Dean Obeidallah, a liberal columnist for the Daily Beast, ignited a firestorm last Friday, when he asked on Twitter: “Do conservatives defend [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu because they share the same values or because they love seeing Arabs get killed?” His answer? “Trick question: It's both.”
Five tumultuous days later, the Arab-American comedian posted: “I want to sincerely apologize without reservation for my earlier tweet” because “I sincerely do not believe that is true. Sometimes in the heat of the moment, attempts at humor can go terribly wrong.”
Tweeting from his account, @Deanofcomedy, Obeidallah also noted: “Good people can disagree on the crisis in Gaza. Sometimes emotion can overwhelm logic and reason. So again, I'm sorry for that tweet.”
One of the first responses to the inflammatory post came from @AaronWorthing, who turned the tables by asking: “Does @Deanofcomedy support 'Hamass' because he shares the same values or because he hates Jews? Trick question: It's both!”
Worthing continued referring to the Hamas terrorists as “Hamass” when he said that group “fires rockets into Israel every single day trying to kill random Jews, and you are helping them do it with your bull.”
As a result, he stated: “The butthurt is strong in this one.”
Not surprisingly, the columnist and former lawyer fired back by accusing Worthing of being guilty of “libel." "Plain and simple. U stated false statements of fact knowing they were not true when you tweeted them.”
“You libel every single conservative alive,” Worthing replied, “and then you whine when you get a taste of your own medicine.”
The back-and-forth got even more caustic when the comedian said Worthing “can use ur law degree to defend you against classic libel -- all the elements are there. U truly leave me zero choice.”
Worthing said that Obeidallah “accuses every conservative of wanting to see Arabs die, and it's comedy! But accuse him of wanting dead Jews: 'I'LL SUE YOU!'
“The fact is you have provided support to 'Hamass' by supporting their ridiculous propaganda effort,” he added.
It didn't take long for other posters to join the fray. Radio host and RedState editor-in-chief Erick Erickson [@EWErickson] noted: “This is the funniest thing @Deanofcomedy has ever done. What an idiot.”
Breitbart's John Nolte [@NolteNC] then gave Obeidallah some advice: “If you don't want to be accused of defending terrorists, you know, maybe you shouldn't.”
“Believe me, I know u don't do comedy,” @LADowd told the Daily Beast columnist, but “ur killing me! I should pay you a cover charge ur so funny! Please don't stop!”
Dowd got in one final dig by stating: “When the 'comic' resorts to accusing others of not understanding the art of comedy, in public, then you know he ain't funny.”
As NewsBusters previously reported, this isn't the first time Obeidallah has used his acerbic sense of humor to hammer Republicans.
While a guest on CNN during February of 2012, he joked: "There are people in the Taliban who would call Rick Santorum a radical conservative. I'm not even kidding."
One month later, Obeidallah had some advice for politicians who are offended by gross and vile insults from comedians: "Change the channel."
That came out of an article in which he accused conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh, Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren and other conservatives of waging a “war on comedy.”
When a panel of comedians told their favorite race jokes on MSNBC in February of 2013, Obeidallah got the ball rolling by jesting about white people being a minority by 2040 and getting to commemorate "Whitey Week" with "celebrations of white people, like badminton and Utah and racial profiling."
During an appearance on Hannity in August, MRC President Brent Bozell pointed to another quote from Obeidallah, who claimed that if the Fox News Channel was “around years ago when anti-Semitism was part of the mainstream, I have no doubt they would be anti-Semitic to get viewers."
“They just feed to the worst element of our society, and thankfully, their viewers are dying off,” he asserted.
Perhaps Obeidallah's most outrageous claim came last December, when he declared that “conservatives want Christ out of Christmas” because they are miserly Scrooges or anti-Jesus people who endorse cutting back on social welfare programs.
And in March, he charged that “the GOP can't take a joke” when he mistakenly accused NewsBusters and other conservatives of scouring the airwaves for any joke they don’t like.
However, the fact that Obeidallah has actually apologized for telling a joke that unfairly hammered conservatives is a hopeful sign that he's begun to mature and can therefore reach a broader audience than the minuscule number of viewers who watch MSNBC and CNN.