TCR | 08/14/2006
Jon Stewart becomes the first entry on Stephen’s “Called Out” board before finally walking a mile in Geraldo’s mustache.
Stewart may keep his ears open, but he also speaks out on topics that might be too risky for a late-night network show. Most recently, he stirred up trouble with a widely circulated July 14 segment that examined the “asymmetrical” nature of the Israel Defense Forces’ incursion into the Gaza Strip. Noting the Israeli military’s practice of warning “Gaza’s residents of imminent bombing with a smaller, warning bombing, an ‘amuse-boom,’ if you will,” he then asked incredulously: “And then at that point, what are Gazans supposed to do?! Evacuate to where? Have you f—ing seen Gaza?” he said, his voice rising as a map of the region appeared in a graphic next to his head. “Israel has blocked this border. Egypt blocked this border. What are they supposed to do? Swim for it!?”
The piece set off a flurry of counterattacks from neocons and Israel hawks; some resorted to that tiresome trope of the self-hating Jew.
"Look, there’s a lot of reasons why I hate myself — being Jewish isn’t one of them," Stewart says. "So when someone starts throwing that around, or throwing around you’re pro-terrorist, it’s more just disappointing than anything else. I’ve made a living for 16 years criticizing certain policies that I think are not good for America. That doesn’t make me anti-American. And if I do the same with Israel, that doesn’t make me anti-Israel. You cannot outsmart dogma, no matter what you do. If there is something constructive in what they’re saying, hopefully I’m still open enough … to take it in and let it further inform my position. But I’m pretty impermeable to yelling. As soon as they go to, ‘Your real name is Leibowitz!’ that’s when I change the channel."
Stephen Colbert character-break, August 28.
Stephen Colbert and The Colbert Report Team (ft. Jimmy Fallon) accepting the 2014 Emmy for Outstanding Variety Series.
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
And if you’ve forgotten who Cliven Bundy is, he’s this winner right here.
"I had been on him for years for that," says Stewart. "I’ve always thought that the long game for him was a show like [Late Show]. He brings elements of Parr and Carson and Kovacs and silliness and song and dance but also real intellectual curiosity that is a wonderful novel combination for that format. I think there’s been a beautiful arc to [Colbert Report]. But it was time."
Colbert tells me that he talks to Stewart “about every major career decision.” He notes that their real parting was in 2005, when Colbert left to start his own show. “I wanted someone to give me the ball, but I didn’t want to not work with Jon,” he says. “And they gave me everything I wanted; they let me be my own man, but I got to still be with my friend and the guy whose work and example I admired. That was the real discussion; Late Show wasn’t much of a discussion.”
First Trailer For Jon Stewart’s ‘Rosewater’ Starring Gael Garcia Bernal
Stephen Colbert, winner of the for Outstanding Variety Series Award for The Colbert Report, poses in the press room during the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards