Jon Stewart’s Pizza Policing Suffers From a Lack of Context

Last night on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart chose to rehash the Bill De Blasio “controversy” by teaching the mayor how to eat pizza with his hands.

Daily Show host Jon Stewart has made a name for himself by speaking up about politics, media, and pizza. Stewart’s numerous pizza rants have been inspired by Donald Trump’s choice of pizzathe inferiority of Chicago’s deep dish, and most recently, the fact that NYC mayor Bill De Blasio ate pizza with a fork and knife at Goodfellas in Staten Island.

eating Jon Stewarts Pizza Policing Suffers From a Lack of Context

Photo: NY Post

De Blasio was Stewart’s guest on the Daily Show last night, and Stewart chose to rehash the three-week-old knife and fork “controversy” (instead of questioning De Blasio on his first term agenda). Stewart went as far as bringing in a whole pizza pie from John’s on Bleecker and demonstrating a textbook slice fold to the new mayor, who had a pair of silver utensils ready in his suit jacket.

johns Jon Stewarts Pizza Policing Suffers From a Lack of Context

Stewart’s bias is clear enough: His prior objection to Donald Trump getting his pizza from Famous Famiglia reveals a prejudice for “authentic” New York pizza. The fact that Stewart fed De Blasio pie from John’s Pizzeria—a downtown institution—only reinforces this notion.

Furthermore, Stewart believes that slice must be folded, because it’s something intended to be eaten quickly and casually on the go. Stewart is demonstrating a narrow view of the NYC pizza landscape that does not account for the chain slice, the slice that requires time and utensils, or really anything that upsets Stewarts notion that New York pizza is essentially the opening credits of Louis played out ad infinitum.

Yes, pizza comes in all weights, sizes, and shapes with wildly diverse cheese and sauce allotments. For instance, Goodfellas’ pie is historically soupy—something that food writer Robert Sietsema pointed out at the time, and De Blasio himself claimed in defense. The Goodfellas slice was loaded down with toppings, perhaps making a fork and knife a better approach to tackling it.

The brilliance of pizza is its adaptability. If you’re in a hurry and short on cash, you can pop into any of New York’s reliably excellent, reasonably priced slice joints, get yours on a paper plate and walk with it. If it’s date night, you can head over to Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint and have a sit down experience with a bottle of red wine.

Essentially, there’s no wrong way to serve pizza, there is only how well that pizza style is executed. Stewart’s strength as a media critic is taking ideologues to task for their inflexibility. Perhaps, when it comes to pizza, he should consider his own ideological blind spots.

[via Comedy Central]

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