Here Are the 12 Jabs Hasan Minhaj Took at Cable News During His Correspondents’ Dinner Remarks

By A.J. Katz 

President Trump was a no-show at this year’s White House Correspondents Association Dinner, but that didn’t stop 31-year-old Daily Show senior correspondent Hasan Minhaj from going after the president, his administration,and the news media this past Saturday night. Minhaj was the featured entertainer at last summer’s Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association dinner, so he came into this event well-prepared. He pulled no punches, particularly when it came to his barbs at the cable news networks.

Here are some instances when Minhaj went after Fox News, MSNBC and CNN:

Fox News:

  • Minhaj expressed amazement that Fox News “even decided to show up,” attacked the network for giving Bill O’Reilly a $25 million severance package, and then said “it’s the only package O’Reilly won’t force a woman to touch.”
  • Minhaj also attacked the network for how they’re handling the Jesse Watters controversy. “He’s on ‘a break’ right now. Right. He’s on ‘a break’ just like my childhood dog is ‘staying at a farm upstate.’ I get it, I know that move.”
  • He also went after the network for what he perceives as anti-Muslim rhetoric. “Well, as a Muslim I like to watch Fox News for the same reason I like to play Call of Duty. Sometimes, I like to turn my brain off and watch strangers insult my family and heritage.”


  • Minhaj cited how Brian Williams described the bombing of the Syrian air base earlier this month, saying “I’m glad you guys are here because that way if I’m bombing Brian Williams will describe it as ‘stunning.'”
  • He also talked about how MSNBC claims the military industrial complex is a significant problem, but then they’ll air hours of Lockup. “You can’t be mad at corporations profiting off of minorities in prison when you’re a corporation profiting off of minorities in prison.”
  • He believes Rachel Maddow is panicking too much over Trump’s tax returns, and while Minhaj says his sensibilities theoretically line up with those of MSNBC, “you’re turning into conspiracy theorists every night.”
  • He believes the network is panicking too much in general. “We’re only on day 100. By the end of the year, you’re all going to have tin foil hats and jars of urine all over your desks.”
  • “I had a lot more MSNBC jokes, but I don’t want to ramble on too much or I might get a show on MSNBC.”


  • Minhaj brings up the network’s “trust issues with the public,” and said “I’m not going to call you fake news, but everything isn’t breaking news … you can’t go to Defcon 1 just because Sanjay Gupta found some moisturizer.”
  • He believes the network has too many people on its panels and too many boxes on the screen. “I want to watch the news, not pick a player in Street Fighter … and if you have nine experts on a panel, what is your barrier of entry?”
  • Minhaj believes CNN “stokes up conflict,” specially pointing out CNN Tonight with Don Lemon. “Every time I watch your show, Don, I feel like I’m watching a reality TV show.”
  • He criticized the network for telling its viewers to tweet at them. “I feel like I’m watching CNN watch the news … you should know what you’re talking about for an hour, then go on the air.”