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In the January 16, 2013 episode of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart discusses gun control, Hurricane Sandy aid and the guest is Jessica Chastain.
The episode begins with Jon Stewart continuing the discussion of gun control. He starts by showing part of an add that accuses President Barack Obama of not caring about other kids as much as he cares about his own, since his own kids have armed guards at school. Stewart then shows a clip of Obama speaking and suggesting methods to fight gun violence. These suggestions include limiting magazine sizes, restricting access to automatic weapons, better background checks and money for increased school security. The pro-gun response is that these new laws would only affect law-abiding citizens who are not the problem. What needs to be done is enforcing the current laws. Stewart agrees that this is a good point and asks why this is not happening. He then plays a clip of former representative Todd Tiahrt. Tiahrt says states and other groups do not have to worry about gun control, since there is a whole department doing that 24/7, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). Stewart then explains why the ATF cannot enforce the laws. The reasons range from lacking a permanent department head for six years (the current one has a second full-time job), having the same number of agents it had 35 years ago and not actually being able to enforce any of the laws. The rest of the segment explains that a number of provisions were snuck into an unrelated bill which restricted the ATF’s actions and none of them seem to make any sense. This bill is known as the Tiahrt bill and was written by Tiahrt and his NRA colleagues.
The second segment of the episode is Stewart updating the viewer on Hurricane Sandy relief in Congress. He shows a clip of representative Mick Mulvaney saying that he will not pass the bill because it is unpaid for and full of extras, such as assistance to fishermen in Alaska. In response, Stewart (along with Governor Christ Christie via clip) points out refusing to pass the bill is changing the disaster aftermath rules when it suites these representatives. Many of their states received similar support after other hurricanes. Stewart then reveals that this bill did pass, after it was trimmed down and the fisheries aid was removed. Then Senator John Kerry said, via clip, that the bill would not pass in the Senate unless the fisheries aid was included. Needless to say, Stewart was extremely frustrated and upset.
The guest for this episode was Jessica Chastain promoting Zero Dark Thirty. The entire interview was actually about the movie, which is kind of rare. It was a very interesting look at how people go about making movies about such recent and high profile events. For example, Chastain explained that she is playing the part of a real woman. Her role is not a compilation of a few different people and this woman is still an active CIA agent undercover. Therefore, Chastain was not able to talk to the woman and efforts had to be made in order to keep her identity hidden. Chastain also said that the movie was not made with help from the United States government. They were not able to get planes, helicopters and other similar items from the government but they also did not need to get the script approved.
This was a really interesting episode with the exception of the second segment. The second segment felt like filler since the first segment was pretty long. However, the first segment was excellent and a lot of the details could not fit into this format. That summary may have been the hardest I have had to write so far. I definitely recommend watching it. As for the interview, as I already said, it was really interesting. It did not make me want to see the movie any time soon, but I think it will definitely enhance my appreciation of the film when I eventually do.