Jon Stewart Slams Airing of Tyre Nichols Arrest Footage: ‘News Media Was Giddy and Salivating Over What?’

“The Problem with Jon Stewart” host compared CNN’s coverage to Fox playing “Spring break footage”

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Jon Stewart and “The Problem with Jon Stewart” writer Kasaun Wilson railed against CNN for airing bodycam footage of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man who died after being beaten by Memphis police officers during a traffic stop.

“I think this is the first time where I’m like, you know what I’m not gonna go on Twitter, I’m not going on Facebook. I’m just gonna relax and let it do its thing,” Wilson said. “Now CNN is playing the video. I wish y’all would stop. Y’all just playing it in restaurants and McDonald’s and Wendy’s.”

“Are they playing it like wallpaper?” Stewart asked. “Are they doing that thing where it’s in the box and the announcer is talking about something else and you’re just seeing it over and over again?”

“You know, like if Kobe hit a game winner and they would just — SportsCenter would just keep playing it over and over going to commercial,” Wilson replied.

“Are you f—ing serious?,” Stewart said.

Stewart went on to compare CNN’s decision to Fox playing “spring-break footage”

“Like it’s just on the loop and now it’s like they’re talking about something else, but the girls in bikinis are still dancing,” he continued. “Like here’s how quickly that gets, just numbing. When they first put it out there, they had to do that like cheesy disclaimer — ‘Now this image — the images you’re about to see, are somewhat disturbing and I wanna warn everybody,’ and then f—ing two hours later it’s just rolling like it’s a Vine.”

Later in the conversation, he questioned the anticipation leading up the initial release of the footage.

“I just thought like, the only time you ever see that is like when Taylor Swift is about to put out a ‘Taylor’s version,’” Stewart said. “Like the news media was almost giddy and salivating over what? Where they were cutting into programs, you know, ‘Coming up, the video’s gonna be coming out in two hours and then after that I’m sure we’re gonna be able to get you some real shit. Like we’re gonna get you some real shit.’”

Wilson agreed, saying the media “really hyped it up.”

“It’s like, ‘Yo, you seen the season premiere of “Police Brutality,” we can’t wait.’ And then the video came out and then Fox News is like, ‘Yeah, the cops are Black. What y’all gonna say now?’” Wilson added. “We’re gonna say the exact same thing.”

Wilson concluded the conversation by pointing out that the Nichols incident “actually may not have been a better scenario for us to discuss anti-Blackness than in a scenario where the cops are Black.”

“Now we can actually discuss structural issues,” he said.

“And how maybe this really is now, maybe it allows everybody to get past a point and go like, all right, we’re framing this wrong,” Stewart chimed in. “And this really is about a system that’s been designed. And it doesn’t matter who you plug into that system, the outcomes will be the same.”

The full ” The Problem With Jon Stewart” podcast is available here.