Jon Stewart Takes On The Twin Medieval Scourges Of Boko Haram And Rush Limbaugh (Video)
Jon Stewart managed to find a way to do serious comedy Monday with a segment on the kidnapping of Nigerian girls by Boko Haram, an act which even al Qaeda has condemned. “You know, there’s not a lot of times you’re going to get a Jewish guy to go, ‘I agree with al Qaeda.’ But wow … the group that never saw something full of civilians it didn’t want to blow up is saying ‘Take it down a notch.'” Stewart introduces us to Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, the “soulless, forest-dwelling lunatic” who nonetheless seems to know about the importance of dental hygiene, and to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, whose name just happens to sound like someone telling him that he’s leading “a corrupt country overrun with nutbag terrorists … Goodluck, Jonathan.”
And what actually motivated the Nigerian government to finally take the hostage crisis seriously? Stewart credits international outrage, in part spurred along by the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag, which compels Stewart to say that maybe Twitter is good for something other than “casual racism and dick pics.” And now, international aid is starting to be accepted by Nigeria.
See, that’s the thing about hashtag activism: it can’t force a crazy person to do something. But it can shame a less-crazy person into not doing nothing … whilst apparently driving a medium-crazy person crazier.
Cut to Rush Limbaugh’s grumbling about the pointlessness of it all, the empty farce of tweeting instead of doing something really useful, like sitting in a radio studio and mocking Michelle Obama for giving a damn. (And once more, Mr. Stewart borrows Wonkette’s “He seems nice.”) So, with the choice between siding with Malala Yousafzai, who is promoting #BringBackOurGirls, or “that fuckng guy,” Stewart suggests a hashtag for the “quivering rage heap” of rightwing radio: #F*@kYouRush.
(Unfortunately, the way Twitter works, Stewart’s suggested hashtag doesn’t actually work on the service, so if people want the thing to trend, they’re going to spell out the swears.)
Finally, kudos to Stewart for praising the courage of Nigerian girls, the “real badasses”: Imagine a kid who insists on getting an education even though she knows that she risks getting “dragged into a snake infested jungle, to be sold as a bribe by some demented stick-chewing cartoon villain, but still gets up and goes to class every day, fully aware of that danger.” Compared to those kids’ courage, Stewart says, “I’d say Boko Haram is a bunch of little girls. But, you know what? You don’t deserve that compliment.”