Conservative media goes after Jon Stewart

On Monday's Daily Show, Jon Stewart eviscerated the MAGA attempts to portray Trump's real estate fraud, for which he was found liable for $454 million, as somehow a benign and "victimless" crime.

Stewart mocks the ridiculous and lawless claim that fraudulently increasing the value of real estate assets on loan documents shouldn't be punished because everyone in the real estate and investment community does it. This is clearly not true, but Stewart responds to this:

The f*cking entitled arrogance! I don't know if you know this, but most people can't just commit fraud and expect to face no repercussions, even if 'everyone's doing it.' Try getting a car loan by saying you have ten times as much money as you really do. Or claim 20 dependents when you have no children. Or say you make slightly less money to qualify for food assistance. I will guarantee you, there are not just financial consequences for those lies, but criminal ones.

And he correctly points out that the fraud is not victimless just because Trump ended up not defaulting on the loans; it is against the law because it harms the entire system.

First, the banks got paid back at lower interest rates. Although, to be honest, who gives a shit? But second, money isn't infinite. A loan that goes to the liar doesn't not to someone who's giving a more honest evaluation. So the system becomes incentivized for corruption.

This apparently did not go over well in the MAGA community. And so its media tried to fight back.

The New York Post published a "REAL ESTATE EXCLUSIVE" on Jon Stewart, with the headline: "Jon Stewart benefited by 829% 'overvalue' of his NYC home even as he labels Trump's civil case 'not victimless'."

They say that in 2014, Stewart sold a New York City luxury apartment for over eight times its New York City tax appraised value.

[I]t didn't take long for internet sleuths to look into Stewart's own property history, which shows his New York City penthouse sold for 829% more than its assessed value, records confirmed by The Post reveal. 

In 2014, Stewart sold his 6,280-square-foot Tribeca duplex to financier Parag Pande for $17.5 million

The property's asking price at that time is not available in listing records.

But according to 2013-2014 assessor records obtained by The Post, the property had the estimated market-value at only $1.882 million.

But as Sarah Rumpf points out in her piece on Mediaite, Stewart's situation is nothing at all like Trump's, and Stewart's real estate valuations and sale were commonplace, nonfraudulent, and perfectly legal.

What's happening here is Pool, Jacob, and other critics attacking Stewart are conflating three different types of real estate values. Whether that's being done through an innocent mistake or a deliberate effort to spread misinformation, we'll leave it to the reader to decide, but they're confusing 1) the actual market value of a property, or what someone would be willing to pay for it, 2) the property's taxable value as assessed by a governmental agency property appraiser, and 3) documentation about a property's value submitted to a lender for the purposes of securing a loan.

Trump got in trouble for committing fraud regarding that third category, the information the Trump Org submitted to lenders to secure loans. Among the misrepresentations, perhaps the most egregious was the "tripling of the size of the Trump Tower Penthouse," which Judge Arthur Engoron noted in his scathing ruling was an undeniable and indefensible falsehood.

[I]t's incredibly common for there to be a vast disparity between a property appraiser's assessed value and the actual real world market value for residential real estate across the country — plus multiple limitations under state law on how the government can value your property.

[T]he property appraiser's assessed valuation was both a public record accessible to the buyer and a number over which Stewart had no control.

Stewart's real estate transaction was totally above board, no laws were broken, and no fraud was committed.

Stewart responded to the allegation on Xitter: