The Daily Show pounds Atlanta with fresh snark storm

Jon Stewart on Atlanta’s “ice age doomsday zombie apocalypse”


Just like Georgia governor Nathan Deal’s response to Tuesday’s wintry mix, Atlantans were completely blindsided Thursday night when Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with John Stewart devoted six minutes of airtime to mocking us mercilessly. Describing our traffic snarling weather event as an “ice age doomsday zombie apocalypse,” Stewart pondered: “I can’t even imagine how much snow it would take to bring on the zombie apocalypse. Three feet? Ten feet?” Cut to a clip of a Fox News anchor: “Two inches of snow hit the area.” “Really?” asked Stewart. “Two inches of snow? Is that what happens when the south is confronted by something not specifically mentioned in Revelations?”

Stewart then proceeded to riff on our allergy to HOV lanes. “It’s OK for two people to share a car, right?” As a still of Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman from Driving Miss Daisy flashed on the screen behind him, Stewart added: “I know this was the last time anyone in Atlanta car pooled, but still. This is an emergency!”

Cut to a clip of Deal at a press conference: “We have been confronted with an unexpected storm, There is no one in this room who could have predicted the degree or the magnitude of the problem that developed.” The sound bite was then trailed by a series of Weather Channel, CNN and WSB-TV Action News meteorologist Karen Minton clips, all correctly forecasting the snow on Jan 27. Pointing out that Atlanta also serves as The Weather Channel’s headquarters, Stewart added: “Not only were they warned, the call was coming from inside the house! The Weather Channel is located in Atlanta. Also located in Atlanta? The Society for the Prevention of Highway Stuckage and the National Department of Seeing S#*t Coming.”

Flashing Deal’s tweeted photo of him, Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed, and a Steve Penley painting of hizzonor at Tuesday’s Georgia Trend luncheon honoring Reed as Georgian of the Year at the Ritz Carlton downtown as the snow began falling, Stewart asked: “Georgian of the Year? Who did he beat out for Georgian of the Year? Paula Deen and the guy who raped Ned Beatty in Deliverance?”

Not even WSB-TV Action News anchors Justin Farmer and Jovita Moore or the 25 Action News reporters all providing simultaneous live coverage escaped ridicule. Said Stewart: “Look, a 25 news box pile up!” On his Facebook page, Farmer was taking it in stride early Friday, even posting a photo of the bit with the caption: “The Daily Show honored our 25 reporter box tonight.”

Daily Show fans on the program’s Facebook page, meanwhile, posted more than 100 snark-filled comments under the headline: “Tonight: Snow turns Atlanta into scene from Walking Dead (JK – no such thing as walking in Atlanta).” The lone voice of dissent in the feed? Cumming resident Tracy Lee White who wrote: “Jon, shame on you! Don’t perpetuate the myth that it was the snow.” Sharing a link to Atlanta magazine deputy editor and Atlanta historian Rebecca Burns’ Politico piece, “The Day We Lost Atlanta,” she added: “Read this article. It is the truest account of what happened and why.” Advised viewer Kim Martino to White and perhaps all Georgians: “Tracy, The show makes fun of the news and events. That’s its purpose. Don’t take it too seriously now. LOL.”

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  • Jill Ann

    I am a New Yorker – born on the island of Manhattan – I lived and worked there for many years. I recently relocated to Atlanta (and it is awesome). Atlanta is a major city with people living here from all over the world and from all over the United States. The people of Atlanta should not be reduced to morons because of a culmination of preventable events. We are talking about METRO Atlanta and not the entire state of Georgia. Not to mention, even if we are addressing GA as a whole – people should not be reduced to stereotypes. There are various government officials responsible (not 2) for poor planning that put many human beings in dangerous situations. The City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Metro area are not the exact same thing. It is the difference between the island of Manhattan a.k.a NYC and the NYC Metro area which includes Queens and Brooklyn too. People travel into the City of Atlanta just as they do to Manhattan for work – however people in the Atlanta Metro area and surrounding suburbs don’t have access to a metro system anywhere close to that of the NYC Subway/MTA. This article explains some about ATL’s limited mass transit system MARTA To believe that one of U.S.’s most significant major cities is full of buffoons is ignorant. We should not marginalize the people who make one of the Nation’s top cities great. If massive transportation issues ensue we should be focusing our attention on the real problems that got us into that position and correct them – rather than use uninformed critique as a way to dumb down “Southerners.”

