People tuning in to The Daily Show Monday night to hear Jon Stewart’s sober and objective analysis of the killing of Osama bin Laden may have been a little surprised as the New York native unapologetically basked in the news. “I am way too close to this whole episode to be rational about this in any way, shape, or form,” bubbled Stewart. “Last night was a good night — for me. And not just for New York or D.C. or America, but for human people … Al Qaeda’s opportunity is gone … Can they still do damage? I’m sure. But we’re back, baby.”
Stewart giddiness was unmistakable — he later called the episode “pure Id,” and proved it with an “enhanced” map of an aroused America with Florida at attention, so to speak. His good spirits extended to his treatment of the media, which he faulted only for its frustrating and needless suspense before President Obama gave his address Sunday night. “For God’s sake, Seacrest doesn’t draw out an elimination reveal this long!” he complained.
There were no contrarian angles tonight, no “Yes, but… ” rebuttals to conventional wisdom. Through it all, he had fun with comical headlines celebrating the terrorist’s demise: “Hairy Plotter and the Deathly Hello,” “Bye Bye Beardie,” the self referential “Death to Douchey,” and finally, “To Kill a Mockingturd.” “I suppose I should be expressing some ambivalence about the targeted killing of another human being, and yet… uh, no,” Stewart admitted.
“The face of the Arab world in America’s eyes for too long has been Bin Laden, and now it is not,” rejoiced Stewart, sounding a little like one of the kids frolicking outside the White House Sunday night. “Now the face is only the young people in Egypt and Tunisia and all the Middle Eastern countries around the world where freedom rises up.”
Signing off, Stewart promised to temper his enthusiasm over time, but clearly, Stewart was in a mood to celebrate. For once, he and Glenn Beck could have been at the same party.