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Monday, July 22, 2024

Jon Stewart Forgot That Polish Jokes Started as Nazi Propaganda

Jon Stewart, aka Bizarro Garfield, continues to host The Each day Present on Mondays solely. This week, the embattled comic started his second episode of 2024 by responding to the controversy surrounding final week’s present, by which he dared to criticize President Joe Biden by airing footage of Biden being the president. Stewart additionally actually in contrast Trump’s marketing campaign to the Barbarian invasion of Rome throughout that very same section, however, positive, he was clearly saying that each side are “equally unhealthy.”

The majority of this week’s present was dedicated to ridiculing Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin, so just about the Each day Present equal of unloading a shotgun on a barrelful of fish. Stewart mocked his previous adversary’s lack of important pondering, willingness to parrot Russian propaganda and borderline horniness for fundamental grocery retailer know-how. One second that Stewart singled out specifically: When Putin prompt that Poland “pressured” Hitler to start out World Warfare II and acquired zero pushback from Carlson. 

“Why would a rustic whose navy has submarines with display screen doorways need to instigate a warfare?” Stewart questioned. After dropping this random, Fifties joke book-tier line, Stewart paused for a “Historic Context” section. “Fast historical past lesson,” he informed the viewers, “years in the past, for causes no one is actually positive of, a stereotype emerged that Polish individuals had been inept in numerous methods.” He went on to elucidate that “Polish persons are as good as anybody, and definitely didn’t should be invaded by the Germans, who in fact completed that by marching backwards so the Poles thought they had been leaving.”

Yeah, he ended the bit with one other Polish joke. Stewart admitted that this was the “dumb” portion of the monologue, however it’s arguably a bit worse than that. Opposite to Stewart’s declare that “no one is actually positive of” the place jokes about Polish incompetence got here from, some have argued that the trendy Polish joke could be traced again to the Nazis. As Reader’s Digest notes, “Hitler pushed the racist ‘dumb Polack’ stereotype so the remainder of Europe wouldn’t sympathize with the nation’s destiny.” The Nazis unfold false tales of Polish navy ineptitude following the invasion, corresponding to how their military tried to assault German tanks with swords and horses. 

That being mentioned, some German-created Polish jokes did exist previous to World Warfare II in “border areas corresponding to Silesia.” And even within the nineteenth century, “German states had very aggressive anti-Polish insurance policies that went together with their plans to annex Polish territory” which included perpetuating the “picture of a dumb Pole whose solely capability is to work within the discipline.” This development was then “revived when Germany was Nazi Germany.”

There’s no concrete proof that the twentieth century’s wave of anti-Polish humor within the U.S. instantly grew out of German propaganda, however even within the Nineteen Sixties, these jokes had been nonetheless very a lot tied to lampooning navy failures, corresponding to when Snort-In declared that Poland had “invaded itself.”

So this context appears fairly essential. Stewart’s premise might have been a figuring out little bit of winking-at-the-audience tomfoolery, however the truth that his section about unchecked dictatorial propaganda paused to rehash historic dictatorial propaganda appears not so nice. That may be like performing a monologue about how Taco Bell offers you diarrhea, then taking a second to extol the virtues of the Dorito Crunchwrap Supreme. 

You (sure, you) ought to observe JM on Twitter (if it nonetheless exists by the point you’re studying this).

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