Sometimes, Trevor Noah told a Tribeca TV Festival crowd today, there’s just no point in pretending to be neutral – an opinion he says even some Fox sports anchors seemed to share this morning.
Noah said he saw even “conservative, old white men saying ‘I’m sorry, I don’t agree with Trump and I can’t go along with what this man is saying. I’m conservative but this is not what I stand for.””
Whether those were the Fox anchors’ exact words will need some fact-checking of the sort that Noah says his Comedy Central show practices, but his point was well-taken by the audience: For anchors and comedians, the fear of not appearing neutral can be a trap best avoided.
When a hurricane hits, Noah joked, reporters needn’t bother getting the storm’s opinion.
Noah was joined on the Tribeca panel by The Daily Show executive producer Steve Bodow, head writer Zhubin Parang and writers Michelle Wolf and Joseph Opio.
While much of the discussion – too much – was steered by the panel moderator’s generic “what does your job entail” questions, the Daily Show crew landed on some of its bread-and-butter hot topics. AKA, Donald Trump.
“Don’t be shocked if Donald Trump gets a second term,” Noah said at one point. “I’m not saying that will happen, but don’t be shocked if it does.”
The comment came not so much as a prediction as keep-your-mind-open advice. Exec producer Bodow vouched for Noah’s ability to do just that, saying that as far back as autumn 2015, Noah was “swearing up and down that Donald Trump was going to win the election” – an opinion that had the producer second-guessing the show’s decision to hire Noah as Jon Stewart’s replacement.
“I thought maybe we’re in a little bit of trouble,” Bodow said, “This guy sees things that are obviously not true.”
Replied Noah, modestly, “I didn’t know he’d win. I just saw that he was winning.”
As for the show’s own political make-up, Parang said charges that the writers’ room is “all liberal” are exaggerated, and that the only point of view the writers seek to represent is Noah’s.
“And I don’t think Trevor necessary follows that liberal-conservative axis either,” Parang said, then turned to Noah and added, “I think you are pretty supportive of the neo-nazi movement in the United States?”
Noah, waiting for a pause in the laughter, replied, “What I said was, I too have torches in my backyard.”