Over much of the course of its nearly 20 years on the air, Comedy Central’s weeknight program, “The Daily Show,” has made a habit of ridiculing the mistakes and comments of politicians, making a special effort to focus on those whose seeming hypocrisy becomes part of their actions. On December 3, host Trevor Noah began a segment by referencing the tragedy from the day before that took place in San Bernardino, CA that killed 14 people and wounded 21 others.
Noting that he had only taken over the position from long-time host Jon Stewart just two months earlier, Noah mentioned that it hadn’t been the first time he had to acknowledge a tragedy of this nature. He also indicated that despite those previous instances, the proper words were still hard to offer. That led into a series of clips that President Barack Obama has offered after similar shootings that took place since his presidency began in January 2009. Each have attempted to offer solace while also making a plea for a more concerted effort on behalf of tighter gun control.
Noah then showed photos of Obama from 2009 and last week, noting that he has shown visible signs of aging due to the stresses of the office. In contrast, he noted how photos of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell from those same time frames indicated that his appearance had hardly changed. However, Noah’s most pointed commentary focused on Senator Ted Cruz, who is currently running for the Republican nomination for president for 2016.
Cruz has indicated in the past that he strongly believes in the Second Amendment, which guarantees Americans the right to bear arms, and that any infringement on those rights should be stopped. Noting that Cruz had planned to go ahead with a campaign event that would be held at an Iowa gun range just hours after the shooting took place, Noah focused on Cruz’s seeming insensitivity to the tragedy and used an obscenity to compare what Cruz’s actions looked like from a public relations perspective. Cruz’s support in Iowa has grown in recent weeks, with the presidential caucuses being held there in January. That surge, coupled with his continuing prominence after winning election to the Senate in 2012, offers him the appearance of a popular politician.
However, some news reports have indicated that Cruz is actually one of the more despised members of the Senate, a group that included some of his fellow Republicans. Some of the reasons stem from his willingness to shut down the government that cost American taxpayers millions of dollars, and what’s perceived to be his penchant for grandstanding as opposed to governing. An audio clip of a former roommate who expressed his disdain for Cruz was shown, which was then followed by previous comments by Cruz against such things as the Affordable Care Act and President Obama’s foreign policy. A recent comment by Cruz joking how contraceptive devices such as condoms are easily available was countered by Noah noting that Cruz had been one of the more vocal opponents of defunding Planned Parenthood. That push came in the wake of controversial videos being released that appeared to show the organization selling aborted baby parts.
Noah also mentioned that Cruz had offered an amendment to ban certain birth control devices and offered legislation that would make it harder for insurance companies to cover the purchase of such items. In the closing portion of the segment, Noah mentioned the irony that Cruz was able to bring both Democrats and Republicans together in their hatred of him.