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. Sagebrush Shorty


    May 8, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  2. Korndog Lobstertail IV

    As a "real" Christian (Southern Baptist), who cares what catholics care, they a just a cult!!!

    May 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  3. MattC

    Only 80%? Usually these pulpit monkeys don't even give a number. They just claim to speak for the entire community. I'd suggest we give this idiot that much credit, but considering that's a number he pulled out of his keister I'll just go ahead and laugh. The truth is probably more like 80% of the .05% that he represents. So the Daily Show just lost 25 viewers... no, wait, they don't watch the Daily Show. They're too busy watching static until Pat Robertson gives their marching orders...

    May 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • BSF

      While I normally don't read the comments because I already take everything CNN says with about a pound of salt but for some reason your comment happened to catch my eye. Seriously dude before you start ignorantly bashing approximately 20% of the world's population, or in other words over 1 billion people just stop and ask yourself is what I'm about to say both offensive to large swaths of people and idiotic, the answer will most probably be yes pretty much all of the time. Also, Pat Robertson is Baptist, I don't know what else to say about that, how do you not know that he was a large part of the Christian Right. Whether you like it or not the Christian Right has played an influential role in recent American politics.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  4. Catholic League President Bill Donohue

    We could have pressed for him to be fired, but we did not . . . because his ratings would have gone through the roof.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  5. Mister Jones

    80% of this country is retarded? .... No way. There has GOT to be more than 62,701,708.2 smart people in this country.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
  6. SS

    I suspect there are plenty of companies looking to be a sponsor for the Daily Show, Delta means nothing. If anything, I'll make sure not to use them for any flights.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
  7. Anomic Office Drone

    It's like Jesus said, "Go forth and be dickish, for jokes are forbidden."

    Oh wait, Jesus is the guy who turned water to wine to get the party going. Where are these Catholic League clowns even coming from?

    May 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
  8. Uncle Dutch

    Delta is still flying? Who knew? As a recovering Catholic, it's not difficult for this sinner to see that Mr. Donahue's Faux News outrage is just another think-tank generated meme designed for the choir. I mean it was rather presumptuous of him to believe the manger depicted was the actual manger Jesus laid in, or are all manger jokes now verbotten? Since when does the Catholic Church have exclusive jurisdiction over all manger references anyway? What's next? No frankincense or myrrh jokes, lest the Catholic League of Super Heroes re-twist their knickers? Perhaps they should spend more time removing the kid touchers out of the vestibule before they start telling me what I should be upset with.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Dude Looks Like A Laity

      I'm going to start calling my parts my "manger." My manger is pierced to increase my pleasure. Jesus approves of my pierced manger cause he had one too.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  9. Dave, Central Illinois

    Christians are easy targets for cowards like Stewart. If he really wants to be "edgy", I suggest a muslim dressed as a pig or something similar. That's the state of so-called comedy in the U.S. – insult and outragegeous behavior instead of talent..

    May 8, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Loubies

      Clearly, you've never seen The Daily Show.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Andrew

      Umm, he's gone after both muslims and jews. Let me guess, you're one of those people who say "why would I ever watch the Daily Show, it's just leftist propaganda", then when you see a story like this you comment "he's a coward for not going after other religions" despite never watching the show in the first place.

      It is, however, this exact type of selective outrage by Christians that makes them such easy targets. If people like Donnahue wouldn't complain about such silly 'controversy' he would have fewer reasons to pick on them.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • MattC

      I think you mixed your targets up. I'm pretty sure you meant to say "Stewart is an easy target for these Christian cowards." Cause the other way doesn't make any sense. If this guy wanted to take it to Stewart, I'm pretty sure Stewart would invite them on the show and have it out with him, as opposed to running and hiding under Fake News' skirt, crying foul.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • MattC

      And wait? Insult and outrageousness instead of talent? Isn't that Fox News' new slogan?

