Trevor Noah, if you haven’t heard by now, will replace Jon Stewart as host of Comedy Central’s Daily Show.
Noah joined Twitter in June 2009. Since then, he has tweeted nearly 9,000 times. Among those tweets are several that mock women and Jews — tweets that critics have called sexist and anti-Semitic. Here are three (Fair Warning: Some readers may find these offensive — or perhaps just not funny):
Reaction to the tweets, many of which were made more than a year ago, was swift on Tuesday.
Writing in Vox, Kelsey McKinney said: “A Daily Show host should be held to a higher standard than other comedians.”
But others pointed out that Noah has also spoken out against prejudice — citing this Twitter interaction:
A backhanded defense came in the form of comedian Daniel Tosh:
Then there was this:
A more full-throated defense came from Caitlin Dewey in The Washington Post.
“Because human beings are, in reality, flawed: prone to errors in judgment or youthful indiscretions or drunk texts/tweets/status updates they really never should have sent. A lot of people have made bad jokes in their 20s. The only difference now is that those jokes are memorialized forever on the Internet — and readily ripped out of their chronological context, and away from their intended audience, as contemporary proof of their sender’s bias or stupidity or ill intent.”
Dave Weigel has written on Bloomberg Politics about how Noah went from “progressive icon to villain in 24 hours.”
We reached out to Comedy Central, which has not responded. We’ll update this post if we hear back.