America's great civility debate appears to have hit "The Daily Show."
Last week, Jon Stewart's show featured moderate Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Barghouti and a Jewish-American activist named Anna Baltzer.
During the interview, someone in the audience tried to disrupt the interview by shouting "liar!" after Barghouti said that Palestinians had been subjected to the longest occupation in history.
"Apparently we have Joe Wilson with us tonight," Stewart said in an attempt to defuse the tension.
Baltzer reportedly wrote a letter to friends to say that "The Daily Show" was being flooded with complaints from pro-Israeli supporters and that the heckler was the first one on the show's 11-year history.
The segment, which was remarkably tame for a discussion of this issue, sparked varied reactions.
One blogger called it "disgraceful."
Barghouti represents a marginal branch of Palestinian politics. He got about 20 percent of the vote when he ran for PA president in 2005. His "Third Way" political party garnered less than 3 percent of the vote in the 2006 legislative elections.
On the show, Barghouti touted non-violence and reconciliation. He dominated the talk (as edited) and Baltzer had little air time to share her views.
Over at TalkingPoints Memo, M.J. Rosenberg praised Stewart for having the two on his show.
"Because Jon Stewart is so utterly at home as an American and as a Jew, he can say what he thinks about the Middle East," Rosenberg wrote. " And that seems to be be that diplomacy is better than killing people and that no lobby should inhibit debate on an issue that affects all Americans. Jon Stewart, all by himself, has created a sea change in the mass media's approach to the Middle East. Once others in the business see that Stewart says what he thinks -- and not only survives but thrives -- others will do it too."