Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Daily Show in hot water over failed camel stunt

Thanks to a falling camel fiasco, Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" had to get over the hump of bad publicity from animal rights groups. It was the straw that broke the camel joke. "The Daily Show" has been making fun of those who draw parallels between American and Middle Eastern protesters.

So when "Daily Show" correspondent John Oliver was dispatched to Wisconsin, it seemed like bringing a camel would be a great gag, the locals were impressed. Blogger Jack Craver whipped out his flip cam in time to capture footage of a camel catching its foot in a police barricade, falling over and making unhappy gurgling noises. It fell a second time, taking a man down with it.

YouTube link.

Jack Craver posted the video on his blog, and animal rights defenders took it from there. The Alliance for Animals said, "Animals are not props to be used for low-based humor." And then there was PETA's response: "Now, PETA considers itself a friend of the show, so its letter to Jon Stewart wasn't exactly scalding." It took perhaps 10 minutes for handlers to get the camel back on its feet.

"The Daily Show" released a statement saying, "The camel remains in good health but is declining media requests at this time." Correspondent John Oliver had suggested the blogger with the flip cam should put it down. The following day, the segment aired. When the Wisconsin protest segment aired on "The Daily Show," the camel was nowhere to be seen, cut, not even a camel cameo. "The Daily Show" said they "immediately decided not to pursue the idea any further and did not film any material with the camel."

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