The Daily Show's "Chief Black Correspondent" Larry Willmore declared, "I know Jay-Z used to be a groundbreaking rapper, but then he turned 40. Now he's a rapper who shows up at groundbreakings."
The screen then flashed to a photograph of Jay-Z, in a suit, wielding a shovel at the March 2010 Barclays Center groundbreaking. (There's no explanation of that event, but Jay-Z's association with Atlantic Yards and the Barclays Center, widely seen as a win-win, should have resulted in a blow to his credibility.)
"Holy cra-can I see that again?" asked host Jon Stewart, in mock wonderment. "Oh. My. God. What's he doing there with mayor Bloomberg and a shovel?
"He's burying the remains of his street cred, Jon."
The Daily News, which has led the Barney's crusade, covered the Daily Show bit, which noted that Jay-Z has a brand to protect. Jay-Z said he wouldn't rush to judgment and said he wouldn't profit from the deal, just his foundation.
Though some saw that response as defensive, Spin criticized Stewart for omitting the charity angle and called Jay=Z's belated response "eloquent." The Rev. Al Sharpton defended Jay-Z.