"Far more devious": Jon Stewart says Fox News "created far more damage than Alex Jones ever will"

"As a cultural pathogen, Fox News is far more powerful... far more pernicious," the host said

Published February 23, 2023 4:38PM (EST)

John Stewart and Alex Jones (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
John Stewart and Alex Jones (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

Comedian Jon Stewart argued that Fox News is far more dangerous than InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones after the release of text messages and emails showing hosts and executives trashing the same election conspiracy theories they aired.

On the latest episode of his "The Problem With Jon Stewart" podcast, the host said that Jones' history — including when he defamed the families of Sandy Hook mass shooting victims — is bad, but at least people know what Jones does and who he is. 

"As a cultural pathogen, Fox News is far more powerful, far more devious, far more pernicious and has created far more damage than Alex Jones ever will," Stewart argued alongside University of Utah law professor RonNell Andersen Jones.

"And at least Alex Jones gives you supplements to help offset the damage," Stewart added, mocking Jones' history of promoting diet pills.

"Alex Jones is a wolf in wolf's clothing. Fox News is the opposite," Stewart said in a discussion about defamation law and the mountain of evidence Dominion Voting Systems has collected against Fox in their libel suit.

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According to Stewart, the text messages — which show Fox executives and personalities dismissing the same claims about election fraud that their guests promoted  — prove what he has "been screaming about for two decades, which is a purposeful strategy to divide the country through fear and lies and whatever the f**k else it would take."

"When you've spent your life screaming at Fox News in bars and hotels and your house, and then the emails finally come out that say, 'Oh yeah, everything you thought about them is worse than you thought!'" Stewart said. "They are who we thought they are… which is the worst."

He also compared Fox's attempts to "skew reality" to the apocalyptic HBO series "The Last of Us," claiming that the news network's strategy is as follows: "Let's create an army of zombies and the cordyceps is the fear and disinformation and misinformation. It's f**king amazing!"

"My biggest hope here is that they can no longer look you in the eye when they're saying their bullshit," Stewart concluded. "I still think they will, because one of their greatest strengths is lack of shame. And that lack of shame allows them to continue the charade."

By Samaa Khullar

Samaa Khullar is a former news fellow at Salon with a background in Middle Eastern history and politics. She is a graduate of New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism institute and is pursuing investigative reporting.

MORE FROM Samaa Khullar

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Alex Jones Clip Fox News Jon Stewart Politics