The Daily Show started its last summer vacation – a two-week break – on August 7. Two days later, Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson. Without even considering the other events of the past two weeks, including the James Foley execution, Jon Stewart and his team had a lot of ground to cover quickly.
So Stewart dove in on last night's show (the first of the week, owing to Monday's Emmys) by taking on Bill O'Reilly and the Fox News crew. O'Reilly came back from a break early – which Stewart turned into a not-quite-effective joke at his own expense about his own "particularly nice vacation" – to communicate his own outrage. Naturally, this outrage was not about the shooting, but about the mainstream media's coverage of it.
In fact, Stewart noted that said outrage was the name of the game at Fox over the past two weeks, particularly about media tying the Michael Brown shooting to race. These are the people who care passionately about the "War on Christmas" – and yet, as he noted, they can't see how this could possibly be about race.
The whole thing caused Stewart to drop the humor and get outraged himself.
I guarantee you that every person of color in this country has faced an indignity – from the ridiculous to the grotesque to the sometimes fatal – at some point in their, I’m going to say last couple of hours, because of their skin color.
Stewart's fury – which comes at the end of the clip, and really must be seen for itself – clearly came from a place of pure, passionate disgust for Fox. It was positively John Oliver-esque.
“Race is there, and it is a constant,” he said, partially addressing the Fox commentators in question. “You’re tired of hearing about it? Imagine how f*cking exhausting it is living it."