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. FORMER Crown Room member

    Well fake news is a tough business. Clearly Delta just made the call that Fox News is funnier than the Daily Show. Too bad their corporate character is the same as their customer service.

    May 9, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • gdouglaso

      I applaud Delta for their decision. I have respect for all religions and will not fly with an airline that somehow thinks it is ok to mocks Jews, Christians or Agnostics. Kudos to you Delta for taking a stand.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:11 am |
  2. Saddened

    I used to always watch the Daily Show. Recently however their outright bias towards those who are pro-life and those who are pro-religion has become an undercurrent of the show. I don't have to be Christian to beleive in a parent's responsibility to their unborn child. I don't have to be Muslim to feel that religious hate takes many forms.

    The writers of the Daily Show have consistently in recent months promoted a selfish choice of "reproductive rights" over a selfless choice of the rights of an unborn child. It's disgusting and they should be ashamed. It saddens me that time and again rational thought is replaced by feminist dogma.

    May 9, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  3. KatranM

    Well, Delta, one more reason why I've stopped using you after thirty years.

    Still waiting for you to issue a refund for that first class ticket you bumped me off of due to bad weather, squeezing me into coach, then insisting that the first class ticket I bought on your website with the "first class" pulldown menu was technically a coach ticket in disguise so you didn't have to refund it. (The doublespeak in those emails was amazing!)

    It was, of course, the first time *I* had ever bought a first class ticket, because of my failing health - I decided to pay the premium - but of course, you don't have time for peons like me.

    That's why you decided that the wheelchair I'd selected on your website also didn't count, forcing me to wait at the gate until my connecting flight left.

    Stay classy, Delta. (And, as I told you, since you failed to give me ANY satisfaction, I was going to be warning the web public that (a) the first class option on your website isn't really first class, like you told me, and (b) your treatment of handicapped persons stinks, so people with any disabilities should use a different airline. Happy now? I TOLD you that I would be doing this, since you decided that you didn't have to correct your mistakes.)

    May 9, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • gdouglaso

      Well Delta, it looks like I am going to start flying with you more. Especially now that this person isn't on the plane.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  4. Richard

    I understand why Delta would be offended since the skit draws attention to the lack of legroom on their flights.

    May 9, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      This comment wins.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  5. gdouglaso

    I deplore anti-semites and would not make comments to mock the Jewish people or their religion. Stewart, a very forthright Jewish person, openly attacks Christian beliefs and sacred elements (e.g., the manger). Tolerance MUST be present in ALL directions. Otherwise it is hypocrisy - another element that Stewart seems to openly deplore.

    May 9, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Richard

      I take it you missed his Rally (or anything else he has said over the last decade)

      May 9, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Chris

      Yah, but Stewart also (regularly) makes fun of Judiasm – and everything else.

      He is an equal oppurtunity comic.

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

      The manger is sacred? Why exactly?

      I mean, I presume that Jesus slept on beds and the ground at points in his life too. Does that make a bed sacred? A manger is first and foremost a place from which horses and cattle eat. According to Christian myth it was borrowed as a cradle.

      That doesn't make it sacred.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  6. Texasdem1987

    This should be obvious, but whay is the catholic league watching Stewart in the first place.

    May 9, 2012 at 11:03 am |
  7. Joey

    Kathy, the reason it is important is because there are those of us who would like to live in a free country where we can be free from religion. There are those who would run our country like an Islamic state. They would just use their version and interpretation of the Bible instead of the Koran. I, for one, do not wish to be ruled by an idiot with a Bible or a Koran. I would like our civil government back where one's religion or lack thereof makes no difference.

    May 9, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Q180

      Amen to that!!

      May 9, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • n8263

      Donohue would love to impose his Catholic Sharia law on all Americans. Poor little guy is "offended."

      May 9, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Paul Thomas

      You would rather be ruled by idiots like Stalin, Mao, or Hiter? All hated religion as much as you do.

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

      @ Paul – Butler was a Christian, sorry.

      Stalin and Mao, and the others didn't kill millions because they were atheists. They killed millions because they were power-mad despots.

      The US was founded on the concepts from the age of reason and the age of enlightenment. It was not founded based on the myths in your bible.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  8. Seriously

    Consider these quotes, and how you might feel if you lived in a country where these sentiments were mainstream:

    “Our leader was not elected…he was appointed by Allah.”
    “Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of Allah…must be denied citizenship."
    “I, your Provincial Governor, do hereby proclaim… a day of prayer and fasting for our country.”
    “Allah called me to this government position…my family fasted for three days to make sure it was true.”
    “"I would not put a Christian among my advisors, or in my government."
    “(our founding doc.uments) are quite clear that we would create law based on Allah of the Qur’an and Sharia Law, it’s pretty simple.”
    “I hope I will live to see the day when…we won't have any public schools. The Mosques will have taken over them over again and Imams will be running them. What a happy day that will be!"
    “There will never be world peace until Allah's house and Allah's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world."

