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Late Night: Jon Stewart on Obama's 'Godless' Thanksgiving address

November 29, 2011 |  8:42 am

President Obama makes Thanksgiving Day phone calls. Jon Stewart mocked Fox News for saying that Obama left God out of his Thanksgiving address on YouTube.

Ding-ding-ding! It's Jon Stewart versus Fox News, round 1,567. On Monday night, Jon Stewart mocked the cable network for its over-reaction to President Obama's Thanksgiving address. Just what had he done wrong this time, according to the pundits at Fox? He'd neglected to mention God in the speech.

Stewart saw some irony in the complaints. After all, "Thanksgiving was a bunch of pagans teaching religious zealots how to farm," he said. In any case, it was "not a huge Thanksgiving faux pas"-- especially since Obama was not the first president to leave God out of his holiday greeting.

In fact, as Fox News pointed out, President George W. Bush mentioned God in 7 out of 8 speeches, while Bill Clinton name-dropped the man upstairs a mere four times. "Any other disclaimers you want to mention?" Stewart wondered.

Indeed, there was. It also turns out that President Obama actually did mention God in his written Thanksgiving proclamation, if not in his videotaped address. "Yet for some reason that didn't stop Fox from dissecting it on no fewer than three of its shows," Stewart said. 

So what's driving the outrage? Stewart claimed that Fox News is trying to turn Thanksgiving into "yet another one of those Christian-persecution, culture-war-type things." He closed the segment with a plea to Fox News: Leave Thanksgiving alone. As he put it, it's the only holiday "where you can get drunk around your kids at 2 p.m."-- so why ruin a good thing with partisan sniping? 

Amen to that.

 

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Photo: President Barack Obama makes Thanksgiving Day phone calls to U.S. military personnel from the Oval Office November 24, 2011. Credit: Pete Souza / Reuters

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