Jon Stewart the Middle East peace maker Last Wednesday night, that beacon of witty politics, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, aired a rather controversial interview between an Israeli and a Jewish American. The interviewees were Mustaga Barghouti, introduced as “a Palestian democratic leader and a former candidate for the presidency of the Palestinian national authority” and Anna Baltzer, a “Middle East peace activist and author of Witness in Palestine – a Jewish American woman in the occupied territories“. They were there to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the possibility of a peaceful, democratic end to the conflict.

You can check out the aired interview here. The idea of an Israeli and a Jewish American having a calm chat about a peaceful resolution seemed too much for some to bear, creating a mini media frenzy in the US. Orthodox Jewish blogger Carl in Jerusalem wrote:

Jon Stewart has a couple of disgraceful guests on his show on Wednesday night for a night of Israel bashing: Mustafa Barghouti and Anna Baltzer… No, there’s no pro-Israel counterpoint (perhaps he will try to convince us that ISM activist Baltzer — who is Jewish — is meant to provide balance).

The day after the screening, Baltzer herself was sending out a press release encouraging people to write and call the Daily Show thanking them for the interview:

The show was overwhelmed with angry emails and phone calls prior to the appearance, and up until the last minute it seemed like they might cancel. During the taping the show had it’s only heckler in 11 years. The entire staff were very nervous and may come to regret the monumental decision (and not make it again) as they will surely be inundated now that the show has aired…

Many of you who watched the show on TV noticed that everything of real substance that I said was edited out. The major issues cut out were:

  1. The US role in aiding Israel,
  2. The lack of adequate coverage in mainstream US media, and
  3. The Palestinian-led movement for Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions (BDS)
    to nonviolently pressure Israel to comply with international law.

But in general, reactions to The Daily Show taping were positive, grateful that peaceful debate was getting some media coverage.

Jon Stewart is changing how the US media depicts the Israeli-Palestinian conflict says M.J Rosenberg of Talking Points Memo:

Not long ago, no mainstream media personality would ever allow himself to be associated with anyone who suggests that diplomacy, not war, is the way to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…

Jon Stewart, all by himself, has created a sea change in the mass media’s approach to the Middle East. Once others in the business see that Stewart says what he thinks — and not only survives but thrives — others will do it too.

The Daily Show is again leading with more news stories than the actual news says Eileen Fleming at The People’s Voice:

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart did what the mainstream media has failed to report about-the rapidly growing global nonviolent solidarity movement of resisters to the occupation of Palestine… The News Media should be interviewing Dr. Mustafa Barghouti & Anna Baltzer, Jon’s job is to entertain us, but once again, he lead the mainstream media to where many of US already are.

The US needs more nonviolent views:

While some may feel that views like those of Barghouti should not be aired, the truth is Barghouti represents a Palestinian voice for nonviolence and democracy that is valuable to voice on U.S. airwaves. — Think Progress

The entire interview is now available to be viewed on the Daily Show website. — Amber Jamieson.

There’s a horse race tomorrow? Wouldn’t have thought it would get a mention in today’s papers…

In memory of “croctober”. It’s now November, but that didn’t stop the Sunday Territorian from running this fantastic croc yarn on its front page:

Imagining life after the pay-wall. Imagine, dear reader, you are in the future — say, 2012 — and living in a world where news is no longer free … The cultural divide between the news-haves and the news-have-nots is just depressing. — AdAge

Bringing new meaning to “flavour-of-the-month”. [Matt Preston] appears in The Age and in News Magazines’ Delicious and Vogue Entertaining + Travel. Tonight Preston is starring on the Ten Network again, this time on Good News Week with Paul McDermott. Later this month he will release his first CD, a compilation of his favourite music for listening to while cooking. Diary understands Preston is planning to stop writing restaurant reviews as they are too time-consuming. — Media Diary, The Australian

Ten drama exec wins scriptwriting award. Channel TEN drama executive Claire Tonkin has won the Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award for an original script written by a non-US citizen younger than 30 … Her unpublished screenplay Me and Mine, a drama about the ramifications of adoption and finding a place in the family, will be read by actors at the Festival. — TV Tonight

Fairfax and CBS team up to find jobs for nerds. Fairfax Media and CBS Interactive have joined forces in launching a new IT recruitment portal, itjobs.com.au, this week. itjobs.com.au aims to be the one-stop-shop for IT professionals to find guidance, advice and opportunities for the next step in their career journey. — Digital Media

Triple J launch Unearthed digital radio station. Say hello to a brand new digital station dedicated entirely to undiscovered Australian music — triple j Unearthed digtial radio! This is a 24/7 service devoted to music hand selected from triplejunearthed.com. — Triple J

Time’s $100 million cost-cutting carnage. Magazine publisher Time Inc. is expected to announce next week that it will cut $100 million in costs and make significant layoffs. Time Inc., publisher of magazines including Time, Fortune and People, is coordinating its announcement with the third-quarter earnings report of its parent, Time Warner, sources said. — The New York Times

Washington Post celebrates its third-quarter loss of $23.6 million. Third-quarter profit at The Washington Post Co. rose 69 percent compared with the same period last year … The company’s newspaper division, which includes The Post and several smaller papers, lost $23.6 million in the quarter, bringing 2009 losses to $166.7 million, compared with losses of $178.3 million through the first nine months of 2008. — Washington Post

The top internet memes of 2009. With only two months left of 2009, we thought we would look back at some of the biggest Internet memes of the year. Most — if not all — of these memes have inspired spin-offs and secondary memes, and in the process, become a part of our Internet cultural history. — Mashable

Jon Stewart: Fox is “not even close to news”. The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart weighs-in on the ongoing stoush between the White House and Fox News, and the network’s own claim that they only broadcast nine hours of actual news per day.