    These statements should rightfully alarm you. Now consider this, YOU DO live in that country, and these are not Taliban quotes. In the above quotes the religious references have been changed. They are quotes from prominent, politically powerful Americans who would establish religious control over America’s government. Here are the actual quotes:

    “George Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters in the United States, he was appointed by God.” –Lt. General William Boykin, US Army
    “Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church's public marks of the covenant–baptism and holy communion–must be denied citizenship." –Gary North, Inst.itute for Christian Economics
    “I, Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim August 6, 2011, to be A Day of Prayer and Fasting for Our Nation.” –Rick Perry, Texas Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate
    “God called me to run for this office, and my husband fasted for 3 days to make sure it was true.” –Michelle Bachman, US Senator and Republican Presidential Candidate
    “"I would not put a Muslim in my cabinet, or in my administration." –Herman Cain, Republican Presidential Candidate
    “(Our founding doc.uments) are quite clear that we would create law based on the God of the Bible and the 10 commandments, it’s pretty simple.” –Sarah Palin
    I hope I will live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken over them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!" - Jerry Falwell
    There will never be world peace until God's house and God's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world." –Pat Robertson

    These statements should be no more frightening in an Islamic or a Christian context – this kind of rhetoric is a serious threat no matter who it comes from. Theocracy is dangerous no matter whose God is invoked. We hear these things from pious politicians every day and are likely desensitized to them, but even momentary consideration reveals them to be un-American to the core. Religious fundamentalists make no secret of their goal of controlling our government and establishing their narrow beliefs as law. We must not let that happen – not here, not in our country.

    It happens in small steps – the Ten Commandments in courthouses, prayer and creationism (“Intelligent Design”) in schools, revising science, history, and civics textbooks in Texas, State-endorsed prayer rallies, faith-based initiatives, and on and on – and because these steps may individually seem harmless, many people underestimate their consequences. That is why we must stay alert and fight to keep church and state separate. We should shudder whenever a politician or policymaker alludes to his or her religious beliefs as a justification for public policy. We should be deeply suspi.cious of anyone who claims to be chosen by God to lead us. We should aggressively defend our free society against any religious group who would hope to gain control over it.

    Do not underestimate the importance of defending the separation of church and state. Stand up for it at every opportunity with your voice and your vote.

    May 9, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • mandarax

      Sobering. Highly recommended reading...

      May 9, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Joey

      I couldn't agree more. If anyone disagrees with you, they should take a look at Nazi Germany. Hitler gained power almost overnight in a country that needed some group to hate. Look at the Nazi who has won election in Europe. If there is anything to fear, it is the fear of groups of which you refer assuming power in much the same way. We do not want that. As for Bockman, he could use some fasting.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Dumbledore Vs God

      Very well said. The true belivers in magic (religion,god, etc) are dangerous to everyone else. They will put us all in prison or have us killed.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • closet atheist


      And all this nonsense in NC... we're moving backwards as a country and civilization....

      May 9, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • BRC

      What's equally disturbing, is that even with the prevelance of such statements, people will wonder why atheists and those who are moderately religious feel the need to speak out against religious activism, why we can't just "sit back and let everyone believe what they believe". While that's great in theory, the fundamentalists and highly devout won't let it stand at just letting people believe. But there are those who CAN'T understand that, or the difference between dissagreeing with other beliefs and passing LEGISLATION based on beliefs.

      All in all, very good post, thank you.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  9. JJ

    Can you hear that!? It's the sound of the Catholic Church choking on their own bigotry.

    May 9, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • nuh duh

      no that's your ma choking on deez...

      May 9, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Woooooot

      @nuh duh: How very christian of you......

      May 9, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  10. 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 be put in a position to have to defend basic human rights like access to safe legal abortion?

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


      May 9, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  11. jim

    Stewart and his ilk once again demonstrate their hatred towards those who believe in the Almighty. This is not comedy. This is simply a message of hate towards the Catholic Church.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Q180

      Do you ever get exhausted playing the victim?

      May 9, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • nuh duh

      Q180, the irony of you asking that question... libs are the kings of playing the victim, creating a crisis (we're all going to be obese, oh no!), and inciting class warfare

      May 9, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Joey

      We are sick of you trying to stick your belief in some invisible being up our butts. Have your belief. Call it whatever you want. You can even assume you somehow know what's best for the rest of us. I would even defend your right to tell me about even though I think you are nuts. I will not stand by and allow you to force your stupid belief on me using the civil law. I'm sick of it. And I don't think I'm alone. Christianity as it is used in American has become oppressive. It's over.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  12. dgbnyc

    Come on and correct this story, CNN! Delta has explicitly denied that Donohue and his group had anything to do with their decision. All that happened was Delta changed their advertising plans and this clown took credit in a press release and CNN and other news sources made it a story because an airline moving their ads money somewhere else – which happens all the time – is not a story.

