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Wednesday, July 23

Barb Weir: Wow! Stewart, Colbert speechless about Gaza
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CORRECTION:  Stewart did this segment on July 14, 2014: Obviously, nothing of significance has happened since then, which means that no muzzling is taking place.
This reporter has learned that by an extraordinary coincidence, neither Jon Stewart of The Daily Show nor Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report has anything to say about the biggest news event in the world during the last two weeks.  I decided to investigate.
I first met with Jon Stewart:
Barb Weir:   Jon, you always poke fun at hypocrisy and lies in the big news stories. Why have you been silent on Gaza?
Jon Stewart:   On what, Barb?
BW:   Gaza, Jon.  The Israeli incursion into Gaza.   More than 600 Palestinians have been killed so far, mostly civilians, almost 30 Israeli soldiers, and two Israeli civilians killed by Hamas rockets.
JS:   Oh, that.  Thanks for reminding me.  Great idea.
BW:  So you’re going to do a segment on Gaza?
JS:  I dunno, Barb.  Maybe it’s better not to use it.
Bewildered, I spoke to Stephen Colbert:
BW:   Stephen, folks are perplexed that you have said nothing on your show until now about Gaza, which is by far the biggest news story.
SC:   About what, Barb?
BW:   About the killing and bloodshed all over Gaza, Stephen.  Have you nothing to say?
SC:  You think it’s a good idea, Barb?  Maybe it’s better not to use it.
None of this made sense until I spoke to Bassem Youssef, whose smash hit Egyptian satirical comedy show Elbernameg (“The Show”), modeled after Jon Stewart’s, was abruptly taken off the air in June, 2014.
“Was it because you criticized President Abdelfattah el-Sisi?” I asked.
“Oh, no.” replied Youssef. “It was because I criticized his boss.”
“You mean Obama?”
“Please, Barb. I can criticize el-Sisi and Obama any time I like, and everyone will have a good laugh.  If you want to know who’s really in charge, find out whom you can not – must not – criticize.”
“So you’re saying that if there’s a discussion of what’s happening in Gaza, it might be critical of…”
“Or the 100 to 0 US Senate vote to support Israel’s invasion of Gaza.  Don’t say it, Barb.  Maybe it’s better not to use it.”

1 comment

  1. This is not correct Barb. Video has been all over the web in which Jon Stewart took Israel strongly to task, focusing largely on the “warnings” and how meaningless they are. I have not watched regularly, so do not know what else he has included about the situation in Gaza, but two days ago he did a bit in which he was loudly shouted down and called a self-hating Jew simply for mentioning Israel. One could interpret that as his expression of the reactions he has gotten for his critical pieces on Israel. As an American Jew it takes a lot of guts to speak out the way he has done.