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Delta pulls 'Daily Show' ads over 'vagina manger' skit
A Jon Stewart skit that referenced "vagina mangers" has angered a conservative Catholic group.
May 8th, 2012
05:12 PM ET

Delta pulls 'Daily Show' ads over 'vagina manger' skit

By Dan Gilgoff and Dave Alsup, CNN

(CNN) - Delta Air Lines has pulled its advertising from “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” over a skit in which Stewart featured a picture of a manger in between a naked woman’s legs, the company said Tuesday.

In the April skit, Stewart jokingly encouraged women to use “vagina mangers” to “protect their reproductive organs from unwanted medical intrusions.”

In a statement Tuesday, Delta Air Lines spokesperson Leslie Parker said that “We're always re-evaluating our advertising opportunities and updating our strategy in an effort to reach our desired audience.”

“Delta doesn't discriminate nor do we condone discrimination in regard to age, race, nationality, sexual orientation, religion or gender,” Parker’s statement continued. She said that Delta made the decision to pull its ads on Thursday.

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The Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, a conservative group that has waged a weeks-long campaign pressuring Stewart to apologize for the skit, had pressured Delta and other Comedy Central advertisers to pull their Daily Show ads.

Catholic League President Bill Donohue has encouraged a boycott of Kellogg’s because it has declined to pull its spots.

On Tuesday, Donohue announced that he’d sent a letter to the leadership at Viacom, the corporate parent of Comedy Central, which airs “The Daily Show.”

“You should be as offended as we are,” the letter said. “But if you are not, consider a picture of your own mother inserted there instead. Perhaps you now understand how the 80% of the nation that is Christian feel.”

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“What Stewart did wasn’t a joke,” Donohue’s letter continued. “It was hate speech. We could have pressed for him to be fired, but we did not. All we want is an apology.”

Media representatives at Comedy Central did not immediately respond to a request for comment. At a stand-up appearance in Florida last month, Stewart acknowledged the Catholic League’s campaign against him, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

“I'm not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance," Stewart said, decrying what he called the cable news-fueled “outrage machine.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • TV

soundoff (2,495 Responses)
  1. Unplugged

    I had no idea that Delta was such a right-wing organization. At least now I know to take my business elsewhere.

    May 9, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      ... and if Delta offers flights at a substantialy cheaper price would you fly with them?

      May 9, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • another blondie joke

      No, I would not. All the Airlines offer deals–none offer too much more than any other.

      May 9, 2012 at 4:08 am |
  2. juudas

    No more delta. The religion of the father, the ho and the b@@stard son should apologize for creating a god born out of wedlock.

    May 9, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • another blondie joke

      Hey! We can disagree without being rude and disrespectful. Show some class.

      May 9, 2012 at 4:09 am |
  3. SSampson

    Religious nuts – if they can 'protest' – so can I – Sorry Delta – those 30 flights a year I take on your airline?? ..... DONE !!! – Plenty other airlines leave NYC... Cowards that bow to pressure for such a silly thing..... not getting my business – I thought I fought for freedom.... not censorship.....

    May 9, 2012 at 1:37 am |
    • Chuck

      Cencorship? That's not censorship. Jon Stewart made his choice, Delta made theirs and you made yours. Everyone did what they have the right to do. Kellog's made their chioce as well, just like I will. So long Tony the Tiger.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • SSampson

      I call it censorship when influence is used to intentionally supress ideas and opinions – Delta felt threatend – the Catholic League implied the threat – I definately consider that as a type of censorship....

      Granted – Chuck – I do know what you are driving at....and it is a fair comment...

      May 9, 2012 at 2:16 am |
  4. Jeremiah

    No more Delta flights for me.

    May 9, 2012 at 1:36 am |
  5. ripcity

    See ya Delta. Used to fly Delta all the time. Have not needed them much for the last few years and definitely no more.

