Jon Stewart covers U.S. Senate committee’s Apple hearing, envisions ‘taxcode nano’ (with video)

Starting off with the ubiquitous Apple Maps jokes (heckuva job, Scottie!), Jon Stewart soon tires of lazy pickins and segues into Apple’s appearance at a hearing before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

The U.S. Senators do not fare well. Unfortunately, as happens far too often on a comedy show that certain segments of the population inexplicably rely upon for “news,” neither does the truth. No wonder so many people today are so misinformed.

Most of us here know this Apple story inside and out. We’ve been covering it and you’ve been reading about it for weeks. Most of us can plainly see where Stewart bends the truth or creates entirely incorrect, unreal happenings in order to support his jokes. It makes us wonder: What other events is Stewart manipulating for the sake of humor? What does this do to viewers who use Stewart’s show as their primary source of information? Not Stewart’s problem some might say, but it does tend to result in an interesting group of people who exist in an actual reality distortion field. Consuming real news, from myriad sources, must seem like absolute torture by boredom for these people.

Apple is not “dodging taxes.” Apple pays all the taxes they owe, every single dollar. Apple simply doesn’t own any “hell factories” with “suicide nets.”

Stewart would be funnier – if only everyone realized that his shtick is mainly meant just to be funny. That said, this time, Stewart does hit directly upon the crux of the issue:

Corporations are the only reason the tax code is so complicated in the first place… Our tax code is purposefully complex, so that corporations with resources are the only ones who can find the buried goodies their own lobbyists have hidden in the labyrinth. – John Stewart

Stewart fails to mention that for many years while the tax code was being lobbied to death and loaded up with goodies, and pretty much to this day (it’s growing recently, mainly due to DOJ actions against the company), Apple has a very insignificant lobbying operation in D.C. So, contrary to what Stewart implies, Apple didn’t make the loopholes, they just read the law and followed it to a T. As usual, Apple’s just better at what they’re doing than everyone else.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

Related article:
Jon Stewart blows it, calls Apple ‘Appholes’ over Gizmodo’s 4G iPhone imbroglio (with video) – April 29, 2010


  1. I always thought there was a certain truthiness to the jokes on Jon Stewart. However, if this truthiness is anything like the one exhibited in this show then I begin to wonder what kind of untruthiness he has been peddling me in years gone by.

    1. I try to follow politics and economics, so I can say that most of Stewart’s show (not necessary his personal jokes; he has almost dozed of co-authors) jokes do have truth in them. But, of course, this is not about every joke, this time included.

    2. I would not consider John Stewart to be completely truthful. He has an agenda just like everyone else. He is not a journalist, but a humorist. I love his show though.

      1. Agreed, he’s a comedian first and foremost.

        Furthermore, he readily admits he has a bias. My favorite Stewart quote regarding Fox News was something to the extent of, “We’re all snake-oil salesmen, but at least I ADMIT I’m a snake-oil salesman and don’t pretend to be something else.”

        1. I know liberals love to bash on Fox News but I wonder if they realize their liberal sources of media such as the New York Times, all network news broadcasts and CNN and time magazine are all equally biased and often misrepresent the truth?

    3. On the other hand, Jon Stewart’s exposure of the obstruction of 9/11 responders legislation actually got the Congress to move their asses. Even Fox got behind his outrage at the hypocrisy.

  2. Good luck with trying to get rid of the loopholes in the tax code. There is no way the government could organize themselves to sort out the mess.
    Essentially you would need an independent committee to identify loopholes and then bring it to Congress to strike out.

    1. Our Corporate Oligarchy RUNS the US federal government. Don’t expect any changes THEY haven’t approved. It’s seriously that simple and dire. Voting is cute, and doesn’t change a thing with these biznizz bozoids screwing over everything and everyone.

      So why does Apple get incessantly picked on? Because Apple has higher values and refuses to be part of our brain dead Corporate Oligarchy.

      1. Rather than haul Apple in for questioning, Congress could instead have brought in GE, which pays almost nothing in taxes. GE’s Imelt, though, is an Obama crony. And the last thing politicos want to expose is how extensive crony capitalism has gotten lately.

        1. The ‘haul in Apple’ phrase was invented by Rand Paul. It turns out to NOT be the case. Tim Cook made that quite clear (I don’t care what stupid Carl Levin said about anything).

          I too would enjoy seeing GE racked over the coals. I’ve been boycotting their crap, where possible, for decades. I’ve ranted about their scankiness ad nauseam.

  3. Have no fear. Just as it is apparent this particular bit lacks some truthiness, it is usually quite apparent when others do not. Stewart viewers are not fools. Unlike, say, Fox viewers.

  4. If you are relying on Stewart for ‘news’ you are no different than those who rely solely on Fox or MSNBC. I love his show though. I also love the take that once again Apple does it better than everyone else. On a serious front, the US tax code could use some serious overhaul.

  5. lets not shoot the messenger the tax code comments were directed ad corporations apple is probably not the worst of the bunch. the corporations are people when it comes to campaign contributions but not jail time for tax evasion . corporations were formed o protect assets and limit personal liability for those that rape them out of high compensation. as long as we let the tactics of demonization run our election cycle we deserve what we get .

