August 30, 2002
Comedy Tonight

According to this AP story the "Opening act for comedian Jackie Mason canceled because he is Palestinian" implying that it was yet another outrageous act of racist discrimination against some poor oppressed Arab by a powerful Jew. Indeed, an Arab community leader in Chicago said "I'm outraged. It is an act of hate and racism against Palestinians, and we demand an apology." In fact, if it was a simple matter of discrimination against a person of Arab descent, I would rebuke Jackie Mason too. Because what's important is not how someone is born, but how they live. And who is the Palestinian comedian in question, and how does he live?

The man's name is Ray Hanania. I wasn't in the room when the decision was made to pull the plug on him, so I don't know all their considerations. BUT I did a little digging on Mr. Hanania, which, by the way, reporters for the AP and the newspapers that carried the story could and should have done too. It turns out that Hanania is less of a comedian than a columnist and a (self-described) activist for the... Palestinian cause. In fact he has his own web site and blog! where he publishes reality-distorting opinion columns and perverse interpretations of history that predictably do not condone terrorism but excuse it away and of course blame Israel for it.

So a more accurate headline might have been: Jackie Mason refuses to share stage with apologist for terror organizations

Good for Jackie.

Al Barger also has thoughts on the issue

UPDATE: I'm elevating from the comments section, Yair's suggestion to look at this column by Hanania which appeared in the Lebanese newspaper Daily Star. Hanania calls Israel's Prime Minister, government and Army "Nazi-like" and looks forward to the "possibility of correcting the original injustice of 1948 and restoring Palestinian control over all of Palestine". And this is from a "comedian" who claims that he is "an outspoken advocate for peaceful compromise between Arabs and Israelis and has dedicated his life to bringing Arabs and Jews together". Now is that comedy, or what?

UPDATE (9/2) Al Barger exchanges e-mail with Ray Hanania

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at August 30, 2002 06:06 PM

Here's the kicker. Check out this guy's site. He's not funny. He's not even close to funny. If that's the best he can do, he's a boorish idiot. Jackie Mason (whom I don't much like, btw) just needed to read this guy's material.

Posted by: John on August 30, 2002 05:37 PM

Here a "nice" column by Hanania:

Note in particular the degradation of the word "Nazi", and his alligator tears about "Israel refusal to compromise" (follow immediately by declaration of "victory" and "the destruction of Israel")

Posted by: Yair on August 30, 2002 05:49 PM

He's not even a good writer. A quick glance at some of his work to which you've linked yields inappropriate capitalizations and inconsistent tenses in the same sentence, not to mention trite prose.

This, from his blog (no comments allowed) may hint at his real motivation in all of this: "Hi. Does anyone know Jackie Mason? I have a bill I'd like to give him for all the publicity and PR I got him ..." Classic Arab projection: his publicity haymaking in fact leaves him owing Jackie Mason for giving him better publicity than his mediocre talent would have provided him.

I'm particularly bemused by his sense of entitlement: "I'm upset because I deserve to be on stage and it was a big break for me," Hanania said. Maybe he should have kept his mouth shut.

Posted by: mommydoc on August 30, 2002 09:54 PM

The only thing I find funny about this guy is his unintended ironies and spectacular contradictions. But I wouldn't call him a comedian; more of a parroting bore.

Posted by: Dee Bates on August 30, 2002 11:43 PM

OK, but I'll bet a zillion rupees that Mason never checked a website or any writings at all. I used to know him. He is not smart. He's a professional Jewish commedian. He's funny. He does 99% Jewish jokes. His core audience is Jewish. Period.

I cast my vote with bigot, until I know he checked this guy out.

Posted by: Howard Veit on August 31, 2002 08:56 AM

Sorry I missed this discussion here when it was more timely. I covered the Mason-Hanania brouhaha at greater length here:

Posted by: Jay Zilber on September 17, 2002 09:12 AM

Saw Jackie Mason last night. His new material is extremely funny.

Posted by: j on September 25, 2002 06:32 AM

What is wrong with you people. You speak in such a vile and racist way. Why do you fill yourselves with such hatred and narrow-mindedness? Why do you attack this man illegitimatly instead of using intelligent discourse, if you are capable of that.

Posted by: Nann on April 9, 2003 09:15 PM

christianity is a buncha lies,homos,gay priests,pregger teens,hiv aids and all otha durty shit.

Posted by: samantha potts on October 17, 2003 07:00 PM

New Year Crowd Beats Pregnant Woman Into Forced Delivery

BASALT, UTAH -- At 11:55 p.m. Wednesday night, someone had a decision to make.

But no one knew who, exactly, was in charge -- the doctor, the near-expectant mother, or the torch-bearing crowd who wanted to their small town of 2,000 (not counting Hispanics) to bear America’s first newborn of 2004.

‘Yeehaa’ (as it was named by popular decree) was not scheduled to arrive until July 11. But when the mostly unemployed town of Basalt, Utah, learned there was a $20 million dollar prize to any U.S. town with a population under 2,000 which delivered the first birth of an infant of the new year, and that an expectant mother was visiting an ill relation at the local hospital, ‘Yeehaa’ evidently decided to arrive a few months early, with some consent of family and a rowdy mob, which had stormed the hospital on news that that Mrs. Hector Hispanic was the only pregnant woman within city limits.

"At first, they convinced me to hurry things up so I could get the tax write-off for 2003," said Mr. Hector Hispanic, a ‘transient’ Basalt, Utah resident, from his wife’s bedside at Our Gentleman of Verona Regional Hospital as Yeehaa snoozed in their arms. "So I told the doctor to see if we could get her here to spawn before midnight. The doctor told us that was impossible, unless unnatural trauma was induced, and so the news of this traveled as quickly as a flood in the small village I grew up in”.

"Then, as the crowd in the already destroyed hospital lobby swelled, and it got closer to midnight, I was repeatedly convinced that it would be nice to have the first baby and to have a very small portion of the prize money. The crowd that gathered must have agreed, and so it became a race between us and another couple here in the hospital also visiting a dead relative, and since they were not due until September, I just thought, 'Oh, it does not matter, we just need her to deliver now, because so many peoples are counting on us’", recited Mr. Hispanic.

Yeehaa arrived at Our Gentleman of Verona Regional Hospital Thursday at 12:00:10 a.m., or 10 seconds past midnight. There's even a fuzzy videotape to prove it.

On the fuzzy tape, a nurse announces that the time had just passed midnight. The delivery room entourage and completely non-disinfected crowd packing the delivery room erupts into a cheer of "Happy Fucking New Year!", and, “Now I can pay my goddamn mortgage!”. The next sound is the someone crying “Yeehaa”, and the head RN requesting an incubator and more professional assistance.

Ms. Hector Hispanic was, understandably, exhausted and also black and blue from lower sternum to mid-thigh. She was initially sent home 15 minutes later, after it was determined she had no insurance. Later, when the proceeds of the prize offered by an unnamed widower in Virginia with little else to do but to shit away her money was distributed, Ms. Hispanic was afforded nominal medical care.

"She was in labor almost 20 minutes," nurse Cathy Crook said. "But, technically, you could say she was in labor for two years: from Dec. 31, 2003, to Jan 1, 2004. It’s a weird, weird world she now lives in now, Ha Ha”.

Yeehaa, who weighed in at 0 pounds, 3 ounces, and measured 1.5 inches long at birth, is the couple's fifth child since September, 2003. Yeehaa’s sex is still being determined by experts.

If the delivery room at Our Gentleman of Verona Regional Hospital, and the current unemployment rate of small-town USA, and the potential for more prize money are any gauge, then there are many more families hoping for more than tax deductions and free post-pooey diapers for being the first baby born in 2005.

"All nightlong, it seemed we'd had a lot of people coming in for inductions and c-sections," said nurse Crook. “Most of the woman weren’t even pregnant”, she sighs. One young Besaltine even raced to beat the clock, coming in at 11:59 p.m. But as nurse Crook cursed, “As it turned out, ‘she’ wasn’t even a ‘she’, but a 51 year-old unemployed machinist.”

"At any rate, this is the country’s New Year's baby", says Bram Stroker, Basalt, Utah’s, mayor.

“We get the ‘big money, big money’, as they say out there in Hollywood on the ‘Wheel of Fortune”, he chortles.

After Yeehaa's arrival, the New Year's ‘stork’ traveled south to St. Snicker’s, New Mexico, where Kelso and Brian Chafmark delivered Aloevera Chafmark, who arrived as America's second baby of the year at 12:00:05 a.m. The town is now under Marshal Law.

Posted by: david on January 4, 2004 01:55 AM
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