"Our goal tonight is not to make sense of this, because there is no sense to made of this."
The horrific murder of 12 people by terrorists at the satirical newspaper Charles Hebdo shocked the world. Jon Stewart started his show on a serious note to address it.
"I know very few people go into comedy as an act of courage, mainly because it shouldn't have to be that. It shouldn't be an act of courage, it should be taken as established law. But those guys at Hebdo had it, and they were killed for their cartoons."
Watch him say what needs to be said.
It says a lot that these cartoons were so threatening to the ideas of a small extremist segment of society that they felt the need to take lives. Cartoonist Ted Rall, who occasionally got death threats after 9/11 from Americans (including from an actual police officer), put together his thoughts in the aftermath and also said what needed to be said.
Think of the rage behind the gunmen who invaded Charlie Hebdo's office yesterday, and that of the men who ordered them to do so. It's too early to say for sure, but it's a fair guess that they were radical Islamists. I'd like to ask them: how weak is your faith, how lame a Muslim must you be, to allow yourself to be reduced to the murder of innocents, over ink on paper colorized in Photoshop?
I highly recommend reading his whole article. Think about that. This was simply ink on paper. That was the dangerous power of a cartoon.
And, ironically, the violent acts of these monsters only stood to make the speech they hate more powerful. They've turned a paper with a weekly readership of 60,000 into an international phenomenon. And they've reinforced the very narrative they seek to end.
French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo will go to print next week, in defiance of Wednesday's apparent militant Islamist attack.
Ten journalists and two police were killed when masked attackers opened fire at its Paris headquarters.
Columnist Patrick Pelloux said the decision to continue to publish will show that "stupidity will not win".
It will have a print run of one million copies, compared with its usual 60,000 a week.
It will be half its usual length at eight pages long.
"It's very hard. We are all suffering, with grief, with fear, but we will do it anyway because stupidity will not win," Pelloux told the AFP news agency.
Or as my old college professor and favorite cartoonist James MacLeod drew it:
My thoughts are with the folks at Charlie Hebdo. Let's make sure this tragedy isn't ever thought of as a victory for intimidation and violence. Ideas trump mindless violence, even in death.
#JeSuisCharlie. (I am Charlie.)