Jon Stewart: Mainstream media fixated on Will Smith slap because 'that's their business model'

Actor Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock on-stage, on live TV at the Oscars, has garnered heavy media coverage since Sunday

Updated: March 30, 2022 - 12:23am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Comedian and activist Jon Stewart said Tuesday the mainstream media is still fixated on actor Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock because "that's their business model."

Stewart, former host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, was in Washington, D.C., advocating for passage of the Honoring Our PACT Act, which would provide medical coverage for war veterans exposed to toxins from burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Though he commented on why he thinks the Sunday night incident at the Academy Awards in Hollywood continues to dominate news sites – amid the importance of other issues like the pandemic and Russia-Ukraine War – he declined to comment on the specifics of the episode.

"That's their business model," Stewart said. "That's their business model."

Stewart's legislation is currently being considered in the 50-50 Senate. Stewart said veterans advocacy groups are working to gain the support of 10 more Republican senators to shore up passage of the bill.

"We're poisoning our veterans," Stewart said at news conference with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and veterans advocates. "This is grave, let's do something.

"They could have been responsible in the '70s when they banned this kind of thing in the United States. You want to do it here. Let's dig a giant f***ing pit 10 acres long and burn everything in Washington with jet fuel.

"And then let me know how long they want to wait before they think it's going to cause some health problems. Here's the bottom line. You cannot be 'America first' when you put veterans last and it stops, and these guys are going to get it done," he added.

Just the News Spotlight