Rush Limbaugh's defenders in the Sandra Fluke scandal point to offensive comments made by Bill Maher in a finger-pointing war of words -- and that set off one of Jon Stewart's best rants.
On Tuesday's "Daily Show," Stewart showed a montage of Fox News commentators accusing Maher of hiding behind comedy when calling Sarah Palin vulgar names. Stewart whipped out a clip of Limbaugh doing the same thing, defending his Fluke "slut" speech as "provocative" and "illustrating absurdity."
"Don't pretend that by people saying they're comedians, they're hiding … they're not," he said. "They're just telling you that the language of satire is slightly different than the language of newscasters. Language in general has repercussions."
He added: "There are repercussions for what comedians say. When you’re doing it in a club, there are repercussions -- ask Michael Richards, ask Tracy Morgan. If you do comedy on television, there are repercussions -- ask me," Stewart said, cutting immediately to a Fox News clip asking if his comments about Herman Cain were racially motivated.
The repercussions aren't limited to Fox News critiques, he said. He said he receives letters -- "many of them handwritten, some of them containing white powder."
"You know, when I got into comedy, I didn't think the white powder I'd be getting was anthrax," he said. "By the way, for those of you at home, don't snort anthrax."
After saying he is all for free speech, Stewart ended the segment with a message for Fox News: "Shut the fuck up about how victimized you and you alone are! Nobody cares!"
Watch the video: