“We’re all going to die.”
That might be stating the obvious, but Jon Stewart recently spelled out in detail the fears that Americans currently have of dying from the Ebola virus or an invasion by ISIS on his Daily Show.
Riffing on a Fox News correspondent that said, “We have a border so porous, that ISIS – or Ebola on the backs of ISIS – could come through our border,” Jon Stewart took a lighthearted – yet extremely logical – look at what has the greatest chance of killing you in the United States.
“I gotta say, ‘Ebola on the backs of ISIS’… it should sound terrifying… how cute would that be? To see ISIS giving Ebola a piggyback ride…”
Stewart pointed out that the media is overhyped about militants and Ebola and “porous borders,” and yet the number of deaths caused by those very things “can be counted on two Simpsons’ hands.” He then played a number of clips of conservative government officials and television personalities commenting that the United States would do “whatever it takes” to protect Americans from the above listed threats.
Jon emphasized that the “government will do whatever it takes to save American lives.”
Cut to a report from CBS News saying that heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, killing over 600,000 citizens each year. Cut back to Jon Stewart looking shocked and dismayed.
“That’s like Milwaukee disappearing every year. That’s like if you took all the Americans killed by ISIS and Ebola, and added almost 600,000 to it…”
Stewart then fed back into the whole “government will do whatever it takes to save American lives” mantra before showing clips of conservative tv personalities saying things like, “Government shouldn’t be telling us what to eat,” “Schools are forcing kids to go meatless on Mondays,” “Meatless Mondays are brainwashing” children.
If we aren’t helping Americans pre-heart disease then maybe we can help them after the fact, Stewart suggest. “Maybe we can expand Medicaid?” He cites a study that says that expanding the program could prevent an estimated 7,000 to 17,000 deaths per year.
Cut to a number of conservative congressmen and tv personalities saying things like, “to expand this program is not unlike adding a thousand people to the Titanic.”
Stewart rounded out the look at what’s killing Americans by addressing gun deaths, (32,000 annually – 88 per day, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence website). In response to Senator Lindsey Graham saying, “Criminals will never go through a background check,” Stewart dispelled the notion that guns don’t kill people, criminals do, quite succinctly.
“The government has a sacred obligation to do whatever it takes to save American lives… unless it’s through a law that criminals would break.”
Jon ended the segment by emphasizing the absurdity of government priorities. “All we keep hearing is we must do whatever it takes to save American lives… unless it’s stopping the things that are actually killing Americans.”
Here’s the full segment from Jon Stewart’s Daily Show on Comedy Central.
image via Salon