Cheddar revolution? Glenn Beck vs. Jon Stewart on Middle East-Wisconsin comparisons
Commentator Glenn Beck and others have repeatedly drawn parallels between Egypt and the Wisconsin protests. 'Ah, they're not the same in any way, shape, or form,' says Daily Show host Jon Stewart.
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"It's like Cairo's moved to Madison these days," Rep. Paul Ryan (R) or Wisconsin said on MSNBC Feb. 18. The following day, Rep. John Lewis (D) of Georgia also said on MSNBC: “There is an unbelievable parallel and a real connection that I can readily identify with the people in the streets of Cairo and Madison, Wisconsin."Skip to next paragraph
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Journalists are also making the comparison.
The New York Times wrote Feb. 18 that images from Wisconsin "evoked the Middle East more than the Midwest. The parallels raise the inevitable question: Is Wisconsin the Tunisia of collective bargaining rights?"
Kathleen Parker, co-host of CNN news show "Parker Spitzer," also couldn't help making the parallel, saying Feb. 17 that "the thousands of [Wisconsin] demonstrators are clearly inspired by the pro-democracy protesters in the Middle East." She was quickly corrected by her stand-in co-host, Ali Velshi: "But, Kathleen, there is an important distinction. And that is that this is Wisconsin. It's not Egypt."
And to that, Stewart of The Daily Show readily concurs.
"If I may, there are a few small differences between this and Cairo," he said Monday in a segment titled "Crisis in Dairyland: Revenge of the Curds."
"The Egyptian protesters risked being shot. The Wisconsin protesters risked being caught in a drum circle," Stewart said. "And as for protesters' charge that [Gov. Scott] Walker is a tyrant, I will remind you that he was elected with 52 percent of the vote; tyrants tend to poll in the high-90s. C'mon, man, like 400 people died in those protests, reporters were brutally beaten, I'm sure you can come up with a more appropriate comparison."
Unlikely, at least in the case of Beck.
The protests "will cascade," he said on his show Monday. "They will sweep the Middle East and begin to destabilize Europe and the rest of the world." And in the end, what will come of it? "It's going to work out super special for you and me while we're at the gas stations," he said, laying on his signature sarcasm.