      May 8, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Benjamin

      Muslims aren't actively taking away women's rights in the USA in the name of Christ.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Spawned

      What could be more offensive than religion itself! Peace over religion.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Korndog Lobstertail IV

      christians are easy targets for everyone...they are SO Funny!

      May 8, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  10. Richard

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

    Good for Stewart for saying this.

    Delta should be ashamed of itself for caving to the wishes of a religious PAC.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  11. kentuckyscience.com

    Therefore the principles of human evolution from an insane species require a virgin birth of Adam and Eve for the establishment of a moral and just human government (Isaiah 9:6).

    Finite Universe – zero and one are equal (matter can be infinitely divided into nothing – God is Nothing that created everything out of emptiness) "At the Planck distance and the Planck time all physics, as we know it today collapses. This is the reason we call the beginning of the big bang a singularity. You cannot apply ordinary reasoning there. Zero and one have no sense there.OK?" J-P Burri There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Big Bang views one and zero as being equal, since it states that zero appeared out of the absence of zero; then zero created something. Many scientists believe or have faith that light does not have mass, thus they believe the Universe is Finite. Religion promotes the most commonly accepted idea of the group. If light does not have mass, then it would be impossible to move an electron. Light described as a particle means nothing, if it has no mass since it would be impossible to distinguish from nothing because no mass means void of substance. If it has no substance, then nothing is present to distinguish the particle from other particles.

    The Big Bang theory prevents any condition where something has always been. Infinity is defined as the difference between one and zero. Once one and zero are the same according to the big bang, the definition of infinity as stated above is no longer valid. If the big bang occurred, all maths must deal with the proof of 0=1.

    This is evidence for a mathematical proof defining zero and one as equal. Currently, math and physics before the Big Bang and after it do not relate. Why should this spectacular random singularity be left out of current proofs, since it is such an important event? It is not that it is a singularity, it is a random singularity. This is the reason no end date to the Universe has ever been given. This theory that nothing created everything including the singularity that caused the big bang works well for atheists, since they believe that nothing is in control and some creationists agree with the idea that God created everything. However, considering that it defines God as nothing they aren't promoting it in church. Nothing and Emptiness are not the same; according to this universe nothing has power over emptiness, since nothing created everything out of emptiness. Could zero be equal to one only under certain mathematical conditions? No. Not according to the Big Bang Theory. It states that nothing created everything that exists in the Universe. Steven Hawking states that nothing can continue to create even more. So, the Big Bang theory prevents any condition where something has always been. Emptiness is proven not to exist based on its own definition. Emptiness is the absence of space, time, matter, and energy, thus no test can be done to determine its existence. It is common knowledge that substances which are finite have predictable endings. To even begin to publicly claim that the Universe was finite without being able to give a predictable ending shows a lack of self discipline and general education. If the big bang occurred, then there would be major miracles associated with it which are explained in our book. Miracles require faith and religion promotes the ideas associated with the belief. However, to prove the big bang researchers have invested heavily in particle accelerators. These accelerators cool particles then smash them. The particle they are trying to destroy or change into nothing is called the God particle http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/03/god-particle/achenbach-text . When atomic nuclei smash together, the goal is to examine the exotic particles that result. Like dismantling a car engine to figure out how it works. The Higgs Boson or God particle is the missing evidence in a theory that explains how fundamental particles acquire mass. Thus the plan is to try and smash the God particle apart creating energies and temperatures not seen since the universe’s earliest moments, then determine how it fits back together is the goal.

    Infinite Universe – zero is not equal to one (there is a point where matter can't be divided – God is Something that can neither be created nor destroyed that is dependent on nothing.) An infinite universe lacks a beginning, so there is no one set past or a given future.
    The infinite Universe supports the view that all particles considered to be energy have mass or substance; that there is one fundamental particle which accounts for all the diverse forms of matter in the Universe. It is the ultimate example of team work, since it fundamentally has no reason to destroy itself. So, why does evil exist? Free will and without freewill, God would lack choice. Balance is the nature of perfection in the Infinite Universe. In an infinite Universe the total amount of something remains constant. When an atom is divided it no longer has the characteristics of the original element. There is a point where matter can't be divided and at this point something and nothing are distinctly defined. In the infinite Universe, the term infinite is used to describe the difference between something (1) and nothing (0). There is an infinite difference between zero and one.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Vince

      you have way too much time on your hands

      May 8, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Mister Jones

      You do seem to be rather well read. But since you are so caught up on the origin of things ... where did your god come from? Is this not the 'something from nothing' situation you are describing as your problem with the theory that the most advanced minds in history agree on?