    • A


      You explained it best, unlike some people who just think its funny to look at people in a crisis. Excuse me for my typos.

    • Jason

      I tried to excuse the rampant stupidity and backwardness of Atlanta as some sort of elusive “culture gap” for years after I moved here. I’ve finally accepted the glaring fact that all of the ugly stereotypes I heard about the deep south before I moved here are absolutely, indisputably true. I wish they were not, but they definitely are.

      • A

        No they aren’t.

        So you’re saying that were backwards because Georgia didn’t have snow gear that we really don’t need a lot of and that a this happened? Gee, while not on the scale that Atlanta, similar instances have took place in Denver, Chicago and most recently in shouldn’t they be “backwards”. I guess not, only the South can only that way right? That’s an unfair generalization to make about a state you seem not to know a lot about.

        • Jason

          That’s one of the problems at the tip of the iceberg; so much blind regional pride that nothing is ever approached rationally, so nothing ever gets fixed. Maybe that’s why Georgia’s state government is the most corrupt in the nation. And “not on the same scale” is a little understated. It was like watching a whale choke to death on a grain of sand, and a bunch of good ol’ boys blame the beach for not staying out of the water. Most people would be both angry and embarrassed.

      • CP

        You can’t expect to reason with these people.

        I’m moving to Germany for at least a year then relocating out of the south as soon as I graduate.

      • phoebe

        Jason, go back where you came from.

        • Jason

          Trust me. I’m working on it. If I weren’t stuck here shielding an aging mother and mother in law from all this good ol’ southern hospitality aka threatening, self absorbed culture, I’d be gone by now.

      • lp

        Wow. Way to lump 4.5 million people into one category. That’s very open minded of you.

        • Jill Ann

          Personally, I think a lot of the arguments ensuing here are about things other than the snow storm reaction. I think what some of what you are talking about is the difference between the State of GA and the City of Atlanta. Full disclosure the neighborhoods I frequent are overwhelmingly liberal and are busy with things like building up the arts and non-profits, the Beltline, book sharing, and such – real community building stuff. They are rather democratic and open minded. I can see that the state as a whole has real problems in terms of getting with the times. I don’t think lumping the people of Atlanta (not the entire state of GA – but Metro ATL) is fair for the style of jokes that Stewart and SNL have been making. I don’t think it does much good to confuse the two. I don’t promote regionalist stereotypes either way and would refrain from making fun of all Georgians – but I do think there is a rather hard line between the city and the rest of the state. Just like there is in other states with major cities where the rural groups have overwhelmingly different views/attitudes than the city people do. I think the jokes have been ignorant b/c of this hard line difference. Atlanta is FULL of people from ALL over. Atlanta is not a state but a city…that seems to be the big difference to me in all these jokes. Maybe a lot of it is in where you hang out in terms of people who’ve lived here for a long time feeling like it is lame. I’m new and I like it, but I hang out in places I would like. I don’t really go places that I wouldn’t. Also I am fortunate to have moved here when things are in a state of change in the areas that interest me – filmmaking, beltline, art organizations and so on. Actually Germany is an interesting comparison. I thought when I was in Berlin, that one of the best things about it was that it was birthing alternative cultures to get away from it’s dark past. Therefore creating something new. That’s what I think is going on right now in ATL.

    • CP

      As someone who has lived in Atlanta my entire life. I can say yes some people in Atlanta and the surrounding areas are not backward and stupid. But to be entirely honest most of them are. This is coming from someone who has lived in Atlanta for 21 years and has been putting up with it all their entire life. I love to see people like John Stewart rag on the south, maybe one day they will finally wake up and see what they are doing wrong, which is basically everything.