    Seriously, there is an enormous amount of misinformation being promoted as truth with this story and CNN, as a journalistic organization, has a responsibility to correct this mistake before more people take it that way.

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

    Anyone ripping on Donahue has to recognize his gift for comedy. He was hilarious on South Park's "Fantastic Easter Special".

    May 9, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  14. Sean

    So let me get this straight...he called out the Catholic Church on it's campaign to control what women do with their bodies?Not sure what's wrong with this. And hate speech? Come on, white people (I'm white too so I'm a bit confused by all this "hate speech bs) yelling hate speech is like the boy who cried wolf x1000. The Christian right feel that their point of view is the only one that matters because it is "traditional"...in relation to what? The times move on, and the they are moving on WITHOUT the religious pandering. The 1950's are waaaaay back in the past folks. While there is a majority of people who are of some form of Christianity or Catholicism that does not mean that religious persecution through the voting out of individual rights is democratic process. Approving by law who someone can love or how someone manages their bodily functions is not the right of all Christians and by proxy means that as a right it cannot and should not be managed by laws created under a false assumption that everyone is of a particular denomination or affiliation. What Jon did is wholly within his rights and anyone who says differently has those same rights but just because you are insulted by what he said doesn't give anyone the right to demand an apology for an oversensitive, overdemanding, channel of hypocrisy that is the Catholic and Christian churches.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  15. Eric Jensen

    Catholic Church saying 80% of Christians are offended? They are bringing up a religious war on this one? LOL wow.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  16. Anon


    The belief that an invisible cosmic Jewish zombie can make you live forever if you eat his flesh, drink his blood, and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so that he will remove an evil force from your soul that was put there because a woman made from a rib was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree. What's the problem?

    May 9, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • nuh duh

      atheism: the belief that everything is by chance; the multiverse is a cosmic accident.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Anon

      Atheism is not a belief in anything. It is a lack of belief.

      I only believe in one less god than you. When you understand why you reject all other gods, you will understand why I reject yours.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • mandarax

      Yeah, except that Anon's is accurate, only worded differently than the traditional description. Nuh Duh's is a typical misrepresentation / miscomprehension.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • nuh duh

      please take believing in nothing to it's logical conclusion for me... does nothingness have a conclusion or is that chance (cause and effect)?

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

      What a humorous way to put it. When you tell it that way, it really sound ignorant doesn't it.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • mandarax

      You're making my point for me. What is this business about "nothing?"

      May 9, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Primewonk

      nuh dun (bizarrely) confounds atheism – a lack of belief in any of the 10,000 gods we have invented – with cosmology – the scientific field of study of the early universe going back to the Planck Epoch.

      Even sadder, this ignorant fundiots then gets the cosmology all wrong.

      Perhaps nuh duh should spend less time listening to "Pastor Dave" and more time cracking open science journals. The problem for cretins like nuh duh is that "Pastor Dave" is just as ignorant about science as they are.

      May 9, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  17. Joey

    And just one more thing. We who enjoy the comedy of Jon Stewart should boycott Delta. Let the igorant fiy on that airline. It's not that good anyway. We can all fly Southwest or American. They need the business and maybe they will stay out of our religious lives.

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

      You have as much freedom to boycott Delta as others are free to boycott those who advertise on the Daily Show.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  18. Kathy

    How ridiculous! It is not even worthy as a new article. If this is the only thing we have to worry about – how lucky we are!

    May 9, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  19. tkindsm

    I used to think John S was funny but anymore I think he is just a liberal D.Bag

    May 9, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • jim

      Stewart does have a flare and talent for comedy. Why then does he waist his time expressing hatred towards people of a certain faith(s) when Stewart can can devote his time and talent expressing humor in such a way where can make his point without the bigotry. It's not that hard to do.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • mandarax

      Hatred? Bigotry? Give me a break. It disgusts me how Christianity can dish out the most vile policies and then be so fragile and victimized as soon as anyone dares question it.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  20. Joey

    The Catholic spokesman assumes that 80% of America is Christian. There may be 80% of America, if forced to choose, might say they were Christian but most of the church goers have white hair. The appeal of the church, any church, in America is and has been declining. As Rick Santorum pointed out, kids go into college having some faith based belief and graduate without one. Why? Because they become educated. Religion florished in a time of ignorance and it continues to do so among the ignorant of today. There are just not as many ignorant people. This, of course, is why Santorum and his type want less people to attend college. There more that do, the more child molesting religions decline. For me, they can't decliine fast enough.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:55 am |
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About this blog

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.