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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. Mazzata

    Donohue would feel much better if he did a few more laps around the beads and doubled his genuflecting time.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    I find it amusing that he thinks he could pressure Stewart into being fired, but chose not to. It must be tough going through life and being so utterly humorless that you feel compelled to stifle other peoples' freedom of expression. I guess the righties have proven, once again, that they are not real Americans.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  3. John

    If the Church quit accepting donations and offerings from those who continue to use birth control, I might pay attention to their "outrage"over the insurance issue. They are very selective and self-serving in their convictions. They have earned all the ridicule coming their way. They should give a prayer of thanks that they aren't being taxed as a political action committee and if I prayed, I'd see it on my next ballot.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  4. TheShark

    That was in April! The Daily Show has done so many episodes since then, that most of the people that watch the show (myself included) probably forgot about that skit. In fact, I just looked it up to see if I remembered it. (I did not...) Apparently "Delta" has not heard of the "Streisand" effect.

    Just let it be. This is the beauty of free speech. If it offends you, ignore it.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Unfortunately, many people don't appreciate the beauty.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  5. Guest Speaker

    Always the christians, this fool would never laugh at his own religon, or make a fool of it. Hes a jerk.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Jon Stewart is Jewish. He makes fun of his background constantly. You clearly have never watched Jon Stewart.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Woooooot

      Yet another person who doesn't watch the show.......
      Jon Stewart makes fun of his own religion all the time. Please stop mindlessly spewing out what your pastor/priest/Rush/FoxNews/mom tell you. It's unbecoming.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  6. Genesis

    Religion is the issue. It is nothing more than a skit...you don't like the channel, turn it, change it...flip it to whatever suits your soul! I support Daily...Good-by Delta Airlines! I am not going to have you or your religious cause dictating my enjoyment! Some of you are worried about your death panels...groups like Delta, Donahue, now these are the groups that make up your death panel. Religion...Man-Made. Junk Science. Where is Christopher Hichens when you need him?

    May 9, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  7. ak2k

    I saw the sketch. I don't understand the offense. What exactly do you think was happening in that Manger the night Jesus was BORN????

    May 9, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Magic? Wait no, that was how he was conceived.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  8. pzupan

    How dissappointing. Another business faced with the dilemma of complying with the lunacy of religion or advertising where they wish. I travel to Europe on business about once a month, and usually use Delta. Now I have to find a different airline. My $1500 a month isn't going to change much, but it adds up if everyone boycotts who thinks that Delta shouldn't cave to the nonsensical boycotts.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  9. joe dokes

    I enjoyed Donahue's sentence saying, "Perhaps you now understand how the 80% of the nation that is Christian feel.” Well, that's interesting. How does Donahue know how 80% of Christians feel? He doesn't. He knows how HE and a few of his ultra conservative Catholic friends feel. Donahue does not speak for all Christians... not by a long shot. I am Christian and I thought it was funny. A bit edgy maybe... but funny. Donahue is just a blowhard who enjoys trying to throw his weight around in the name of religion. It's unfortunate that ANY sponsors fell for his bullying tactics.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  10. denroy

    Jon Stewart – he was funny once wasn't he? Being funny a second time would be good maybe

    May 9, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Well it does take an IQ of over 60 in order to understand his humor so I guess you wouldn't find it funny.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Chad

      I know. He's turning out to be another Bill Maher, where his politics is quickly eating away at his role as a comedian. Comedians can be equal opportunity bashers like the creators of South Park, but apparently Maher and Stewart never got that memo.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  11. Michael Q

    Why don't we all just genuflect and go underground like we did back in the good old days? Why are all these low self-esteem and lacking in any chance of getting ahead in any aspect of their lives people raining on my parade? Religion is going to kill everything that is worthwhile except abuse in the home and abuse to small innocent children all in the name of some religious folklore. When the world finally realizes this religious stuff is just a con game, it will be late. Why can't we all just get along?

    May 9, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Joel

      Absolutely agree. And anyone who has ever seen Donohue interviewed knows he's an ignorant, hickish slob.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  12. Transparency in reporting

    I think you need to provide a link to the offensive sketch so as to enable the reader to determine for his or herself whether the sketch was indeed offensive.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Mark

      http://www.thedailyshow.com/collection/412990/the-war-for-women/412606

      The bit in question starts at 4:28

      May 9, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Google it.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  13. DOUG

    If Rush Limbaugh had a son who was a billion times more hateful than Rush he would be exactly like Jon Stewart.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Bob

      Youre kidding, right??

