Jon Stewart impersonating a political scammer impersonating a made-up Jewish journalist named Bernie Bernstein — it’s a Russian nesting doll of anti-Semitism and pop culture, just in time for the Hanukkah shopping season.
Stewart appeared on the ‘Daily Show’ on Thursday night as ‘Bernie Bernstein,’ the sham Washington Post reporter in whose name fake robocalls messages left on some Alabama voicemails have offered women financial rewards in exchange for “damaging remarks” about Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore. Marty Baron, the executive editor of The Post, has said that the calls have no connection to the newspaper and added, “We are shocked and appalled that anyone would stoop to this level to discredit real journalism.” However, on Thursday night, ‘Daily Show’ host Trevor Noah received a call from Bernie Bernstein himself.
“Hello, Trevor boychik,” said Stewart-as-Bernstein, in an accent that calls to mind a Borscht-Belt grandma deep in a bottle of schnapps. “How can you say that Bernie Bernstein isn’t real? It’s me, oy vey iz mir!” Stewart/Bernstein continued, somewhat desperately, “I’m a real person. I’m a very Jewish person!”
Once he was apprehended, Stewart confessed that he was really there to advertise his “Night of Too Many Stars” autism services benefit event, airing on HBO this Saturday night.
“You don’t need anti-Semitism to come onto the show, Jon,” Noah pointed out. “You could just ask me.” “I know I don’t need it,” said Stewart. “I just like it that way. It’s how I function best.”
Meet ‘Bernie Bernstein’ here:
Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny