Being in Saudi Arabia, I don’t always get the chance to check up on the Daily Show and Colbert Report. So it is hardly surprising that I missed Jon Stewart take down Helen Thomas for her remarks about sending the Jews back to ‘Poland and Germany.’ We already saw what Colbert did with the remarks (‘Palestinians should go back to where ever they came from’). Stewart focused most of his energy on painted Thomas as a racist while making constant jokes about her age. I preferred Colbert’s bit and, apparently, so did Tim King of Saudi Arabia’s Arab Times (from print edition):
I could care less what religion he [Jon Stewart] or anyone else is, until it starts getting in the way of the human race, which it did in last week’s program where he rips into veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas. It takes comedy down a dreary road in my opinion, when people like Stewart speak in terms so ignorantly offensive to Palestinians, journalists, and all people with half a brain in on-air jobs. But all comedy aside, Stewart is heartless for attacking nine generations of American journalism and history, a person who knew presidents when Stewart was still a baby playing in his poop.
After lamenting about Stewart not mentioning Emily Henochowicz – the American Jewish student who lost an eye during a protest in Israel when she was shot in the face by a tear gas container – King adds:
No mention of her [Henochowicz] in the Helen Thomas piece, why not? Some Jewish people, like Emily, are the best people in the world, like Muslims, and Christians, and Buddhists, but you don’t have some damned right to stand in judgement of some like Helen Thomas, you’re totally a punk next to her and you will never be her, because you choose to be a joke maker instead of a serious journalist.
While I do believe that Thomas (who immediately ‘retired’ after the comments) was overly punished for her comments, they did merit scrutiny. Defending her simply because she criticized Israel (as King seems to have done) is just as absurd as accepting everything Israel does. King’s entire column – which is unintentionally amusing – is much more of passionate, emotionally driven BS than any kind of true, meaningful attack on Stewart.