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Jon Stewart ‘surprised’ at collapse of belief in coronavirus lab leak theory

Comedian Jon Stewart said in a new interview that he was surprised by the major setback in his adherence to the coronavirus lab leak theory and wondered how this had been “politicized”.

Former “Daily Show” host surprised media watchers in June when he embarked on a heated discussion on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” about the coincidence that the Wuhan coronavirus emerged in a town with a super lab that has been experimenting with bat coronaviruses, saying, “The disease has the same name as the lab!”

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter about his new Apple TV + project, Stewart cited Colbert’s interview while discussing the power of Twitter.

“It’s a democratized connection and also democratized destruction,” he said. “Not to quote MC Hammer, but you can’t take the measurement without considering the measurer. that f — them up. “

“You are referring to your appearance in June on The Late Show where you bet everything on the theory that the coronavirus came from a laboratory in China. I cannot say if Colbert was amused by you or maybe a little. nervous, ”the reporter said. said Lacey Rose.

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“I don’t think he was nervous,” said Stewart. “It’s not like he doesn’t know what I’m going to say. Listen, how come if it was a scientific accident, it’s conservative, and if it comes from a wet market, that is. ‘is liberal, I don’t’ I don’t know how it got politicized. But it was an inelegant way to come up with a little that I’ve been doing for years, which is our shine though. will more than likely be our demise. ”speaks of the man’s last words, which are,“ Hey, that worked. ”I guess I was a little surprised by the hindsight.

Stewart’s appearance went viral, as he compared the emerging virus in Wuhan to an outbreak of “chocolate goodness” near the Hershey factory in Pennsylvania. The Wuhan lab had experienced safety concerns, and reports of sick researchers showing COVID-like symptoms in 2019 continued to fuel speculation that the virus did not come from nature.

But while Stewart’s progressive comedy made him popular with Democrats and the mainstream media during his 16 years on “The Daily Show,” some reporters and viewers berated him for supporting the theory of the Colbert show. Disgraced former CBS News anchor Dan Rather called Stewart’s rhetoric “dangerous and short-sighted,” Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman said “celebrities” shouldn’t be seen as reliable news sources, and Forbes made viewers uncomfortable with what Stewart said.

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The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and guest Jon Stewart on Monday June 14, 2021. Photo: Scott Kowalchyk / CBS © 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved.

The reemergence of the laboratory leak theory as credible or probable after being declared implausible and ‘debunked’ by fact-checkers and media reports in 2020 led to a recalculation for the press on group thinking issues and bias.

Some reporters even acknowledged that support for the lab leak theory from Republicans like Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Was the reason it was initially rejected in the media.

President Joe Biden ordered a review of intelligence on the origins of the virus, and the 90-day investigation returned with inconclusive results last month, partly citing China’s reluctance to cooperate. Chinese state media strongly denied the lab theory and even promoted the idea that it came from imported “frozen foods”.

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Colbert, a staunch Democrat supporter, seemed uncomfortable with Stewart’s stance, at one point jokingly sounding like a lackey to Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wis. However, Stewart said in the interview that Colbert knew what he was going to say in advance.