he was on the show.