  • Ashanty

    Hilarious! The JS clip and the stupid Atlantan sensitivities. It speaks volumes as to how insecure they are.

    • A

      Would you find it amusing if people joked about the Boston Marathon to be funny. I don’t but you laugh at people who could have possibly died without help.. oops I forgot, it shouldn’t surprise me.During Hurricane Sandy folks lost their lives and in one case, a woman ‘s two sons died and when she needed help the people slammed the door in her face. I guess that’s funny to eh?

      It sad and rather despicable how you and other people laugh about this situation about people being. Is this how you would do people when they’re down? Heartless as you are I can’t put it past you do it.
      Things has a way of biting you in the butt.I pray to god that you and wherever you’re from never will go through a major crisis because it may be the state of Georgia that may end up being your testimony. No hun,its not insecurity, its being considerate and respectful of other. You cant be much of a human being to say what you’re ssying

      • Stu Dunn

        The only thing I find sad and despicable on here is you…how can you compare the 2 inches of snow and ice Atlanta got to those disasters? Get a clue.

  • A

    Gee..I loved Jon Stewart at one point but after his unkind gesture, I have lost all my respect for him.I find nothing funny when there are little kids not knowing where there parents are, people not getting any food or water and just trying shelter.That is a terrible situation to be in and I didn’t know he had it in him to be that cruel. I bet that if it was his kids he wouldn’t be laughing. I will no longer will be following his show.

    • CP

      Honestly the entire city knew the snow was coming, the entire city knew what happened last time we got some snow. So if Atlantans aren’t stupid and backwards tell me, why were they all not at home when it started snowing. I personally was at Emory in class when it started snowing. After class let out it had been snowing for about thirty minutes. I knew I needed to get home as soon as possible before I got stuck somewhere, so I did. At this time, less than half an inch of snow had fallen and there were already 12 reported accidents on the freeways, which hadn’t even really begun to ice at that point.

      There comes a point at which one needs to swallow their pride and realize what they might have thought was great really isn’t so much after all. Honestly if Atlanta and the south were not backwards and stupid we wouldn’t receive so much “hate” from everywhere else. At that point it’s just denial. The first step to getting better is admitting you have a problem, and the south most certainly does have problem.

      Or no, I’m sure just the entire western thinking world has it wrong. Yes the south is actually the only place doing it right…COME ON

      • A

        Geez! Denver and Chicago had winter weather related problems in the 1970s and 1980s which caused their to(Source: New York Times.February 10,2010) mayors to be recalled and ousted.I found this article to be rather interesting because I just wanted to see if there was any other” backwards” places that was sooo perfect that they never faltered. Come to find out that is not true. I also learned that the similar arguments we’re having here,they have again. Then again, they’re not backwards because they’re not Southern cities. Yet we are.The regional prejudice have to go.(Oops…. I almost forgot New York City recently.) The events may not been a regional problem but since people like you are soon self righteous about what wouldn’t happen Northward, those problems shouldn’t have taken place there).

        I’m woman/man enough to say of not knowing why they did what they did ,but I promise you that this was the first time it happened. I was born/raised here for almost 44 years and for those years I remembered schools not opening during the day and businesses closing up and there weren’t too many problems.I guess they wanted to show our might during snow storms .

        Maybe the school ,Atlanta and state governments didn’t make the right decision with 2014 but some of you guys act like this problem have taken place every year. I find it incredibly funny how we were “backwards” for keeping kids and businesses closed and now you say we’re backwards for keeping it open. Which is it?can’t have it both ways.

        Since you’re such a great psychic, can you tell the great people of Atlanta if we’re going to have a massive ice/snow storm? Hot spots like Miami and Los Angeles received snow. It was recently said that most of the United States.. including Hawaii had some snow. What should these states and cities do?go out and get snow equipment that they re probably we use in the next, uh,say 50 YEARS?! Maybe I should get some earthquake insurance.. after all seismologists predict that New York and some portions of the East Coast may have a massive one (Georgia had some witty bitty ones in past but I guess GA will be backwards for not getting any according to you.)