    Can't believe they let themselves get kowtowed by the uppity over a comedy show's use of satire.

    What is next? Are they still angry at those who printed Swift's "A modest proposal" 300 years ago? Destroy the ink and paper producers for this abomination, I say!

    May 9, 2012 at 1:30 am |
  6. Evan

    I think that the Catholic Church is more disrespectful than Jon Stewart with their incredibly bigoted and quite frankly antiquated views on subjects such as contraception and gay marriage.

    May 9, 2012 at 1:29 am |
  7. Thade

    Wish the Catholic church was more concerned with their priestophiles raping young innocent children, then what John Stewart is doing.

    May 9, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Or about reducing the number of abortions their cult members have rather than trying to impose their largely unheeded rules about contraception and abortion on non-cult members.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:31 am |
  8. Tom in San Diego

    Good for the Catholic league...Stewart doesnt have to do anything he doesnt want...And the Catholics dont either...Personally, I am sick of the left shoving their bile down my viewing eyes on the media...

    Thank you Mr. Donohue...

    May 9, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • Thade

      And we are tired of your priest raping are children, and "shoving" their perversions into young ones minds.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • The woodwork on the right is just oozing them tonight

      So how does that stuff get "shoved down your viewing eyes" (huh?) if you don't choose to turn your TV on and choose the shows? Do you have a magic TV controled by some secret New World Order libtard conspirators in a silent black helicopter over your house?

      Fox doesn't shove anything down my, uh, "viewing eyes" because I don't turn on Fox.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • Unplugged

      I'm tired of the religious right cramming their perverted views down my throat. The Catholic church has nothing to feel righteous about. They can't claim the high road here given their perverted background.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>"The Catholic church has nothing to feel righteous about. They can't claim the high road here given their perverted background."

      Even though most of the action groups that are going after the Catholic Church have declared that it was only between 1.5% to 3% of total priest. What about those Christians who are not Catholic and since the V.Mary is recognized by Muslims, are these groups ok in your view ok to be offended?

      May 9, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • Chuck

      Boycott Kellog's for not pulling their ads.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • Zingo Wingo

      Actually, the Vatican itself states that the problem was 4% of the priests, and that is not surprisingly the lowest figure estimated.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • lollypop

      The league does NOT represent all Catholics; They are a small, strident, repressive and intolerant sliver of a charity that is connected to the Catholic church. Jesus was against the kind of intolerance and bigotry they represent–he was sympathetic to the oppressed–he was not an oppressor type and they cannot make him over in their image by bullying and shouting louder. Starve this charity out of existance–stop donating to them. I like to think Jesus had a sense of humor and would have laughed at the league's attempts to control the world.

      May 9, 2012 at 4:21 am |
  9. tallulah13

    I am a woman. I do not see this skit as hate speech. I thought it was funny.

    What I find hateful is religious interference in a woman's ability to control her own reproductive system. A church can claim that birth control is wrong. They can kick out members who use birth control. But no church has any business dictating ANYTHING outside their own walls or congregation.

    May 9, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • James Foley

      I now want to see this skit... thanks donohue for lambasting it 🙂

      May 9, 2012 at 1:32 am |
  10. Jane

    I watched that episode and while it was not among the funniest imagery Stewart has used to convey his point, I interpreted its intent to be pro protection of women and their right to privacy. I don't recall the Catholic Church ever giving a damn about me and my rights as a woman during all the years I spent being indoctrinated by them.

    I am happy to give up flying Delta for their advocacy of ongoing invasion of my body and that of other women.

    May 9, 2012 at 1:21 am |
  11. Dee

    Goodbye Delta and Hello Kellogg Company!

    May 9, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • Dee

      oh...and if Jon apologizes, I will never watch TDS again! 😛

      May 9, 2012 at 1:16 am |
  12. Delta, the next bankrupt airline

    I think Delta needs customers, more than customers need delta. I guess I will be taking my summer holiday using another airline.

