Jon Stewart, no! Ex-Daily Show host baffles fans by endorsing Wuhan lab leak theory that’s now apparently OK to discuss on TV
Comedian and Democrat idol Jon Stewart caused whiplash for his many fans by saying the Wuhan lab leak is the most obvious explanation for the origin of Covid-19, something until very recently denounced as racist conspiracy talk.
Appearing as the first guest on the first post-lockdown live show of his onetime Daily Show colleague Stephen Colbert on Monday night, at one point Stewart went on a rant about the origin of the coronavirus.
"Oh my god, there’s a novel respiratory coronavirus overtaking Wuhan, China, what do we do? Oh, you know who we could ask? The Wuhan novel respiratory coronavirus lab,” Stewart said, mocking explanations along the lines of “a pangolin kissed a turtle” and “maybe a bat... flew into the cloaca of a turkey and... then it sneezed into my chili” as patently absurd.
In the space of a year left wingers and their allies in big tech have moved from ridiculing and silencing anyone who suggested covid may have come from a Chinese lab to ridiculing anyone who doesn’t believe covid came from a Chinese lab. It’s head spinning.— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) June 15, 2021
All along, Colbert seemed to be attempting to silence Stewart, or as one irate liberal tweeted, “save him from himself.” It was unclear whether he was genuinely concerned, however, or if that was an act akin to his faux Republican foil to Stewart during his Colbert Report years.
Stephen Colbert was hilariously uncomfortable that one of his heroes, Jon Stewart, came on his first show back in-studio to essentially endorse the lab leak theory. Six months ago he'd have to condemn Stewart as a right-wing xenophobic conspiracy theorist https://t.co/96DOh9BHRz— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) June 15, 2021
Stewart’s remarks were met by massive cognitive dissonance among his and Colbert’s fans, at least according to the tweets collected by conservative pundit Stephen L. Miller.
One fan called it “extremely irresponsible” for Stewart to go “spewing an unproven, outside theory” and giving “crazy juice” to “nuts on the right.” Another said Stewart acted like “a crazy MAGA Republican.” A third accused Stewart of “anti-Chinese rants” and Colbert of tolerating it.
“Jon Stewart was one of my idols until tonight. He's giving credibility to the Wuhan lab leak conspiracy and spreading dangerous lies,” said another fan.
I love Jon Stewart! Hero to democracy!*one minute later*NOOOOOO YOU CAN'T SAY LAB LEAK, CHINA GOOD! pic.twitter.com/iO0vewOFJP— The Tam Jimmie Rustler (16-0) (@JamesRustle) June 15, 2021
It wasn’t all visceral disavowal, however. Journalism professor and MSNBC pundit Dr. Jason Johnson fired off half a dozen tweets explaining how actually, there was “a huge difference” between what Stewart said he believes, and “the conspiracies being peddled by the Right and the former Trump administration.”
President Donald Trump promoted the Wuhan lab leak theory “as a way to stoke racism & blame China to distract from his own corrupt and incompetent [Covid-19] pandemic response,” Johnson argued.
Trump promoted #WuhanLabLeak theory as a way to stoke racism & blame China to distract from his own corrupt and incompetent #COVID19 pandemic response. There is a HUGE difference btw "China intentionally infected us" v.s. "This might be an accidental outbreak"— Dr. Jason Johnson (@DrJasonJohnson) June 15, 2021
Until last month, it was an article of faith in the global scientific community – enforced by strict censorship in legacy and social media – that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, evolved in nature and jumped to humans through some kind of animal host. No such host has ever been found. Speculation that the virus might have been enhanced through gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) – partly funded by the US government, through cut-outs – was denounced as a “conspiracy theory.”
Then it suddenly wasn’t, and both social media platforms, corporate outlets and the Biden administration began treating the “lab leak” accident theory as obviously plausible and pretending they never said otherwise – to Beijing’s displeasure.
Judging by the reactions of Colbert’s audience, however, the general public is still catching up.Also on rt.com Biden calls for access to Wuhan labs to determine whether Covid-19 was result of ‘experiment gone awry’
This has led to speculation among some conservative pundits that Stewart may have been brought out of retirement – he left The Daily Show in July 2015, to the dismay of many Democrats – to help establish the new narrative.
“I applaud Jon Stewart for showing up 18 months late and saying what everyone is already saying when it became fashionable to do so,” quipped Human Events editor Jack Posobiec.
“They trot him out as the airlock to say ‘OK, now you good normal liberal people can talk about it too’…” replied former liberal and talk show host Dave Rubin.
Stephen Miller, the commentator who collected the angry audience reactions on Twitter, noted that Stewart’s remarks would have been banned on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter as “misinformation” just months ago, but now they’re suddenly acceptable “and not a single journalist in mainstream media is asking why that is.”
8 months ago this clip would be banned on YouTube and Facebook. Twitter would flag it for rampant misinformation. People were banned over this. Now, and with no new information, it's acceptable, and not a single journalist in mainstream media is asking why that is.— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) June 15, 2021
“This is about how corporate media and [Big Tech] decide which information is considered crazy and a conspiracy right up until they don’t anymore. This is about power,” he tweeted.
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