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September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Jon Stewart’

Who Stays on the Bus? The ‘Good Bye, Jon Stewart’ Debate

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Friday is a little less crazy here, at The Jewish Press online, which gives me the free time I need to respond to some of the astute, biting, angry and reasonable reader responses. If I didn’t get to your response, I apologize, feel free to blast me in the comment section right below.

The article that got some reaction this week was Good Bye, Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, and Kisses to the Little Gentiles, It followed the Pew report that has been at center stage the whole week, because of the complex light it threw on the Jews on north America. I chose to use Jon Stewart, an identified Jew who is nevertheless married to a Catholic woman, as the perfect example for my views on the matter.

Jerry Blaz, who works at Wal-Mart Supercenter, was very critical of one, largely technical aspect:

What a mealy-mouth excuse for not researching a person’s life to find out if his wife converted or not. Then, maybe you would have examined the tzitzit of the converting rabbinical court. Who knows? John Stuart is your object of a “put-down” because his is a paradigm? Shame, shame.

Jerry referred to my line: “Obviously, I apologize if Mrs. Stewart quietly went and converted to Judaism, just to make me eat my hat. But you understand I’m discussing her and her husband as paradigms.”

I entered that line with the apology just in case, because last time I discussed this, it turned out the nice Reform cantor in question had been converted in secret.

Attention, Jerry Blaz from Wal-Mart: I did research it. There is one statement from Stewart on the subject of his and his spouse’s religious tradition (on the David Letterman Show, Feb. 16, 2012): She was raised Catholic, I was raised Jewish. We’re raising [the children] to be sad.

I disagree that my article was an attempt to “put down” Stewart. It used him, for sure, and made his private life public – but that’s par for the course. I didn’t say anything the least bit disparaging. If anything, my strongest emotion, possibly taking after Stewart’s children, was sadness.

Rina Gray from Haifa, Israel, agrees with me, but I’m not sure I agree with her:

Jon Stewart is a spiteful, greedy and disgraceful person. Just because he was born in Jewish family, doesn’t made him a Jew. He is typical self-hating Jew. I can bet, with some exceptions, most American Jews are lost to Jews forever. They are too greedy, self-centered, self hating lefty retards. They most of all didn’t live in real life, but in the world they create in their sick mind. This disgraceful man lost his marbles, cussing from national TV, like some drug thug. Good riddance to Jews like that. We Israelis don’t need this kind of people. They are not good for Israel. Let them all rot in Hell, which is what USA has become. They cared more about their stupid rights, than about their country or other people.

Our resident assimilated Jew Dan Silagi was right on her:

So you have taken it upon yourself to be the arbiter of who and who isn’t Jewish, Rina?

Others have traveled that road. “Wer Jude ist, bestimme ich (I decide who is a Jew)” – Hermann Goering, who should have stuck to being a fighter pilot until he became too fat to seat in the pilot’s seat.

Really, Dan? Fat jokes? When there are so many good, useful Nazi comparisons available?

Well, I say, Rina – you lose the graceful and charming reader of the week award by a wide berth (that’s not Bertha, Dan).

Dan, you lost, as you do most every week, the “first one to mention the Holocaust is out” rule for Internet discussions. Like Jerry Blaz says: Shame, shame!

On a more original note, Frankel process tech (signed in using yahoo) suggested:

The intermarriage is not so bad, bad is that the Jewish religion has to change and reform. For example, it has to begin proselytizing. Many Christians ask me how they can be Jewish. I send always to speak to a rabbi, whose answer was to inquire if this Christian has Jewish relatives. This is the only stubborn religion that has not proselytizing, why? Look the Evangelicals, Mormons, even the Bahá’í, what is the problem? The people who converted to another religion are more religious at it than they were at their forefather’s religion. It is interesting, and true.

Well, Frankel, I’ve always found the fact that we keep our faith to ourselves and not try to impose it quite endearing and special. Indeed, I find even attempts by various Jewish groups to proselytize fellow Jews a bit vulgar. Indeed, the fact that it’s so hard to be Jewish, with a stunning 80 percent dropout rate, is reassuring when it comes to evaluating the commitment level of any convert who has made it through the rigorous barricades our sages have put up. I couldn’t disagree with you more.

Good Bye, Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, and Kisses to the Little Gentiles

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

I adore Jon Stewart, have been watching him on Comedy Central since his very first Daily Show episode, when he was replacing Craig Kilborn. At that very first show, Stewart signaled his plan to become an influential voice on latenight TV by announcing—in Killborn’s face—that he was getting rid of most of the show’s silly stuff, like the clever and absurd 5-questions posed to the guest, and the rest of the rubber chicken gimmicks that endeared the show to its scant followers, but also kept it small. The only remnant from the Killborn era today is the “Moment of Zen” at the end of the show.

I also recall the moment in time when Stewart transformed himself from a very funny and exceptionally well read host of a fake news show to a moral force in America. It was in October, 2004, when he destroyed CNN’s “Crossfire.”

Stewart came out with both guns blazing, and in half an hour turned “Crossfire” hosts Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson from fairly respected political talking heads into cantankerous buffoons. I cheered him, along with most of America, because, hey, we all love to see blood spilling on national television, but also because those two represented—precisely as Stewart put it—a class of verbal gladiators entangled in a tiresome string of daily clashes for the sake of fighting, not for, say, discovering and exploring ideas.

Poor Carlson, who looked so white, so upper class, and so pythonesque in his humiliation (the bowtie, remember his bowtie?), said something like: “Aren’t you supposed to be funny?” which sounded exactly like something Abe Lincoln would have said to John Wilkes Booth if he had better writers.

CNN canceled “Crossfire” practically that afternoon (or so it seemed), and although Stewart did not actually manage to change the way our cable news networks debate politics, he killed two of the most offensive practitioners, and that’s something.

I’m well aware of Jon Stewart’s faults as a host. He tends to cater with the freckled open face of a schoolgirl to left-wing guests, and comes prepared and biting to his encounters with right-wingers. He sometimes makes me gag when he applies his puckered lips to the less glorified side of the high and mighty. He had Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf pushing his book on the show and pitched him so many softballs, it started to look like an evening with the NAGAAA. Needless to say, murdering Benazir Bhutto did not come up.

The most troubling influence Jon Stewart—born in New York City to Marian and Donald Leibowitz—is on the cultural landscape of American Jews.

Stewart is probably the most popular Jewish man in America today. He’s also one of the top 10 men of any ethnic background. He is unabashedly Jewish, to many of us he is the ideal American Jew: aware of his ethnic identity but careful not to let it dominate his career; respects Jewish tradition but not to the point where non-Jews become uncomfortable (unlike, say, The Jewish Press). He has religious and traditional Jews on his writing staff, he promotes countless Jewish-identified entertainers, he is openly and proudly pro-Israel (albeit from his distinct political point of view—which is his prerogative). I can’t imagine anyone suggesting that Jon Stewart is bad for Jews.

Jon Stewart is bad for Jews.

Because he is so very sane, reasonable, moderate, benign, respectable and cheerful about Jewish and Israeli issues, he presents a model to be emulated – and therein lies the badness.

I hate to write the next few paragraphs, because they’re about a person’s private life which he has not done much to expose. I wouldn’t have dreamed of digging behind those bushes if not for the new study that’s being discussed by every Jewish media outlet in north America: the Pew “Portrait of Jewish Americans,” which suggested with the same breath that there are almost 7 million Jews living in America, and that many of them, and certainly the offspring of the vast majority of them, can’t really be considered Jewish.

A whopping 58% of Jews married between the years 2000 and 2013 have non-Jewish spouses. That’s up from 17% in 1970.

Woody Allen as a rabbi in "Annie Hall," using his Jewish heritage for the comic effect while, in reality, having precious little to do with anything Jewish.

Woody Allen as a rabbi in “Annie Hall,” using his Jewish heritage for the comic effect while, in reality, having precious little to do with anything Jewish.

What happened between 1970 and 2013? Jon Stewart happened. Obviously, I don’t mean the person Jon Stewart, who was only 8 in 1970, and probably not a major influence yet on Jewish life in America. But the paradigm of the successful, charismatic Jew, who is unafraid to be identified as Jewish while not going crazy with the Jew thing – that paradigm was well in the making. Allan Stewart Konigsberg, aka Woody Allen, comes to mind. And, alas—inevitably—that paradigm also turned the previously shocking marrying of a gentile spouse more and more commonplace, until it is what the vast majority of Jews are doing.

That’s not marriage, that’s ethnic cleansing.

From Wikipedia:

In 2000, Stewart married Tracey Lynn McShane, his girlfriend of four years. The couple met on a blind date set up by a production assistant on Stewart’s film, Wishful Thinking. On June 19, 2001, Stewart and his wife filed a joint name change application and legally changed both of their surnames to “Stewart.” He proposed to his wife through a personalized crossword puzzle created with the help of Will Shortz, the crossword editor at The New York Times. The couple had their first child, a son named Nathan Thomas Stewart (after Stewart’s grandfather), in July 2004. Their second child, a daughter, Maggie Rose Stewart, was born in February 2006. They own a cat named Stanley and two pit bull terriers, Monkey and Shamsky (named after former Major League Baseball player Art Shamsky).

What can possibly be wrong with the above paragraph? From this Jewish person’s narrow, nationalistic point of view, what’s wrong there is that only one out of the three persons in the perfect American family being described is Jewish.