      May 9, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Busted

      The crazy thing is he is not joking. People on the far far far right honestly believe Rush and John are equals.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Mazzata

      You're a ridiculous shmuck, Doug.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • ak2k

      EW!

      May 9, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Genesis

      Well Dougy...don't know how you've gotten lost on this one. Apparently you must be listening to Rush, so my guess is that you are'nt religious which I applaud, but to see Daily as 100 times worse? Daily is a comedian, Rush is a hate-monger! That's how he makes his money. Huge difference!

      May 9, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Joel

      I'm a conservative-leaning independent who appreciates Stewart's political intelligence, sarcasm, and ascerbic wit. Doug, you're a dimwit who obviously has never watched him.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • BFD

      Dougy-you've never watched Jon Stewart, have you?

      May 9, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  14. Bush's Brain

    I'm not flying Delta ever again.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Michael Q

      Ditto

      May 9, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  15. str8vision

    The Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights was offended by Jon's comedy skit? What....Ohhhh, the skit used an image of a woman instead of a small innocent boy, I see now......

    May 9, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • DrGMG

      good one!

      May 9, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Woooooot

      Heh heh I see what you did there.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • ak2k

      Very nice, and astute (sp?) observation.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  16. Rich C

    Notorious, it's both their responsibilities, but men aren't the ones begging others to pay for their condoms.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  17. Doc Vestibule

    Every egg is sacred!
    Life begins at ovulation.
    Women should feel ashamed for menstruating.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • palintwit

      And men should feel ashamed for doing it in a kleenex.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The Bible is clear about how we should feel regarding women.
      "Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die" Ecclesiasticus, 25:19
      The great Christian philosopher Calvin described women as
      "... more guilty than the man, because she was seduced by Satan, and so diverted her husband from obedience to God that she was an instrument of death leading all to perdition. It is necessary that woman recognize this, and that she learn to what she is subjected; and not only against her husband. This is reason enough why today she is placed below and that she bears within her ignominy and shame."
      A good Christian woman should be silent, submissive, subservient and filled with shame for the curse her gender forced on humanity.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Genesis

      Doc...you're sick! You need medical atttention! Religion has eaten your brain and now you have lost your ability to think with any type of rationale sense. Please seek help!

      May 9, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Genesis
      You must be female.
      If you bear yourself as haughtily as you're doing in this post, The Lord will treat you like he did the daughters of Zion in Isaiah 3:18 and take away all your jewelery,fine clothes, makeup, and mirrors. He'll make you bald and rotten smelling before killing all of the men you care about.

      Isn't Biblical misogyny fun?!

      May 9, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  18. Tyler Tubbs

    I'm not a Christian, but I can see how frustrating it would be to be one. It seems Christian bashing is all the rage, and many jokes are made at the expense of that group's beliefs. Of course, no religion is perfect, and deserves scrutiny – it just seems the popular media takes great pleasure in deflating this particular belief system.
    We must of course remember that Jon Stewart is an entertainer. Anybody that gets paid that much to talk into a camera has the support of the people that are paying him. He must be delivering an effective message.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Ya, it must be tough being a Christian. It's not like they exert immense political power and make billions each year from gullible and fearful fools, all tax free.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Busted

      Yeah, I am a christian and I'm with most of my christian friends when we watch John Stewart, then watch dumbfounded by how radilcally right winged these rogue Catholic bishops are. For someone like me who spent his whole life in Catholic school, the current Bishops remind me of the right winged bishops who helped the Nazis during WWII.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Woooooot

      First World Problems. Boo hoo.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      The First World is actually facing a crisis unlike anything it has ever known. The Third World needs to learn to take care of itself.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  19. Tom Watts

    Religions offend me greatly.
    Right up to my clear thinking brain.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  20. thebabyjebus

    I predict that someday soon the Sarah Palin family trailer will become as big a vacation destination as Graceland. Baggers and birthers from the four corners of the bible belt will make the pilgrimage, gladly paying $25, $35, or more for the chance to tour Sarah Palin's trailer and to go out back and see the actual outhouse where she took her morning dump.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:59 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.