Opinion

Disgusting: The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah leads ‘pep rally’ over journalists indictment

The Daily Show’s reputation as a vehicle for Generation Y to speak truth to power was never true, but its latest bit of propagandizing brings the farce to a new low that can only be described as foul.

On Wednesday, host Trevor Noah reacted to news that a Texas grand jury decided to prosecute the Center for Medical Progress for exposing Planned Parenthood rather than Planned Parenthood themselves by turning his show into a full-blown pep rally for Planned Parenthood’s “vindication.”

That’s not hyperbole—he led the audience in chants of “U-S-A,” called the indictment “fantastic” and “the best thing ever,” compared the case to a movie “where you think the bad guys are going to win and then the last second the good guys turn it around,” and chortled that CMP was “so busted,” like some giddy teenager.

These guys are so busted and also, you used a fake ID to try and buy baby parts. That’s the most disgusting thing you can buy with a fake ID — well, other than Smirnoff Ice, but I mean, that is the most disgu — I mean, now, as always with a controversial case, there’s bound to be some haters.

Also like a teenager, Noah doesn’t think before he speaks (or rather, before he recites the script). To have a buyer, you need a seller. How can it be “disgusting” to “buy baby parts” if it’s not disgusting for Planned Parenthood to sell them? And how can Daleiden be charged with purchasing parts “for valuable consideration” if Planned Parenthood only sought reimbursement in return?

Do you know how not guilty you have to be for a grand jury to send your accuser to trial. [LAUGHTER] Grand juries only listen to the prosecutor there. There’s no defense. In fact, prosecutors have so much control they often say they could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. That’s a common phrase. Indict a ham sandwich. They can, unless the ham sandwich is a cop and then, that’s a different story. Well, to be fair, if the sandwich has to shoot the black guy was about to eat him.

Shorter: the decision was right because they wouldn’t have reached it if it wasn’t (racial side-spin notwithstanding). But appealing to prevailing wisdom as to how grand juries generally go is no substitute for taking the trouble to analyze the facts of the case.

Those who have analyzed the facts, such as Hans von Spakovsky and Andrew Kloster do at the Daily Signal, would learn (a) that clearing Planned Parenthood is contrary to video evidence that clearly shows their personnel discussing breaking multiple laws, (b) that Daleiden should be innocent because the law they’re accused of violating requires actual intent to go through with the sale, which Daleiden clearly did not have, and (c) that private citizens’ use of fake identification for undercover investigation is not only considered legitimate practice in other contexts, but is sometimes even legally encouraged, such as by the federal Fair Housing Act for exposing discriminatory hiring practices.

If Comedy Central doesn’t want to do the work involved in actual journalism, then they shouldn’t pretend their comedians’ shtick should be taken as journalism.

But — but the point is it looked like Planned Parenthood was screwed. Especially last August, officials in Texas convened a grand jury to investigate them this and this is the part where it gets really fun. You see, they had a Republican governor who’s Republican lieutenant governor called for a Republican-appointed D.A. to probe the Republican favorite targets and all of this was set in a Republican state. Simply put, the fix was in, or so they thought.

Sure, Trevor. Repeat the word “Republican” enough times to pretend “the fix was in” against Planned Parenthood (because being pro-life while Republican is automatically corrupt according to The Narrative), and ignore multiple more direct indicators of an actual fix in the opposite direction, like prosecutor Devon Anderson letting another abortionist accused of crimes skirt the law by failing to show the grand jury key photographic evidence, or another prosecutor in her office, Lauren Reeder, sitting on the board of directors for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.

But I guess people who chop up babies to sell their parts getting away with it thanks to special connections didn’t seem quite as funny.

Even if Trevor Noah wasn’t wrong on the facts, we would still be left with someone cheering that a business that exists to slaughter children is free to kill again. The Comedy Central model of wrapping evil and lies in enough snark to feel good about them may not be enough to cover up the stench this time.

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