Jon Stewart on corporate Pride ‘pandering’: ‘Stop. We don’t need any of this’

<span>Jon Stewart: ‘Let’s just let corporations live their truth, as the profit-seeking Patrick Bateman psychopaths they are.’</span><span>Photograph: YouTube</span>
Jon Stewart: ‘Let’s just let corporations live their truth, as the profit-seeking Patrick Bateman psychopaths they are.’Photograph: YouTube

Late-night hosts talk corporate pandering, Donald Trump’s upcoming criminal sentencing and sky-high temperatures at his post-conviction rally in Las Vegas.

The Daily Show

June is Pride month celebrating the LGBTQ+ community in the US, which means it’s “that time of year when corporations get together and financially exploit the decades-long struggle of gay people for acceptance and equality”, said Jon Stewart during his Monday-night hosting slot on the Daily Show. “Hey, remember when you were fired from that bank job after you were outed? Well, Burger King does! With a burger that has two bottom buns.”

Stewart flicked through a list of corporations with slogans for Pride, including Target, which rolled back its Pride month collection after conservative backlash. “But don’t be sad,” he said. “For this is only following in a long line of hollow corporate pandering meant to convince you that not only are corporations people, they’re good people! Decent people! Who care about the systemic ills of this great nation.”

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder in 2020, “corporations saw people’s demand for a reckoning with America’s racist past, and they said: ‘Sure, us too,’” Stewart deadpanned before a montage of diversity ads for such companies as Kraft Heinz, Vaseline and General Mills – though that commitment, Stewart noted, “only lasted until the protests died down”, with Google, Meta and other companies quietly cutting their DEI-related jobs in the subsequent years.

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Such companies are “very clearly conflicted between the high moral values that they think we want, and the amoral values that serve their shareholders”. So, Stewart addressed corporate America directly: “Stop. We don’t need any of this.”

And “for those on the right who wish corporations would just ditch the woke performances and go back to good, old-fashioned patriotic values, that’s all bullshit, too!” he added, mocking SpaghettiOs for a tweet reminding people not to forget Pearl Harbor.

“Why are we allowing ourselves to get worked up over whether giant multinational corporations are pro-gay or have ‘traditional American values’?” Stewart wondered. “Because corporations have but one value: shareholder value. That’s all they have.”

“There is nothing corporations do that is not in service of their bottom line,” he concluded. “Let’s stop pretending that a corporation can even be woke or un-woke, or patriotic or unpatriotic. Let’s just let corporations live their truth, as the profit-seeking Patrick Bateman psychopaths they are.”

Seth Meyers

On Late Night, Seth Meyers again mocked Republicans who claimed that Donald Trump’s felony conviction for hush-money election fraud was a miscarriage of justice. “The idea that Trump is a victim of injustice is obviously ludicrous,” he said. “Trump got more deference and leeway than any criminal defendant in history. Today, for example, he had the chance to make his case to a probation officer who will help determine what sentence he should get.”

Trump took the meeting virtually from Mar-a-Lago; the probation officer assessed Trump’s remorse, financial background and mental state for a recommendation to the judge. “If a probation officer is basing their sentencing guidelines on remorse, mental state and character, and the recommendation is a day less than 1,000 years, Donald Trump is getting off easy,” Meyers noted. “And if the probation officer meets with Trump and their takeaway is ‘he seems really sorry, super sharp and an all-around good person’, that should be their last day of work.”

The probation officer would also assure that Trump understood that, as part of his conviction, he cannot associate with anyone with a criminal record. “But that’s everyone he knows!” Meyers mused. “Telling Donald Trump he can’t associate with anyone with a criminal record is like telling Andy Cohen he can only associate with fake Housewives. What do you want him to do, make new normal, non-criminal friends? How’s he going to do that, join a pickleball league?”

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert also discussed Trump’s probation hearing on the Late Show, which would tell the judge more about the defendant before his 11 July sentencing hearing. “How could any part of Donald Trump still be a mystery?” Colbert wondered. “Especially for Judge Merchan, who was in the courtroom for six weeks. He could pick Trump out of a line-up by smell.”

The final probation report will remain sealed, though it will likely ask about Trump’s employment. Colbert imagined how this would go: “OK, Mr Trump, it says here that you got fired from your last job for being, uh, terrible at it, and for … trying to kill a Mr Mike Pence? Oh, but I see down here that you are actually currently applying for a new job, which is … the same job. Have you thought about learning to code?”

In other news, Trump embarked on his “first US tour as a convicted felon” over the weekend with stops in Arizona and Las Vegas, where temperatures soared past 100F (38C). Yet Trump held an outdoor rally at noon; six people were taken to the hospital and another two dozen received medical attention. “Here’s the deal: if you’re willing to stand out in the desert listening to some maniac ramble until your skull bursts open like a pan of Jiffy Pop, you’re in a cult!” said Colbert. “Or, you’re at Coachella. Either way, get out of there and take off the stupid hat.”