(Obviously, I apologize if Mrs. Stewart quietly went and converted to Judaism, just to make me eat my hat. But you understand I’m discussing her and her husband as paradigms.)

The Pew study breaks this tragedy into subject matters and numbers, but the crux of it is that the Stewarts and the Jewish nation are in the process of parting company. They, along with several million other Americans of Jewish descent, are disappearing into the gushing river of history, while the rest of us are left on our own once again, to continue the divine adventure begun in the mid 1200s BCE in Egypt.

Here’s a curious fact: the verse in the Torah describing the Israelites’ exit from their house of bondage in Egypt goes: “V’chamushim alu Bnei Israel m’eretz Mitzrayim,” which is translated straight-forwardly as “The Israelites went up out of Egypt equipped for battle.” But the classical commentator Rashi offers an alternative reading of the word “chamushim,” which can also mean one-fifth, meaning that four fifths of the Israelite slaves did not follow Moses’ instructions, did not grab a lamb, did not slaughter it, did not smear its blood on their door posts, and did not roast and eat it, and so they perished along with the Egyptians during the plague of Darkness.

Based on Rashi’s suggestion, as well as based on Jewish history, a loss of 58% of a Jewish community to the larger culture is an exceptionally optimistic outcome – it should have been 80%. Indeed, four fifths was the common rate of intermarriage and cultural merging for European Jewry before WW2 and again, today, 70 years after the war. Give it another 30 years and we’ll hit the historically proper 80% in north America as well.

So that, in the end, Jon Stewart is not to blame for America’s demographic holocaust (Too dramatic? Maybe go with “demographic catastrophe?” Demographic anguish?” Nah – I’m sticking with the H word). He merely represents its most highly focused arrowhead.

He is the schpitz  of assimilation, to use a Yiddish word, since peppering one’s speech with Yiddish is so adorably neuvo-Jew these days.

Muslim Brotherhood Tweet on Jews Aimed at Jon Stewart (Video)

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood tweeted a message – believed to be directed at “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart – linking to a video alleging that Jews control the U.S. media.

Max Fisher of the Washington Post wrote on his blog that the link was aimed at Stewart after he devoted a segment of his popular Comedy Central program to criticizing Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi for jailing popular Egyptian TV host and political satirist Bassem Youssef, nicknamed “the Jon Stewart of Egypt.” Youssef was released on bail and will face trial after being arrested over the weekend for criticizing Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The link was from a clip in Arabic from the Al Jazeera Arabic network featuring former CNN host Rick Sanchez alleging that Jews control the media and that Stewart, who is Jewish, does not belong to a real minority group.

“I’m telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they, the people in this country who are Jewish, are an oppressed minority? Yeah,” Sanchez said in the September 2010 broadcast.

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo tweeted the “Daily Show” link of the segment ripping Morsi, which the Muslim Brotherhood in a tweet called “Another undiplomatic & unwise move by @USEmbassyCairo, taking sides in an ongoing investigation & disregarding Egyptian law & culture,” Fisher reported.



Egypt’s Jon Stewart Jailed

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Bassem Youssef, who hosts a television show modeled after Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” confirmed on his official Twitter account that he received an arrest warrant, mockingly saying he will head to the prosecution office Sunday “unless they send me a police car today and save me transportation trouble,” Al Ahram reported.

Ealier on Saturday, Egypt’s prosecutor-general ordered the arrest of the famous political satirist, to look into complaints accusing him of insulting President Mohamed Morsi, denigrating Islam and spreading false news with the aim of disrupting public order.

Youssef hosts a weekly satire show, El-Bernameg (The Show), on private satellite television channel CBC.

The complaints were filed by 12 citizens after Youssef’s March 1 episode in which he mocked the president’s public interview with TV anchor Amr El-Leithy in February.

One anonymous complainant accused Youssef of denigrating Islam and disturbing security, and demanded that the state take “deterrent measures against him so that others with weak resolve wouldn’t dare to insult Islam.” The same anonymous person also accused Youssef of diminishing President Morsi’s stature “domestically and abroad.”

Heba Morayef of Human Rights Watch thinks the Egyptian government has signaled that it takes Youssef’s threat seriously, going so far as to appoint a judge to investigate the complaints against him, according to.

“It means you’re prioritizing the case, and dedicating resources to it,” Morayef told the NY Times, noting wryly that the same public prosecutor has ignored numerous complaints of torture and the use of excessive force. Issuing an arrest warrant without a reasonable fear that Youssef had any intent to flee the country “is completely unnecessary and definitely a political escalation,” she said.

In January, a number of Islamist lawyers filed a lawsuit against Youssef, accusing him of “undermining the standing of the president” during his show.

However, charges back then were dropped before the case reached a court.



Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egypts-jon-stewart-jailed/2013/03/31/

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