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Jon Stewart's The Daily Show Skewers ASU for Barack Obama Snub

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Why did Arizona State University snub President Barack Obama on a worthless, honorary sheepskin that they've given in the past to a Canadian Prime Minister who only served for 142 days before being voted out of office? Comedy Central's The Daily Show has an answer for us in this hilarious report by correspondent Jason Jones, which was televised last night. Refused an interview by ASU staff, Jones goes straight to ASU's Captain Morgan-guzzling, air-headed student body for their opinions, and these collegiate 'tards seem to universally agree that this guy Obama does deserve jack.

"Well, I've been at ASU for three or four years and I don't have a degree yet," observes one bikini-clad scholar as she's lounging in the hot tub with a similarly-outfitted gal pal. "Why should he get one for being in office for 100 days?"

"Do you agree with that?" Jones asks the other girl.

"I totally agree with that," she replies.

"And what's your major here?"  he wonders.

"Recreation tourism management," she answers, oblivious to the joke.

Indeed, through The Daily Show's withering lens, ASU is the land of the irony-challenged, a place where frat boy types pursue degrees in golf management by day, while sloshing down liquor by the jugful by night. Jones notes, tongue firmly in cheek, that "ASU has worked hard to become a Top Ten school." Um, Top Ten party school as ranked by Playboy magazine, that is. (Actually, ASU recently slipped to number 15 in the Playboy ranking, according to a recent blog post by my colleague Ray Stern, so they don't even dominate when it comes to debauchery!)

Jones also observes that ASU achieves its party-hardy rep, while "consistently maintaining a 92 percent average." Heh, a 92 percent acceptance rate, he means.

And so it goes. Jones tells one two-fisted student drinker that, "I've heard ASU is the Harvard of date rape."

"It's definitely the Harvard of scholastics," the guy manages to get out.

"Wouldn't that be Harvard," responds Jones, without a lick.

Then there are the three aspiring brain surgeons who think Ben Franklin and Alexander Hamilton were U.S. Presidents (ok, one fella knew Ben hadn't been Prez). But they still feel sure that Obama isn't worthy.

"We're trying to be like the Cambridges," insists one, "where they don't give out any honorary degrees. Make 'em so, um, prestigious. Give 'em to important people. Heads of state and stuff like that."

My fave is this idiot who calls Obama a communist, says he doesn't know what the President is doing, and then gets dunked into a pool by one of his bros.

Ah, yes, when they say that a college education isn't what it used to be, they must've been talkin' 'bout the Sun Devils. And who do ASU alums have to thank for their university being a laughingstock? President Michael Crow, of course. ASU probably isn't really as bad as The Daily Show's making out. But by not nipping this debacle in the bud, reversing the university's decision, and handing Obama an honorary degree, Crow opened ASU up for a bellyful of ribbing, and then some.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons