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The February 26, 2013 episode of The Daily Show focused on Dov Hikind, White House Press Secretaries and hunger in the United States.
The episode began with Jon Stewart talking about a local New York State assembly person, Dov Hikind. Hikind is known for his intense and consistent work against anti-Semitism. He has confronted people from PETA to Renee Zellweger on the topic. A few days before this episode, though, Hikind went to a Purim party and dressed up as a basketball player. His costume included blackface, an afro wig and an orange jersey. When discussing it with the press, Hikind’s excuse was that it was for Purim. Stewart pointed out that Purim was not really an excuse to be racist. Hikind did apologize but it was a weak and clearly half-hearted apology. He basically said that he was sorry people were offended but did not think they should be.
Jessica Williams then reported from the streets of New York as the senior Purim correspondent. This section was pretty funny because Williams was arguing about Hikind’s and the Jewish community in general’s trivializing of Purim. She asked at what point the Harlem Globetrotters showed up in the Purim story. She also said towards the end that the black face was stupid, too.
The second segment was about what White House Press Secretaries do after they leave that position. Stewart described this job as the worst prestigious job in the world. Press Secretaries are basically the human shields for the administration. The latest Press Secretaries have become political pundits. The first two Stewart described spilled the beans of what they were hiding for their administration. Stewart concludes that this means an administration needs a Press Secretary who is jaded and believes in the cause. He offered Ari Fleischer as an example.
The guests for this episode were Laurie Silverbush and Christie Jacobson promoting their documentary, A Place at the Table. The documentary is about hunger in the United States and what can be done about it. The film is going to be released on March 1st around the country and be available on Netflix and iTunes. In their conversation, Silverbush and Jacobson told Stewart that hunger in America is a solvable problem. There is enough food to feed everyone in America enough calories twice over. For a time the problem was almost fixed, but the conversation turned during the Reagan administration to discussing moochers and the job of feeding the hungry was turned over to charities.
Silverbush and Jacobson argue that if charities could fix the problem then they would have. A big part of the hunger problem is also access to food. Even if people could afford the healthy food, which they cannot and it leads to them eating a lot of really unhealthy foods, there is no where for them to get it. Silverbush and Jacobson ended the interview by saying that contacting your congressmen and women can make a big difference. One congressman they spoke to told them that when he gets six calls on any issue he considers changing his position, since he assumes there are at least a thousand more who have not called.
I enjoyed the episode for the most part. I found the interview extremely interesting and Williams ranting off a lot of Jewish facts and knowledge was definitely entertaining. The Press Secretaries portion fell a bit flat for me, though. I cannot imagine there was not an interesting or important piece of news that could have used for the second segment.