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Here’s Why The Right Shouldn’t Cheer Jon Stewart’s Lab-Leak Schtick

Jon Stewart

A clip of Jon Stewart on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” has blown up on the internet, and for good reason. It’s amazing. In it, Stewart, in a hilarious fake dialogue with a Chinese lab researcher, makes the case for why the theory that the coronavirus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology is way less insane than all the other origin hypotheses.

People owe a debt of gratitude to science, Stewart began, for helping ease the suffering of the pandemic, “which was more than likely caused by science.”

“What do you mean — do you mean perhaps there’s a chance this was created in a lab?” Colbert asked. “If there’s evidence I’d love to hear it.”

“A chance?” Stewart exclaimed. “Oh my g-d, 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. The disease is the same name as the lab!”

Here comes the fake dialogue:

And then they asked 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, ‘Hmm, a pangolin kissed a turtle?’

And you’re like, ‘No, the name of your lab — if you look at the name! Look at the name! — let me see your business card! Show me your business card!’

Oh, ‘I work at the coronavirus lab in Wuhan.’

‘Oh? because there’s a coronavirus loose in Wuhan. How did that happen?’

‘Maybe a bat flew into the cloaca of a turkey and then it sneezed into my chili, and now we all have coronavirus.’

Stewart’s final fake scenario sealed the deal. “There’s been an outbreak of chocolatey goodness near Hershey, Pennsylvania,” Stewart exclaimed. “What do you think happened? Like, oh, I don’t know. Maybe a steam shovel mated with a cocoa bean — or it’s the f-cking chocolate factory! Maybe that’s it!”

The comedian’s delivery was compelling and hilarious, rounded out by theatrical gestures and vocal characterization. It’s a must-watch.

For many conservatives, myself included, the segment also felt vindicating. More than a full year since it started to seem likely the virus originated in the Wuhan laboratory that was studying bat coronaviruses, a theory that got us smeared as racists and conspiracy theorists and crazy Trumpsters for suggesting, and finally a comedian comes out in full-throated support of the idea on cable television, making the lab-leak unbelievers sound like the crazy people? It feels good.

It’s Not Funny

But maybe it shouldn’t. Maybe we should be asking why a clip like this was suddenly allowed to trend on Twitter. Why wasn’t it flagged for misinformation on Facebook or removed from YouTube?

After a Hong Kong virologist said in September that the coronavirus was man-made in a Chinese lab, PolitiFact issued a phony fact-check, saying, “The claim is inaccurate and ridiculous. We rate it Pants on Fire!” — a fact check they were forced to walk back in May.

Not even three months ago, the New York Times and other corporate media outlets slammed the Wuhan lab-leak hypothesis as a “debunked COVID-19 origin theory.” Facebook, meanwhile, was busy censoring posts that entertained the idea that the virus escaped from the Chinese lab.

All this media and Big Tech nonsense continued even after the State Department issued a report in January, when Trump still occupied the White House, that there was evidence COVID-19 started as the result of a Wuhan lab experiment.

Then suddenly it stopped. “In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove claims that COVID-19 is man-made from our apps,” Facebook said on May 26.

But what changed? Absolutely nothing, except the president calling for an investigation into the Wuhan Institute of Virology was President Joe Biden instead of President Donald Trump. The science hasn’t changed.

Anthony Fauci’s newly released emails showed the camera-loving infectious disease “expert” knew way back in February 2020 that the virus had “unusual features” that “potentially look engineered” — a theory that Peter Daszak, a scientist heavily involved in the Wuhan lab research, thanked Fauci for downplaying.

Chinese malfeasance hasn’t changed, either. We knew back at the start of the pandemic that the communist regime was silencing whistleblowers who dared to speak up about COVID origins, and that it was actively misleading the rest of the world by strong-arming the World Health Organization.

Not a Peep from the Media

And what about the corporate media, best represented here by a dumbfounded Stephen Colbert, whose only response to Stewart’s schtick was a little jab about the comedian working for Republican Sen. Ron Johnson? Why aren’t any in the corrupt press asking why it suddenly isn’t taboo to talk about the Wuhan lab?

The entire corporate media complex, whose only job is to be a check on government power and to dig up accurate information to relay to Americans, has zero questions about the sudden change in “conspiracy theory” standards. Throughout the pandemic, which provided ample abuses of power they should have checked and countless unanswered questions they should have answered, their only refrain was to “trust the experts,” and it led them to “fact-check” for Mark Zuckerberg, fawn over Joe Biden and Fauci, and shill for communist China.

“This isn’t about a victory lap, or Trump, or Fauci or the lab leak, or a pangolin’s -sshole,” conservative commentator Stephen Miller wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “This is about how corporate media and big teach decide which information is considered crazy and a conspiracy right up until they don’t anymore. This is about power. Not victory laps. [Eight] months ago this clip would be banned on YouTube and Facebook. Twitter would flag it for rampant misinformation. People were banned over this. Now, and with no new information, it’s acceptable, and not a single journalist in mainstream media is asking why that is.”

It’s gratifying to watch Stewart legitimize a wrongly dismissed narrative that has always been a probability, but don’t miss what it stands for: a corrupt ruling class, a censorious Big Tech oligarchy, and a complicit media.