Critical Thinking

There has been a lot written about Jon Stewart’s decision to quit The Daily Show after 16 years as presenter. I’ve been catching up on his last few shows. One of the recurring segments on the show has been interviews in which people often make what seem to be completely outrageous statements. Apparently viewers have been asking whether these interviews are real or faked: “Why would anyone appear when they are made to look dumb?”

Well, it seems that these people didn’t mind, and to demonstrate the point Daily Show regular Jessica Williams re-interviewed some “stars of the past”. One such was Dr James David Manning, a pastor, who had compared Barack Obama to Hitler. He doubled-down on this assertion by saying that he now regarded the US President as a “son of Satan”. This was bad enough, but at the end of the interview Jessica asked the good doctor about his claim that Starbucks were using semen to flavour their lattes:

JW: You think that they’re using semen to flavour their lattes?
DJM: I do, yes.
JW: What empirical evidence do you have that Starbucks is using using semen to flavour their lattes?
DJM: What empirical evidence do I have?
JW: Yes.
DJM: I think if you’re asking for that, you may not be able to find my explanation suitable to meet the empirical standards, but let’s just say, I know.


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