        Georgia has unpredictable winters and weather in general. I cannot blame officials for not getting a lot of equipment for something they ..other meteorologists ..cant predict. To show you how often it snow/ice up on a wide scale,the last bad winter storm was in 2011. Before hand it was 1940,1972,1982 and 1993. Sometimes it snows,and sometimes (at least where I live at)didn’t. They even had warm winters, in one instance up to 80degrees in February and had a blizzard (in1993)in March. Normally, its mild during that Month.

        I would hate for Georgia to spend money on snow gear that may/may not happen and may rust. For the time being salt and gravel will do. There are a couple of states who are billions of dollars in debt for wasting their money. Georgia may have sucked with this situation but they try to spend their money more cautiously.

      • LA

        @CP are you kidding? I was born and raised in Atlanta, and I still live there today. If you go to Emory, you should know that metro Atlanta (and Druid Hills specifically) is not filled with “stupid and backwards” people. Atlanta is a blue dot in a state of red, it does not epitomize the Southern stereotypes that Jon Stewart made fun of.
        So, CP, YOU tell ME this: why weren’t you at home when the snow started? You said you left 30 minutes after the snow started, and there were already a dozen accidents. Do you really think that you were the only Atlanta resident that thought of leaving as soon as possible to avoid traffic and snow? Because you weren’t. The thousands of cars stuck on the highways were people with the exact same mindset as you, and that is what caused the state of emergency.
        So with that in mind, it would seem that (using your words) you are a true Atlantan, both stupid and backwards! Congratulations!

      • Margie Parko

        I lived in Atlanta for 40 years. During that time I went through quite a few snows. Once in the 70s we had 4 inches of accumulated sleet! We were without power for a week. At no time during all of those 40 years did we experience anything like what just happened in Atlanta. The schools always closed when snow was forecast. I’ve been away for nearly seven years. What’s going on in Atlanta? They handled snow better 20 years ago than they do now.

  • Richard L. Eldredge

    Could we please avoid comparing this week’s ice/snow unpleasantness with Hurricane Katrina, Sandy or the Boston Marathon bombing? No lives were reported lost here (in fact, we added to the population count!) and we don’t have to rebuild our region from scratch today. There is no comparison and it makes us all sound like whiny drama queens.

  • Mike

    You I lived in ga all my life and love it here and yes I am a country boy and John Stewart is a moron that needs to shut the hell up and quit making money by making fun of people.maybe I should make money by making fun of him on how stupid his whole face look I mean come on looks like some crapped a pile of white ice cream on his head not to mention the bags he has under his eyes makes him look like an episode of rocky balboa what a fuckin idiot.

  • Marie

    It was only 2 inches of snow, true. The real problem was that government employees were dismissed at 12:30 PM. Other businesses soon followed suit. Then the schools began dismissing students early, about 1:30 PM. Sadly the roadways became clogged with an incredible amount of traffic, as traffic has always been a problem in Atlanta, so it only exacerbated the problem. Snow/Ice + extreme traffic = disaster.

  • Noel

    You are an idiot. The snow melted first then a nice sheet of ice was created

    • krystilized

      Noel, where are you from? On that day, temps were well below freezing. So the snow NEVER melted, it just turned into ice. Tons of traffic, hilly roads, and sheets of ice. I would love to see all you smart azz dumb azzes drive on that.

  • gimmeabreak

    to all you selfrightous aholes, google ” ice snow pile up in (insert Boston, Chicago, New York, Wisconsin, Montreal, Indianapolis, Spokane, etc) and see how stupid you look now. Nobody drives on ice and that is what we had. Please explain how, in your northern genius, you have all those snowplows and salt trucks yet you still have accidents that kill “snow driving experts”.

    • Stu Dunn

      I have live in Atlanta all my life man and even I have to admit that we really look like morons because of this. Suck it up and move on. Fair game Jon Stewart…

      And to the person who compared this to the Boston Marathons shame on you.