Sep 12, 2010

Fallout from the Daily Show Skit

More information on the skit about Staten Island on the Daily Show from the SI Advance Article:

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Yo. Hey. Staten Island just got trashed. Again.

The latest drubbing comes courtesy of Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show," with a five-minute setup: "What If Staten Islanders Controlled the Supreme Court?" -- complete with nine tracksuit-wearing, pizza-eating "mooks" debating the merits of same-sex marriage.

This as the show points out that the U.S. Supreme Court has justices who hail from every borough but Staten Island. Gum-chewing gals and tanned muscle-bound guys wearing shades and a whole lot of hair gel comprise the mock moot court, filmed in the Vanderbilt, South Beach.

You find yourself laughing and cringing at the same time.

Kind of like Tara Mooney's "Staten Island Girls Remix Spoof" earlier this summer.

Assemblyman Matthew Titone (D-North Shore) makes a cameo appearance at the outset but doesn't do himself or the borough any favors. He said yesterday his comments singing Staten Island's attributes were edited out.

"I knew the risk I was taking," said Titone, "but I did my best to defend Staten Island, knowing they were going to do the show anyway."

Still, said Titone: "They were trying to portray us as exclusively Italian-American. I tried to point out our diversity. We do have a lot of guidos on Staten Island. That is a cultural identification. Who is going to deny that we don't? Some people identify themselves as guidos. They look at that as a positive. Who am I to judge?"

Borough President James Molinaro and Assemblyman Lou Tobacco (R-South Shore) opted not to participate in the Comedy Central show, which had contacted them before reaching out to Titone.

Ditto for SINY Director Larry Ambrosino, who said he knew the segment would be a "cheap shot" after the show's producers asked him to come up with a mix of "typical" Staten Islanders. Their list included an exotic dancer, a bouncer, an ex-con, a college party girl and a middle-aged plumber.

Instead, Ambrosino offered up a doctor, a lawyer, an athlete, a teacher, a bus driver, a business executive and members of the NYPD and FDNY.

That list, they weren't interested in, Ambrosino said.

"I think they thought they were being cute," said Ambrosino. "But it was pretty lame."

Meanwhile, Titone said he agreed to be interviewed only after getting the show to donate four tickets to a live taping and a basket of merchandise to be raffled off at a February charity event for Community Health Action of Staten Island, St. George.

"So some good did come of this," said Titone.

See the video here.

Read people's comments on the advance site

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