Is the man tapped to replace Jon Stewart as host of “The Daily Show” anti-Israel?
On Monday, The New York Times reported that 31-year old biracial South African comedian Trevor Noah would take the helm of Comedy Central’s signature show when long-time host Stewart leaves later this year. The Jewish Telegraph Agency investigated some of Noah’s stand-up performances and social media posts to try to glean his predisposition to the Jewish State. JTA didn’t find too much, but it did find this revealing Tweet:
South Africans know how to recycle like israel knows how to be peaceful.
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) June 2, 2010
Again, it’s not a whole lot to go on, but the tweet does seem to suggest that Noah believes Israel is an inherently belligerent country, a view not often associated with those who have positive feelings for Israel. That’s not to say an anti-Israel orientation would be something new for “The Daily Show” — Stewart himself often (dishonestly) attacks the country on the show. (RELATED: Jon Stewart Knocks Israel For Palestinian Civilian Warnings)
But such anti-Israel attitudes in late night television matter. Stewart likes to pretend he is just a comedian, but in reality he is much more than that. Many young people don’t watch The Daily Show just to laugh — they watch the show to get their news. The show shapes perceptions.
It’s unclear if The Daily Show will remain as culturally influential in the post-Stewart era. Judging from a few clips of Noah’s stand-up I’ve seen, I suspect it won’t for the simple reason that Noah doesn’t appear to be nearly as funny as Stewart. But for whatever it is worth, Stewart does seem to be passing on his comedic perch to another comedian who looks like he’ll be at least as critical of Israel.