An Open Letter to The Daily Show's Jon Stewart RE: Taco Bell

Categories: Indigestion

Dear Mr. Stewart,

First of all, big fan. I am one of those who believe you are indeed "The Most Trusted Man In America." If I had a few hundred bucks and vacation days to spare, I would've flown to D.C. to attend your Rally to Restore Sanity. Even though you persistently insist you are a fake-news man, as far as I'm concerned, you are worthy to wear the mantle of journalism left by the likes of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite. You cut through the dense rut of information and misinformation, using nothing but a person's own words in archived video to discredit and expose them as hypocrites.

This extends to your "correspondents" and "commentators," especially Lewis Black, who occasionally appears to do his concise and razor-sharp Back In Black segments. His latest was dubbed "Meat Edition" (aired Feb. 1, 2011), which touched on the Taco Bell meat scandal. While everything Lewis said is spot-on hilarious, a biting commentary on the state of food as ever, something in the segment didn't set well in my stomach. It was as if I actually ate a Taco Bell taco.

The segment included a clip from the Taco Bell YouTube video of its CEO, Greg Creed, speaking on the scandal. The clip you featured showed Creed defending his company's food by saying, "Our seasoned-beef recipe contains 88 percent quality USDA-inspected beef. So what's the other 12 percent? It's our secret!"

At that point in Lewis' segment, the video cut off. The next shot was of Lewis, mouth already agape, forehead veins throbbing and about to pop. The audience, having gasped at the sheer audacity and gall of that "It's our secret!" proclamation, were now understandably ready to eat out of Lewis' hands. Then Lewis let him have it.

"Your secret!? Listen to me! When I ask an old Italian lady in a house dress what is in her sauce, she can tell me it's a secret. But when an Australian guy, running a Mexican restaurant with a dog for a mascot, says it, I want to know the secret."



To the casual observer, it was a great joke delivered (and it was), but to those who actually watched the entire Taco Bell YouTube video, the selective editing made it seem like the guy was being evasive. The fact is that the "It's out secret" line was actually just a set-up for his next sentence, which was "And I'm going to give it to you" followed by a list of the stuff he says are in the beef recipe.

Let's be clear: I'm not giving any credence to Taco Bell's claims. That's up to the lawyers. And for the record, for decades now, aside from using the chain as a butt of jokes for my food reviews, Taco Bell and what it serves (or doesn't serve) is not my concern. My concern is that your out-of-context and misleading editing of that video is, to use a word you use often, disingenuous. I understand you needed to do it for the comedy, but I fear that it hurts you more than it does Taco Bell. And Taco Bell ain't worth your reputation as "The Most Trusted Man in America."

Other than that, keep up the good work. Again, big fan!

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19 comments
Montana
Montana

When I was a kid I lived in Utah, and the Boy Scouts was taken over by Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS Church). This, so called religion, practices underage polygamy, they send the boys off on missions to divide the underage sisters among the dirty old men of the clan. Now when these underage girls get pregnant, these same dirty old men, send them to the state to get their welfare checks . You should see some of the palace homes that are paid with welfare checks (not on just one of course). By the way this is the newest religion that was made right here in United States of America, I guess their also in AZ, CA, NM, TX, NV, CO, OK.

Glenn Beck’s comments on Japan as being a sign from GOD is trash talk, kicking them when they are down, would he say the same if a terrible thing happened to himself or his family? When someone hides behind religion to do or say something we know is wrong we should stand up and point it out (right the Wrong).

Someone should question Glenn Beck if this was a sign from GOD or just stuff that happens.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Jason_m_bare
Jason_m_bare

Stewart does this sort of thing constantly!! Especially with Glenn Beck archive clips. Though it's sad that Taco bell was your pivot point for understanding the ham that is John Stewart, at least you are finally arriving to this clarity.

Arby Trent Darby, Ph.D.
Arby Trent Darby, Ph.D.

And, yet, you don't look for "selective editing" (and other sleight-of-hand) in Stewart's attacks on the politics of anyone who talks different, thinks different, or is different from him? So sad, but that's our race of beings.

Astarias
Astarias

It's kinda sad to me to see everyone defending TDS on this one. It was clearly disingenous and, I don't care whether it was Black or Stewart who said it. I watch that show because I expect them to be funny and HONEST.

I mean, Stewart has made a mint off of catching journalists and politicians doing exactly the same thing that was done on his show.

Kinda sad to me to see that Stewart fans are as quick to jump on the defensive bandwagon as the Fox News crowd is.,,

Rebreg
Rebreg

Hey big fan, you have just experiened the "most trusted guy" bull crap. Think again if you really think he isall what you think he is.

Andy Indelicato
Andy Indelicato

I was thinking if you did,N ATTACK ON FOREIGN AID VERSUS THE THE AMERICAN BUDGET,AND HOW FOREIGN AID,IS PUTTING A BIG HURT ON THE US MAYBE THE POLITICIANS MIGHT TAKE NOTICE, THAT THE PEOPLE OF THE US ARE A LITTLE SICK AN TIRED OF GETTING SCREWED LEFT AN RIGHT;JUST TAKE MUBARAK AS AN EXAMPLE, A THIEF WORTH 70BILLION DOLLARS, HE ATTAINED HIS WEALTH FROM WHAT? THIS IS THE TIME TO PUT THE HORSE BEFORE THE CART...AN I THINK YOU ARE THE RIGHT PERSON TO OPEN THIS CAN OF WHUP ASS..

Mijmanxx
Mijmanxx

You fail to observe the truth, and that is Lewis Black's segments are not the same as the other correspondents on his program, nor is he included in his news team. Mr. Black has an editorial piece. It's not meant to be taken as news, unless you also include his piece on a Starbucks across the street from a Starbucks.

sandisgood4u
sandisgood4u

Remember those wonderful preschool or kindergarten days way back when you probably used to eat glue, sand, or dirt, or even make mud pies and share it with your buddies without any shame that none of those things were at the very least edible?

Okay, now try and remember that one [or the first] time you had Taco Bell and how shamelessly satisfying it was for those possible 15 or 20 minutes of shamelessly devouring those lovely little tacos and burritos...

Now think of the time you made the choice to stop eating them. Proceed to slapping yourself in the face for being a gullible hypocrite.

You mean to tell me that you've lived in the USA [or somewhere of the like] for several years now and you're JUST realizing that fast food products, let alone those containing beef, aren't genuine? That those foods may in fact *gasp* NOT be good for you if consumed on a frequent basis?!? Worst still, the author of this post overreacted over a simple joke made over the CEO's badly manipulated statement staged for a punchline?

Well, too bad for you, and the rest of you idiots who decided to overreact or stop eating something worthwhile because someone decided to whine about FAST FOOD quality. Who knew that USA's way of thinking was so backwards. Usually people sue a 5-star restaurant because so-and-so nearly died of food poisoning because so-and-so's meat was not thoroughly or properly cooked.

I guess I still have much to learn.

blackplague213
blackplague213

Jon,I think you're intelligent and entertaining, and I enjoy Taco Bell's food. I don't give a damn about the reputations of either one of you, though. My opinion is based on my own observations, and not what the Joneses have to say. While I can understand where "Big Fan" is coming from, he (or she) missed the point. What you do on your show is satirical comedy, and if "Big Fan" is looking to satire for in-depth investigation... I don't know. I just don't even know.

Tbplayer
Tbplayer

If I add salt, pepper and A-1 to my steak, it's not 100% beef anymore.

Poop
Poop

its so funny how outraged people get, when they dont realize, NO meat they eat is 100% (unless they skinned it themselves)

Rush3rd
Rush3rd

You know if you add ingredients to beef it's not 100% beef anymore, right? I'm on both sides of this debate. Yes, it's comedy, but it was also misleading to people who eat at Taco Bell. I'm not saying their beef is 100% USDA Prime Cut beef, but it's also a meat mixture, containing flavorings, seasoning, etc. Even if the MEAT is 100% beef, it can't be a 100% beef MIXTURE when it contains other ingredients. Amirite?

Mike
Mike

I'm sorry, you realize this is comedy right? As for Taco Bell, it's completely disgusting that this isn't 100% beef. I have stopped eating Taco Bell and so have a lot of people.

Tlcbelmont
Tlcbelmont

Jon, if you read this "Big Fan" has missed the whole thing! It was a joke, spoof , whatever you call it, it was comedy. He shouldn't take it so seriously! Another person whole is takinf something meant to be funny and turning it into a real news report and then turning on you because it wasn't accurte news!!??WTF??? I thought it was funny and didn't take it any deeper than that. You do a great job! Thank you for all the laughs!Bigger Fan!LOL

lz4evermore
lz4evermore

That's right, if we only watched Glenn Beck in his entirety, we'd all be better (mis)informed. Beck is a parody of Beck, Stewart need do nothing but play the clips for the laughter to begin; no selective editing required.

DarrenTPS
DarrenTPS

Well, then, out with it! Show proof of other "sleights of hand" tricks Stewart has done like this writer did. Surely you're not going to just go with a general statement like that without backing it up!

Justin Thyme
Justin Thyme

The 88% beef IS 100% beef. Very few humans want to eat beef without seasoning.

John
John

So, you used to eat at Taco Bell, you couldn't taste the spices in the taco meat, and you thought it was just 100% hamburger? Ever buy it in the supermarket, when it's only 80% lean? Dumbass.

Bill T.
Bill T.

I get it that it's supposed to be a joke but it tastes like a cheap shot to me.

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