The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart got edgy on an edgy topic in July, not long after the start of hostilities in Gaza between Hamas and Israel. He skewered the practice of Israel Defense Forces of issuing warning shots to Gaza residents when bona fide airstrikes were impending. Stewart called the foretaste an “amuse-boom,” and then railed, “And then at that point, what are Gazans supposed to do?! Evacuate to where? Have you f—ing seen Gaza? Israel has blocked this border. Egypt blocked this border. What are they supposed to do? Swim for it!?”
And then Stewart tells Guthrie what he thinks about all that: “Look, there’s a lot of reasons why I hate myself — being Jewish isn’t one of them. 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.”
Stewart doesn’t sit too often for profiles, though he has an incentive to do so now: He’s director of the feature film “Rosewater,” which is about the trials of journalist Maziar Bahari, who was arrested and confined in Iran’s Evin Prison in 2009. The film’s release date is Nov. 7.