    May 9, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • lollypop

      Delta cannot censure my media and get away with it! BOYCOTT Delta!

      May 9, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • d rosh

      Instead of a menger, put the Koran, the Bible, your daughter, your mother in its place and you will soon see that Delta did the right thing. You are one who will not fly Delta , but there will be millions who will. Kellogs, just give it a day or two. In business you dont want to take

      May 9, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      The way that people are shopping around for the cheapest flights it is a no advanatage or disadvantage for Delta. I think that Rush, Imus, Howard Stern and even the View, have shown that the threat of boycotts do not matter in a polarized society. While one side of the issue can declare that they will bring a company to its knees the other half of society are cheering the company on and switching their buisness to them.

      The only thing that matters to businesses are things such as United Nations sanctions and even then they are getting around the sanctions.

      I think Stewart was wrong but since he targets his own Faith severely sometimes, that lack of hyprocrasy does give him the moral high ground. Unless one ask if he would do the same to Muslims, but that is another subject.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:32 am |
  13. joe

    Free country, and there's no problem with me never flying Delta again. Bye Delta!

    May 9, 2012 at 1:08 am |
  14. MT

    Tell you what, church people ... you stop trying to cram your religion into women's reproductive organs, and the Daily Show will stop using mangers as fig leaves. Deal?

    Idiots.

    May 9, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • n8263

      Now if only someone could get Donohue to figure this out.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • E=MC2

      Actually, your remarks are idiotic. What do you mean by "church people"? Perhaps Christians? Gee, if a group of billions of people place their faith in a God who LOVES, why should they not be offended by the nativity "scene" disgrace that Mr. Stewart used as a joke, yet has profound meaning to these billions of people? Oh, I get it, you are "above" all these mere people. Thank goodness we had people like you to fulfill the need to abuse peoples sentiments.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • n8263

      @E, you seem to have missed the point that people like Donohue are trying to deny others of basic human rights like access to safe legal abortion. Any offense taken by this joke is nothing compared to what people like Donohue are attempting to do. Stewert would have never used this imagery in the first place if it were not for people like Donohue.

      May 9, 2012 at 3:41 am |
  15. Nate (Seattle, WA)

    I plan on pulling my support of Delta. There's plenty of other airlines who don't bother engaging in political games just because conservatives whine about their precious mythological icons being misused by a comedy show.

    What's next? Kirk Cameron infomercials on the in-flight entertainment system?

    May 9, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • E=MC2

      Actually, this is how a free market works. If the sponsor does not agree with the shows "message" they should and do have every right to pull their support. Now if a majority of people disagree with this move then they can not use that businesses services. Yet, a company will usually pull their commercials because the majority, yes majority of their customers think the shows message was bad. Sorry captain, but you are unfortunately in the minority.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • The real market forces

      No, in a free market the only choice for Delta is "what results in the highest number of potential customers choosing to fly with us?"

      Option A – Delta continues to advertise on a popular show. Likely outcome is little or no change in customers. Risk is that enough Catholics will not fly due to episode. Probability of that outcome is low, and would be temporary at best.

      Option B – Delta ceases to advertise on a popular show. Likely outcome is reduced customers as not only are they no longer visible on popular show, they also alienated the core market of that show. As that market is young and intelligent, they are probably the business flyers Delta really wants. Probability of lost revenue and lost visibility is substantial.

      Free market forces meant nothing – Delta made a bad business decision. Corporations long ago learned that getting involved in these controversies always loses. The best strategy is to continue on, and if you must cease advertising, do it when it is invisible.

      Some executives at Delta must be Catholic, and allowed their personal feelings to override their business sense. Poor choice.

