With the unveiling of new UK TV channel More4 came the chance for UK viewers like myself to finally get The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and its’ unique dose of irreverant wit, fresh on our screens, five days a week.
So I settled down to watch it sometime last week, only to watch a segment called Say No Moor, about the battle to house the battleship USS Iowa in San Francisco. The person who was against the idea was a rather “flamboyant” San Franciscan councillor, while the person representing the organisation which wanted the USS Iowa moored in San Francisco was a Ms. Wong.
The rest of the piece was fine, but I was cringing when the reporter/comedian Nate Corddry started making fun of Ms. Wong’s surname, using jokes that my maths teacher would do all the time back in the un-PC 80s. I’m rather surprised that the Daily Show, which I presumed to be avid eager watching for all intelligensia adults in the USA, would stoop to jokes this low. You used to be able to watch the segment online but I think it’s been taken off. Which is a shame.
So is it still OK to use someone’s surname like Wong as a joking starting point? And is it racist or just cruel?