Watch: Jon Stewart Is Fuming After Gov Report Revealed Wuhan Lab Leak Theory Most Likely - 'I'm Done'
Jon Stewart spoke about the backlash he received from the left after he discussed the potential that COVID-19 originated in a Chinese lab during an interview with Stephen Colbert in 2021.
At the time, Stewart was essentially written off as a has-been and a conspiracy theorist by people on his own side of the aisle after he said on “The Late Show” he believed it was likely the coronavirus had escaped a lab in the city where it was first discovered.
His comments took on a new significance Sunday when The Wall Street Journal reported the Department of Energy concluded it was “most likely” the pandemic originated in a lab in Wuhan, China.
The department made its judgment on the lab leak theory with “low confidence,” according to the report, which cited classified intelligence recently provided to the White House and key lawmakers.
The former host of “The Daily Show” was informed of the news during his Apple TV show “The Problem with Jon Stewart” on Monday.
“Are you trying to get me canceled again?” Stewart said.
“First of all, I wasn’t waiting on the Department of Energy to weigh in on this,” he joked.
Stewart then recalled how the left tried to cancel him for having the audacity to make such a suggestion in a society where freedom of expression is supposed to be a bedrock principle.
He jested that daring to challenge the pandemic mob on the origin of the virus back then was equatable to uttering the phrase “Hillary for Prison.”
“The larger problem with all of this is the inability to discuss things that are within the realm of possibility without falling into absolutes and litmus-testing each other for our political allegiances as it arose from that,” he said.
Stewart then brought up his appearance on Colbert’s show, saying, “My bigger problem with that was I thought it was a pretty good bit that expressed kind of how I felt, and the two things that came out of it were I’m racist against Asian people, and how dare I align myself with the alt-right?”
“The backlash was swift, immediate and quite loud. And again, I didn’t take that personally either,” he said. “Like, we live in a world where, like, I have my opinions. I’m not mad at the backlash either because they’re doing what I’m doing, which is expressing myself.”
Stewart also lamented something conservatives have pointed out the average liberal has lacked for years, which is the ability to understand and accept nuance.
“The part that I don’t like about it is the absolutes and the dismissive like, ‘F*** you, I’m done with you. I will never forgive you. You have crossed an unforgivable line. You’ve expressed an opinion that is antithetical to mine, or not mine,'” he said.
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers may find offensive.
Today @JonStewart talks to some of our staff about the news that the COVID-19 virus may, in fact, have leaked from a lab in China and what it reveals about the problem with the media narrative machine. Full episode drops Wednesday on @ApplePodcasts pic.twitter.com/tsaLUYzIRl
— The Problem With Jon Stewart (@TheProblem) February 27, 2023
The fact there was an effort to cancel Jon Stewart is a reminder of how committed the country’s corrupted institutions and those who followed them blindly were to allowing only one viewpoint about a virus that affected all of us.
These people behaved similarly in their opinions on how to mitigate the spread of the disease by taking measures that in retrospect were pointless.
In his June 14, 2021, appearance on Colbert’s show, Stewart said, “I think we owe a great debt of gratitude to science. Science has, in many ways, helped ease the suffering of this pandemic — which was more than likely caused by science.”
Seemingly taken aback, the host of “The Late Show” paused and had a sip of coffee before asking whether Stewart thought “perhaps there’s a chance that this was created in a lab.”
“A chance?” he responded sarcastically.
“There’s a novel respiratory coronavirus overtaking Wuhan, China, what do we do? Oh, you know, who we could ask? The Wuhan novel respiratory coronavirus lab,” Stewart said. “The disease is the same name as the lab. That’s just a little too weird, don’t you think?
“And then they ask those scientists, they’re like, ‘How did this — so wait a minute, you work at the Wuhan respiratory coronavirus lab? How did this happen?’
“And they’re like, ‘Ooh, a pangolin kissed a turtle?'”
The comments generated headlines from liberal media outlets. The Washington Post, for example, scoffed at Stewart’s “conspiracy theory,” saying, “There’s a reason the lab in Wuhan studies viruses like the novel coronavirus; it’s because China has a history with those types of viruses emerging.”
“Experts” on social media also spoke out against him for “promoting the conspiracy.”
I saw the clip and am concerned to see Stewart promoting the conspiracy… even if it’s just for laughs.https://t.co/nMr5omPoX4
— Dr. Kiki Sanford (@drkiki) June 15, 2021
The prevailing strategy among the American left throughout the last several years has been to avoid questioning official narratives at all times, which is very illiberal.
Stewart, to his credit, had the backbone at the height of the COVID hysteria to make some very valid observations.
He might have paid dearly for it at the time, but he has since been vindicated.
So have many others.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.