Jon Stewart on Those “Ambushed” Redskins Fans & America’s Original Sin

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When a group of Native Americans – including, Amanda Blackhorse, Simon Moya-Smith, Gregg Deal and others – were invited on The Daily Show in September to talk about the Redskins name change controversy, media reports said there was a “showdown” between the fans, who were somehow misled or ambushed by the Native Americans.

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In a recent interview with New York magazine, however, Stewart explains that the fans were not misled about the segment -- in which the two groups were interviewed separately, and then the Native Americans walked in on the Redskins fans – but that the real ambush occurred when Natives in the segment were taunted by Redskins fans as they walked into the team’s stadium for the taping.

From the magazine:

The show also did a controversial segment recently about the racism of the name “Washington Redskins.” Were you wrong to ambush those fans who were defending the team name?

I wouldn’t call it an ambush. We don’t lie to people and say we’re not The Daily Show or “This won’t happen” or things like that. I even said on the show if we found out that these people had been intentionally misled, that segment wouldn’t have aired. That’s not the case. I’ll tell you where there was a real ­ambush — when the Native Americans went to the stadium and people said the most vile shit to them. The ugliness that arose was mind-numbing. So for the story to be these poor people, the Redskins fans, who sat in a room and had to then talk to the Native Americans … I don’t understand the weird defensiveness. We all live in a country built on this very devastating scenario with the people who were already living here. That’s our original Manifest Destiny sin. In some ways, by accepting the flaws, the progress that we’ve made is more impressive.

To read Stewart’s entire interview with New York magazine, click here.