In the endless media coverage of Bruce Jenner’s transformation into Caitlyn Jenner, Jon Stewart provided neutral observers with a prime example why his routine is a sad stain on the American cultural landscape. The Daily Show host selectively edited morning show clips to assist him in his efforts to bask in self-serving claptrap masquerading as compassion.
Mediaite reported June 2:
Caitlyn, when you were a man, we could talk about your athleticism, business acumen — but now you’re a woman. Your looks are really the only thing we care about, which bring us to phase two of your transition: comparative f**kability. [clips of TMZ and morning shows play, which compare Jenner’s face to Jessica Lange and body to Kardashian women.] Look, we want to give a woman a compliment here. We just need to make sure another woman gets taken down a peg in the process. It’s how that we maintain the balance.
Well, we’re almost all the way there. Let’s complete the transition. [cut to morning show clips talking about Jenner’s good looks at age 65.] There you go! That’s the caveat we were missing. Remind her she has an expiration date now! […] [cut to clips of morning shows talking about Vanity Fair cover, Photoshop] I mean, you take away the corset and the makeup and I don’t know if anyone wants to bang her! So Caitlyn Jenner, congratulations. Welcome to being a woman in America.”
Mr. Stewart’s audience lapped it up, as always. Anyone with the ability to think objectively, however, can see the absurdity of his claims.
- Fact: Caitlyn Jenner went to Vanity Fair and leveraged media contacts to gain maximum exposure.
- Fact: Caitlyn Jenner posed for Vanity Fair in a swimsuit.
- Fact: Magazines like Vanity Fair heavily use Photoshop.
- Fact: The Kardashians have made a very lucrative career out of objectifying their bodies.
- Fact: Caitlyn Jenner is promoting “I Am Cait” by talking about the application of makeup, beauty, etc.
- Fact: Morning shows talk about popular culture.
Caitlyn Jenner, like all the other Kardashian’s, worked to make sure that everyone was talking about Vanity Fair’s newest cover. Jon Stewart then pulls from TMZ and morning news shows and feigns outrage at coverage that is a.) completely logical given the subject matter, and b.) exactly what Caitlyn Jenner knew people would talk about.
If a man undergoes cosmetic surgery, takes hormones to alter his body chemistry, has professional makeup artists transform him into a Jessica Lange stunt double, wears a swimsuit and then poses for the cover of a magazine, then it stands to reason that television hosts will talk about Jessica Lange, swimsuits, makeup, and family members who became famous for their part in amateur pornography.
Jon Stewart found a way to take the Caitlyn Jenner story and turn it into a “look what an awesome woman-respecting guy I am!” segment for The Daily Show. He reached into the digital sea of America’s 24-hour news cycle and pulled out whatever bits and pieces he could to make it happen. When it was done he sat there smugly while his audience clapped on cue. It was an embarrassing spectacle, but one worth noting.
Pride and vanity, like a virus, is contagious, which is why it is always easy to spot avid fans of the comedian — condescension oozes from their pores like breaking blisters on a child with chickenpox.
There are plenty of discussions worth having that involve Caitlyn Jenner, but it is a good bet that most of them started by Jon Stewart are rooted in a kind of self-worship that no one is immune from — man or woman.