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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. Anita

    Great job Delta!!!

    May 9, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Larry Pooface

      Oh, someone said something you didn't like. Yay! You need to ...ah, what's the point. I'll just sit here getting angry, while you feel superior about yourself. Politics these days is like those sports fans who think they won when a team in their city did all the work; then they criticize them when they do poorly; saying "well, I would have done that instead of this." There is more to heavan and earth than is dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Dodd

      Hey Larry, you are all for liberals pushing for advertisers to leave Limbaugh, but against advertisers leaving Mahar and Stewart. Sounds like hypocrisy to me.

      Note: I never listen to Limbaugh and stopped listening to the unfunny Stewart years ago.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Larry Pooface

      Who?

      May 9, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • PePlar

      Looks like Dodd is projecting again–I'll see if we can get his psych over here.

      May 10, 2012 at 1:18 am |
  2. caeser

    Everything about being human,even religion is open to satire and irony
    Even though you might not like it and it might be in bad taste as far as your concerned,don't try to deny Jon his right to free speech.Don't like it ,turn it off.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Woooooot

      Here here!

      May 9, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • stan

      Like.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Larry Pooface

      He's right, the TV has 2 important buttons, one turns it off, the other changes the channel.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Exactly. Put on your big boy pants. This is the real world. People are going to say stuff that you don't like. It's best not to storm off like a little child every time somebody says something that doesn't tickle your ears.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Matt

      This doesn't affect me at all. First, John hasn't been funny in over 10 years. Second, I like Delta, so I'll still use them.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • wolfpackbob

      Nobody is denying Stewart the right to be a jerk. But don't deny folks the right to be unhappy when dissed. If Stewart is OK with being a jerk to Christians, great! If he is OK with losing sponsors, great! If you want to use this story to dump on Christians, great! But this would be a totally different discussion if Stewart dissed Judaism or Islam.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Well you like Delta so that tells me all I need to know about how our opinions relate.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Woooooot

      @wolfpakbob: .......except that he does make fun of judaism. ALL. THE. TIME.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  3. profS

    Jon Stewart is #1 !

    May 9, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Matt

      "He's more like #2... if you know what I mean."

      May 9, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Woooooot

      Awww Matt's got butthurt. Controversies like these will keep Stewart numero uno for a long time.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  4. SomeGuyInNC

    You do know of course that Mr. Stewart will be using this controversy as material, don't you?

    I just got a reason to start watching the Daily Show again. Yeehaw!

    May 9, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  5. coldtexan

    The Catholic Church is on its way out. After centuries of 'death to all that oppose us' I for one am glad to witness their demise.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • jim

      It can't come soon enough!

      May 9, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Reminds me of a perfect quote from Christopher Hitchens on the matter:

      “Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse.”

      May 9, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • John

      Here, here

      May 9, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  6. SomeGuyInNC

    Why would anyone take people like Donohue, or any other self-appointed rich idiot, seriously at all?

    Seriously though, if your beliefs can't stand scrutiny or ridicule, they're not worth anyone else's time either.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  7. Amused1944

    I think that the bottom line should be not to assume that because your a TV persona that the general public appreciates vulgarity and bad taste. The freedom is there to be vulgar and in bad taste...but so is the freedom for the decent segment of the population to let you know you are vulgar, insensitve and trashy. If you can't stand the heat...

    May 9, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • PePlar

      Freedom, unlike beauty is not in the eye of the beholder–it is an absolute; either you are free or you are not. The league used economic black.mail on delta to try to force the leagues' view on everyone else by using the pc buzz words "hate speech." Delta should have been smart enough to see through this immediately and should have had someone smart enough to realize this organization is a sliver extremist group and does not represent catholics or the Catholic Church. Delta deserves what they get and no one should contribute any money to the hate,mongers that is the league. Freedom of speech for all, economic oppression for no one.

      May 10, 2012 at 1:27 am |
  8. n8263

    Poor Donahue 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 in the first place?

    May 9, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  9. closet atheist

    Seems like a poorly thought out idea by Delta...

    Is it just me, or doesn't it seem like A LOT of discretionary travel (that which could be affected by a social statement) is done by the professional 25-40 crowd...?? Maybe it's just because I'm in NYC and a bit insulated from rest of country, but this crowd tends to have socially moderate views and, if anything, would be turned off to Delta.

    It's the crowds like my parents and family in the midwest that will applaud this move.... but they rarely fly anywhere.....

    May 9, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Fly Delta

      I like flying Delta. I think that I like them a bit more now. Stewart hasn't been funny in years.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • closet atheist

      I don't mind them myself. But if I didn't have so many damn miles already, I'd seek other alternatives, if possible (at least in the short run).

      May 9, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  10. stan

    I'm Christian... I found it hilarious.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  11. Stewart Little stinks

    Stewart hasn't been funny for years. Like Bill Mahar, he started OK, but then decided to push an agenda ahead of entertainment. My neighbors are funnier than John ever was.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • RMartin

      Boy, I want to party with you and your neighbors! I bet it's a hoot!!
      Truth is, the right/conservatives can't do funny like the left/liberals. It's kind of sad and pathetic, really.
      As a long-time Stewart watcher, the show gets better and better.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Woooooot

      Ohh so your neighbors are funnier than Jon Stewart? Please tell me what channel their TV show is on.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • stan

      How I know you are full of $%!#: Bill Maher was never funny.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • JJ

      Someone is a bitter conservative! I bet you laugh your head off when you watch 'Fox and friends'.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Dodd

      Stewart never was funny.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  12. seedenbetter

    I just wished that loud mouthed Donohue would be equally outraged by his church's institutionalized rape of children.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Joey

      Amen and Amen

      May 9, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Really?

      You are a joke. Everyone is against abuse. It's not a conservative or liberal problem–but a human problem.

