“The Daily Show” took sustained aim at the U.S. cutoff of funding for UNESCO, which was mandated by law once the U.N. body admitted Palestine as a full member. While the cutoff has warded off further actions by U.N. agencies to upgrade the Palestinians’ status, the Obama administration is seeking a congressional waiver to restore funding to the U.N. educational, cultural and scientific organization.
The focus on UNESCO on Thursday’s episode was unusual for its length — two segments totaling 12 minutes — and for the fact that “Daily Show” correspondent John Oliver traveled all the way to Africa to highlight the costs of the UNESCO cutoff. In typical “Daily Show” fashion, the segments were both funny and cutting — potentially putting supporters of the policy on the defensive. (Who wants to cross swords with Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show”?)
Former congressman (and close Obama ally) Robert Wexler was stuck with the unenviable task of trying to defend the cutoff to Oliver. And Wexler stumbled a bit in the second segment with some sloppy reasoning. (Back in 2006 when Wexler, a Florida Democrat, was still in Congress, he ended up in a similarly awkward spot being interviewed by Stephen Colbert.)
Here are the two "Daily Show" segments: