The only channel for truthful news -- Comedy Central -- does it again

My wife and I are so addicted to “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” that we become angry and depressed whenever we learn the shows are taking a week off. We love TDS & TCR because they present the news through a filter of truth and balance… values most “real” news programs pay only lip service to. And only because they drew out the sick humor of American politics and let me laugh at it was I able to stomach watching news during the Bush Administration.

But “The Daily Show” recently aired quite a boring interview with a liberal Palestinian politician and a Jewish Palestinian sympathizer. What they said struck me as innocuous, self-evident platitudes I would characterize as “Palestinians are suffering. Let’s negotiate a peace so Jews and Palestinians can live in harmony.” That’s why I found the segment so dull.

But you can’t say anything negative about Israel in America without a massive backlash from the American Jewish lobby, which — on many issues — seems more reflexively pro-Israel than even the average Israeli.

During taping of the show, an audience member screamed, “Liar!” I’ve watched over 1,000 episodes and had never before heard such an outburst.

And, apparently, since the show, The Daily Show has been receiving hate mail.

I am heartened by comments (on articles about this uproar) praising Jon Stewart for having the courage and respect for the truth to try to present the side of the story never presented on American television:

  • They’ve had hundreds of pro-Israeli guests: Bill Kristol, Jon Bolton, anyone from the Bush administration, anyone from the Obama administration…and they get ONE pro-Palestinian guest on, and this happens. WHAT…DOES…THAT…TELL…YOU???

  • Do what you need to do Jon, you always call it right. We support you.

  • it[‘]s kind of ironic how parody news is better than real news at reporting the real issues without slander or bias.

  • kudos to the Daily show for showing the other side of the story. The Palestinians deserve for th[ei]r story to be told

  • Israel has all the power but they claim to be the victim. Meanwhile the Palestinian people are hoarded into camps … their resources reduced to a trickle … children shot at by Israeli military as if their lives are all completely worthless. The US and all of us who live here are responsible. With out the support of our military and propaganda Israel can not wage it’s all out assault against the Palestinians …. You cannot hoard people into camps restrict their food and medical supply .. bomb their homes and use their children for target practice with overwhelming military aggression and not have consequences … But in the US what we hear about is how bad the Palestinians are … that they are ruthless murderers …. terrorists …. you never hear the other side of it and when someone does try to talk about it they are ruthlessly attacked.

Here are comments from another article:

  • Jon, Thank you for once again being a more credible news source than FOX. War and hate are easy. Hope and Peace take work

  • Thank you, Jon — especially for your courage and caring, and for reminding us of the Family of Man and human values.

  • Jon Stewart should be singled out for praise by journalists and members of the public for having the courage and good sense to put a sober and reasoned Palestinian position on his show.

  • As a Jewish author, I support him and any efforts to encourage dialogue about peace.

  • Thank god, allah, jahweh, and/or just plain rational thought and human decency, for Jon Stewart

  • Thank you Jon for bringing these two guests and making people aware of the issues that don’t show up in our media outlets.

  • How refreshing to have honest discussion of the Palestinians' plight on television, from both a Palestinian and a Jewish American perspective. Barghouti showed us that there are voices other than Abbas worth listening to, and Baltzer showed us that many in the Jewish diaspora support justice. Kudos to them, the Daily Show and Comedy Central — way ahead of the curve.

The American people — or at least my fellow Daily Show watchers — are far better informed on this than the media who would rather shout at us what to believe than present facts honestly. I don’t know how the truth leaks through the Israel-can-do-no-wrong media firewall, but I’m sure glad it does.

Posted by James on Tuesday, November 03, 2009