      But, if you have to insinuate that Catholics are for abuse in order to defend an unfunny and crude comedian, then so be it. Shows that liberals have to use lies to argue their point.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • jim

      @Really? If the catholic church is against abuse, why has it , for so many decades, gone to great lengths to accommodate and hide it within the clergy?

      May 9, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Somebody hasn't been paying attention to the news about the coverups in the Catholic church that are just getting found out about this. It's not just the Catholic church. There are plenty of religions that have this problem.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  13. bzarr

    It seems to me the "Catholic League" has more important things to worry about. For instance where to send the next priest that gets caught "adjusting" some 7 year olds snuggy from the inside.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • yeah yeah

      ya know!

      May 9, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Libs?

      Are all liberals this insensitive to child abuse....? Weirdos.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • bzarr

      libs-I am a liberal and I am sensitive to child abuse. Thats why I don't let my kid anywhere near a catholic church or a church school.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:03 am |
  14. yeah yeah

    This is the reason why I stopped going to Catholic church years ago while I was still a kid, Because of idiocy like this, I for one am done with all religious types.....you people need to wake up and give up this day dream of heaven and hell....If anything your living in hell right now......Use the brain and free will that your supposed "GOD" gave you and make some logical reasoning will you!

    May 9, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  15. wolfpackbob

    Come on, in America, the sole use antwhere of the word "manger" by 99% of the population is as a seasonal reference of a birth at a Christmas nativity, regardless of whether you have a faith or not. At least be honest about that. As a comedian/commentator, Stewart is in the business of being a wordsmith. All Stewart has to do is get past his ego and admit it was a bad choice and apologize and move on.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Why should he apologize? Because he offended the most easily offendable group in America?

      May 9, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      The skit was from back in April. Why are they so offended now? Why should he apologize? What is there to apologize for, wanting to make sure women have rights over their body?

      May 9, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • wolfpackbob

      You're right, we turn the other cheek everyday. If this story was an affront to Judaism, would Stewart's Anti-Defamation League only be asking for an apology. If this was an affront to Islam, would Stewart be looking over his shoulder everday in the parking lot for the rest of his life?

      May 9, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      wolfpackbob. Jon Stewart makes jokes about his Jewish background constantly. He makes jokes about Muslims too. He just doesn't do it as much. You see, there's this thing called the Catholic church, that is trying to get its grubby little hands in the US government to impact policies that affect the many Americans who are not Catholic. Jews don't do this. Muslims don't do this. The Catholic church seeks to take away the rights of all Americans. This is why he makes fun of them constantly. If they don't get the joke, that means they are the joke.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  16. n8263

    Is it completely lost on Donohue that if it was not for assholes like him trying to shove their religion up innocent women's vaginas that decent people like Stewert would not even be in a position to have to defend basic human rights like access to safe legal abortion?

    May 9, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  17. ThaGerm

    “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.”

    Wait what? What does my or anyone's mother have to do with this issue? That is a poorly stated argument rooted in logical fallacy. Jon was attacking the Christian right for sure, but my mother doesn't even play into this picture AT ALL.

    Ridiculous!

    May 9, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Have you ever heard of Donahue? That's amongst his strongest arguments.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  18. Dave

    Guess who's not flying Delta anymore...this guy...and I fly a lot!

    May 9, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Faux (Pronounced 'Foe') anger

      Ha, ha. You love Stewart so much that you'd change your flying behavior. Glad you can throw yourself behind 'a good cause'. Nice.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Matt

      Guess who's not jogging in place at stop signs. This guy. Yeah, this guy isn't. And I jog a lot.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      No, it's probably not in support of Stewart but in protest to the way Delta supports the Catholic's church goal to affect US policy.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  19. Nellie

    Stewart IS a joke and I wouldn't lower myself to watch the clown!

    May 9, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Nobody's forcing you to. That's the joy of freedom.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • RMartin

      Really?? Guessing your someone who feels threatened by gay marriage too... Was that bit he did offensive/obscene? Sure. But that's comedy, at least educated comedy. He pushes the envelope to force people to see things a little differently. Jon makes fun of his own religion constantly on the show. I'll continue to watch because it's smart and calls out the crazy fringe on the far right AND left.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  20. Guest Speaker

    The bottom line is dont mess with what people believe in. All else is fair game. But leave that alone, its not difficult and rather last resortish if you cant come up with something else to laugh at.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Guest Speaker
      Can't we at least laugh at Scientologists and their Thetan Theology?

      May 9, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Dave

      Thats BS...if your beliefs cant withstand scrutiny they aren't worth believing in at all....

      May 9, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Gecul

      And Morman underware!

      May 9, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • ThaGerm

      Your argument is fine, right up until the point when you don't realize that the Christian-Right is trampling what I BELIEVE IN!. You don't get it and you never will. Christians think their point of view is the only one and its the only correct one. Well you are wrong and you are the minority on this planet. Christians... Leave other peoples beliefs alone, we don't need you to knock on our doors or feel sorry for us because we don't believe, we need you to mind your own business!

      May 9, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Dave is right on.

      You are perfectly content to make fun of other people's beliefs. If I believed that magical leprechauns lived in my underwear and gave me psychic powers, would it be okay to make a joke about what I believe in? Where do you draw the line? Are you telling me you never made a joke about what somebody believed?

      May 9, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • n8263

      Guest, the bottom line is do not impose your religion on others!

      May 9, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Huebert

      Sorry, all ideas exposed to the public will be examined if they are good they will move on if they are silly they will be made fun of. Just because you think a subject is sacred does not mean that anyone else will treat it as such.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Primewonk

      When people purposefully choose to be ignorant and believe in myths they deserve to be mocked. Especially when they try and force those bizarre religious myths into our laws.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:48 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.