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Jon Stewart can’t believe what he’s reading in the CIA torture report

There's only so much that comedy can do in these situations.


Eric Geller


Posted on Dec 10, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 12:39 am CDT

Jon Stewart used the opening segment of Tuesday night’s Daily Show to lambast the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for the torture practices that were unveiled in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s new report.

“I just made this movie about a guy who triumphs over the inhuman conditions in his imprisonment in an authoritarian country,” Stewart said, sounding deflated, “and I don’t think they did half that shit to him.”

Stewart returned several times to a clip of a maid being sprayed with water as she meekly cleaned the floor of a fancy-looking restaurant, using the maid’s resigned posture as a metaphor for his own sense of disgust.

Stewart had fun with other elements of the report’s release. For example, he played a 2007 clip of President George W. Bush saying the U.S. didn’t torture people and juxtaposed it with the report’s revelation that the CIA told Bush about its torture practices in 2006.

Responding to the news that CIA contractors assisting in the torture faced conflicts of interest, Stewart marveled at the small-potatoes nature of the allegation in the midst of the report’s “deluge of depravity.”

“Yeah, yeah, we fed guys through their a**holes, but don’t get me started on the nepotism,” he joked.

To close out the segment, Stewart played a clip of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) saying that America needed to face the “ugly truth” of the torture report, before suggesting that America was more likely to focus on how Pizza Hut put cheese in its crust.

Screengrab via The Daily Show

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*First Published: Dec 10, 2014, 12:41 pm CST