  6. i would like to add that our election system is our only protection against mercantile self interest .If we let them manipulate it and we don’t use it to protect OUR interests its results are on us (as we are forced to pay private companies for health insurance that should be payed by a tax or tarriff ) . look up the land grab of the 1800s where the banks shrank the money supply from 40 dollars per capita to 7 in 20 years in hopes of foreclosing all the land from the Mississippi to California and you will get an idea of how serious this pattern is and what it means for the working man , he who does not study history is doomed to repeat it.

    1. Please! If you can write a phrase like “mercantile self interest” I think you probably have the ability to write much better English than we are seeing here. Capitals, commas and periods in the right places help readability. And the grammar in a few places kills comprehension (mine, anyway).

      1. I wouldn’t count on it.

        Not when someone is clearly looking at politics and history through the bias of green ($$$) colored glasses. You know, everything wrong with the world is due to the selfishness/money of corporate/business people/interests…. and little to do with corrupt politicians/leaders/bureaucrats prostituting themselves. Get rid of the latter and the former will be impotent.

        If I weren’t opposed to the death penalty, political corruption should be a capital crime. It’s treason of the worst kind. And by political corruption I mean those people in government (elected or not) selling their influence, not those seeking to buy. At the very least there ought to be jail time with no parole and loss of all government benefits.

        All government workers (elected or not) should also be forbidden to work as lobbyists

  7. People relying on The Onion or The Daily Show for news are at least as well informed as those relying on CNN, Fox, or the New York Times – perhaps even better informed because they at least know their news source is a joke.

  8. On the same show Stewart had Bill O’Reilly as a guest and allowed a stream of misinformation and biased assumption to go by without a whimper of contradiction. The whole show was pitiful.

  9. I find Jon Stewart less of a douche than say someone like Bill Maher or David Letterman. I enjoy Jon’s comic timing and ad libs. I’d like him even more if he used his powers for good.

    I prefer the persona of his colleague Steve Colbert. He is far more charming in his satire and easier to forgive.

  10. The problem with the tax code is exactly what Jon Stewart says. Corporations lobby Congress to give various tax breaks/incentives. Only the largest of corporations can afford lobbies. Therefore, the tax breaks are always in the interest of the largest of corporations. Over time, corporate tax revenue falls so the only option for Congress is to raise the rate. We end up with a tax code that favors the interests of the largest of corporations, and smart start-ups cannot afford to do business here.

    Apple is not the villain here. No corporation should be paying 35% of its profits in taxes. The largest ones find ways to pay much lower effective rates. America has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. However, the amount of tax revenue our government collects from corporations as a share of GDP is amongst the smallest.

    We should lower the corporate rate tremendously and eliminate all of the deductions. Make every corporation pay something like a flat 10% tax on their profits.

  11. Apple should be commended for standing before Congress and saying what needed to be said. GE never did this. Apple actually tries to follow the spirit of the tax law and pays a tremendous amount of taxes, even though they have smart enough accountants who could probably find ways to shield ALL of their income.

  12. Holy over-reaction batman. I have been an Apple Fanboy and a Stewart fan for years. I watched the show last night and found nothing wrong with anything he said. The other fanboys are reacting as if you just told a second amendment person that you were thinking of taking away toy guns…all they heard was “guns” (not “toy”).

    Jon Stewart has more news than half the news media. And most people that watch it understand that the jokes are just that jokes…they come from bending the facts. But when he makes an actual point, it’s clear, and his point is good.

    As said, he has helped congress get off their asses and do some real work. Jon’s only negative towards Apple is the one negative that already exists…Maps. He didn’t say another negative thing about apple. Instead he was making fun of congress for kissing their asses and showing how though they really aren’t.

    Then he went on to describe how corporations and rich people invented the tax code. Apple was just a segway into talking about a bigger issue.

    I would like to see the Taxcode Nano.

  13. There is very little, if any, true “journalism” left – just a bunch of lazy news readers who will repeat anything a newspaper or another TV news/talk program reports, just so they can say they’re on top of the story. As long as at least one other news source reports it as fact, the rest of the mindless talking heads will repeat it indefinitely. Just look at the coverage of any recent tragedy or crisis to see how they all give out wildly inaccurate information. Even young kids have figured out that the initial information is almost always wrong!

    1. Stewart doesn’t pretend to provide ‘journalism’. He is a topical ‘comedian’. But he certainly FAILed in this case to provide either humor or documentation.

      Meanwhile, the real joke is watching news sources go ape shite over their loss of freedom of speech via unconstitutional, unwarranted stealing of information and sources by the feds. If journalists HAVE the First Amendment, why don’t they actually USE the First Amendment to provide us with ACTUAL/FACTUAL news?! Instead we get filtered, propagandized shite from ALL sources. HARDY HAR HAR. Demand the First Amendment but instead feed the public sugar frosted turds.

      THAT’s hilarious IRONY. 👿

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