      The free market is nowhere near as perfect as the free marketers say. But that is a long discussion.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • funked

      Mr e=mc²

      You are a total tool, I have read your comments and aside from being a stereo-typical Bible thumper, you are completely out of touch. Statistically people like me, over 35, and usually intelligent watch Stewart. Repub extremists hate him, which are you I wonder.
      Bible thumpers are relatively lower Iq according to studies done.... Example: (^ a b c Lynn, Richard; John Harvey and Helmuth Nyborg. "Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations". Elsevier Inc. doi:10.1016/j.intell.2008.03.004. Retrieved 2008-06-27.)

      Yet ask an extremist repub like you, YOU can never show proof. I also make >80k/year...you?

      I fly a lot, aprox 10-12k/year in tickets, aprox 10k/year in hotels, even though my Company pays, I choose... Delta (even though I never really liked them) IS FOREVER OFF M_Y_ List

      May 9, 2012 at 2:40 am |
  16. waikikijohn

    yes, the moral authority, Catholic Church, the leader of protecting child molesters within it own should have just a little decency to shut the hell up.

    May 9, 2012 at 12:53 am |
  17. reasons

    Well, why, why not use a photo of your own mother, Stewart, with v-manager inserted in? Put the money where your mouth is and prove you really stand for it? Or howabout you liberal loser, take "your bussiness" with Stewart and send him photo of your mother so he can feature her with v-manager in between legs?

    May 9, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • Fladabosco

      He would use his own mother in the picture and probably consider it funny.

      The reason this is an issue is because Stewart (and the geniuses at Colbert) show how hypocritical and self-serving the religious right is, and they don't like it. So they are using this as an excuse to pressure people into pulling ads. That's all.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • Jon

      Your point would go over better if you spelled "manger" correctly.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • lollypop

      Leave your mother Mary out of it! No matter how you try to twist it Delta loses! Boycott Delta! Lots of other airlines in the sky!

      May 9, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • E=MC2

      Actually, the majority of posters at this late hour are "kids" living in their parents basement who cannot even afford an airline ticket yet think it cool to "boycott" Delta. You see folks, Delta is not stupid, they know that the people who use their airline are adults with jobs, who can pay for a ticket. They know that a majority of these responsible people are offended by Stewarts cheap attempt at a laugh. While Stewart has funny moments, he is no better than Jerry Springer and all the other low lives that will do anything for a cheap laugh. They are all leeches of society who serve no purpose other than to "shock" to get attention and get a big paycheck. Oh yeah, I am writing late at night because I do have a day job and I just finished a 6 hours of work on my home. I actually have a work ethic. Oh that's right, most of you don't understand what that means.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • cranium

      e=mc2, your so funny writing about yourself as if anyone cares or believes you; I peg you as basement child who never went to college.

      May 9, 2012 at 4:30 am |
  18. n8263

    Poor Donohue is "offended." Why doesn't he speak out against his fellow Christians who are trying to impose their religion on others and trying to deny women of basic human rights?

    What's worse offending a few people while defending civil liberties, or being one the assholes attacking others' civil liberties?

    May 9, 2012 at 12:48 am |
  19. John

    This just in from the Vatican: In an allocution today from His Holiness, the Pope, he has directed all parishes to cease accepting contributions and offerings from parishioners who continue to use unsanctioned birth control devices, medications or methods. It is anticipated that the Church will be forfeiting as much as 80% of its normal income but a spokesman for the Vatican stated that there is no price than can be placed on the integrity of Holy Mother Church and that this will serve to send a clear, unequivocal message for politicians not to foist their Godless ways on Catholic Americans. He went on to state that to do otherwise would have been duplicitous and more consistent with the manipulations of a political action committee.

    May 9, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • Pauly

      Yeah, then the Pope duct-taped a pigeon to his forehead and planted a bonsai tree in his derriere.

      May 9, 2012 at 12:52 am |
  20. Cooze

    Delta blows.

    and so does Ann Coulter.

    May 9, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • Corwin7

      No Delta Blows...but Ann Coulter chews before she swallows:)

      May 9, 2012 at 1:18 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.