      May 8, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  12. RichardSRussell

    Bill Donohue has made a living by regularly bilking honest Catholics out of their hard-earned money by conjuring phony insults and fake outrage to make them feel oppressed. Gotta hand it to him: It's quite a con job to make the largest and most powerful religious denomination in the country — which holds 6 of 9 Supreme Court seats — seem like victims.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  13. Butchie67

    For those of you that are using the argument about the Church should be taking care of its pedophiles and staying out of Jon’s business know this. The two endeavors are not mutually exclusive. Stewart tries to appear as some sort of intellectual but both he and the other mental giant that works the cable channels both own watches and one of them doesn’t have enough sense to wind his and the other one just barely does. It is all their “fans” that they are truly making fun of. They know what an unsophisticated gullible lot that watch their shows. In closing let me say, when someone sees you in the morning and says, “Hi”. And your respond with, “Nope not yet”. Remember, that isn’t the answer to the question they were asking.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • GodPot

      Hi? That is a question? Maybe for you in a mens airport restroom after some foot tappin, but seriously, hi?

      May 8, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Andrew

      Umm, Daily Show viewers tend to be among the best educated demographic, as well as among the best informed about the news. They were only beaten by people whose primary source of news comes from internet sources, probably because it's easy to get a wide bredth of news coverage from the internet.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  14. longshot

    delta, just keep taking tax payer dollars and shut up, you're a loser airline and this stunt will simply drive away business. nobody watching the show was offended. what, you want christians to be offended at this and call a jihad for disrespect of a manger image? bowing to religious dogma nonsense is simply insane, no matter what religion

    May 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Vince

      well said man!

      May 8, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  15. Kellie

    I never fly Delta. Now I know why.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  16. want2believe

    “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.”

    We are offended as you are but for the point Stewart was making. Perhaps you now understand what women and their husbands, fathers, sons, brothers feel.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  17. Robin

    Boo-freakin'-hoo. Donohue, get over yourself. You do NOT speak for all Catholics. You do, however, need to grow a sense of humor.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  18. Ting

    Who needs Delta? They can be replaced. There's only one Jon Stewart.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • KWDragon

      So true!

      May 8, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
  19. Arthur "Wrong Way" Prangplane, CEO of Delta Airlines

    As head of Delta Airlines, I would like to address the concerns and misunderstandings that many of you seem to have regarding Delta. Indeed, we feel we are pre-eminant in the "severely-overpriced-shitty-service" market sector. We are proud of our state-of-the-art fly-by-braille navigation system.

    Let me state our ongoing commitment to you:

    We guarantee your baggage will end up somewhere, even if you don't.

    We guarantee we are working on having our pilots attend their NA meetings more regularly.

    We guarantee the plane will probably still fly with only one working engine.

    And last but not least, we are fully committed to having flight attendants who are absolutely current on their anger management therapy.

    Delta – where not caring is an art form.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • GodPot

      "We guarantee we are working on having our pilots attend their NA meetings more regularly."

      What about the AA meetings?

      May 8, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Arthur "Wrong Way" Prangplane, CEO of Delta Airlines

      Our research clearly shows a slight decline in pilots' blood alcohol contents over the last decade. We are very proud of that accomplishment.

      May 8, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  20. local

    "Perhaps you now understand how the 80% of the nation that is Christian feel.”
    Excuse me, but do not try to claim you speak for 80% of this country. I am a Christian and I am more offended by that than anything Jon Stewart will ever say!

    May 8, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
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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.