IN AN INDUSTRY that preaches the importance of social media over ratings or ad sales to demonstrate star power, one would think that Comedy Central, in making the most important hire in its

history, would somehow remember to check its hire's Twitter feed.

Whether you think new "Daily Show" host Trevor Noah is an anti-Semite, a misogynist, a self-hating biracial man, a mocker of fat women or just painfully unfunny, based on a series of tweets pulled from his Twitter account, it's difficult to think that Comedy Central seriously vetted the South African comedian.

The network responded to the media firestorm by doubling down on Noah yesterday.

In a statement, it called Noah a "provocative" comedian who "spares no one, himself included."

"To judge him or his comedy based on a handful of jokes is unfair," said the network, adding that he has "a bright future at Comedy Central."

One could argue that judging David Letterman, Don Rickles, Bob Newhart, etc., on a handful of jokes might be unfair because they have decades of jokes to draw from and people know them. How many comedy fans could ID Noah? For many, all they have to go on is his Twitter feed.

And when you're called on to replace one of the singular TV voices in political comedy and your tweets have the comedic depth of a second-grader's fart joke, we can see why there might be understandable concern in corners where "The Daily Show" is revered.

How could Comedy Central not see that?

Comedy is about timing, delivery and context. Provocative comedians Chris Rock and the late Joan Rivers may have pushed the envelope, but they didn't push the same envelope. If Rivers had told Rock's jokes, her fans might have walked out. And vice-versa. Jokes that are hysterical in Rock's stand-up act might be appalling and offensive on Twitter and Facebook.

It remains to be seen what Noah is really thinking now that he's about to be handed a megaphone by Comedy Central and will no longer have to shout to be noticed.

On Monday he called himself a "progressive" like Jon Stewart. Yesterday afternoon he tweeted: "To reduce my views to a handful of jokes that didn't land is not a true reflection of my character, nor my evolution as a comedian."

We'll see. But his first day in the public eye wasn't a good one.

In any of the six languages he speaks.

TATTBITS

* Model Charlotte McKinney may have been voted off "Dancing with the Stars" Monday night, but it was judge Bruno Tonioli's comments that really bothered her.

"You're never going to win the Nobel prize for quantum physics, but you are easy on the eyes and you produce wonderful shapes," Tonioli told McKinney, who found his words to be a dumb-blonde comment, verging on bullying.

McKinney, who's dyslexic, has been using her time on "DWTS" as a platform against bullying.

Voters thought she should have used it as a platform for dancing.

Or is that bullying?

* "General Hospital" earned a leading 28 nominations for the 42nd annual Daytime Emmy awards, with four of its stars competing for honors as top actor or actress.

Nominations were announced yesterday. The ceremony will be held April 26 on the Warner Bros. studio lot in Burbank, Calif., televised on the Pop network.

"The Young and the Restless" (25 nominations), "The Bold and the Beautiful" (19 nominations) and "Days of Our Lives" (16 nominations) were the other shows with the most potential trophies.

All four will compete for the trophy of best soap opera.

Are there any other soaps left?

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.

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On Twitter: @DNTattle