When Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari was being beaten and interrogated for 118 days as an accused spy he expected death but not the Daily Show. During his beatings, the Iranian interrogator played a segment from John Stewart’s Daily Show under the apparent belief that it is a real news program and revealed Bahari’s spy activities.
Bahari was confronted with a video from the Daily Show where Jason Jones played the role of a redneck pretending to be a spy named Mr. Pistachio. Bahari had participated in the segment and the Iranian government (not big on humor but unwitting masters at irony) believed it was real.
Bahari was released from Tehran’s Evin Prison on Oct. 17th after being beaten and threatened with death for months. It is worth noting that the Iranians, while admitting that the segment was a spoof, could claim that its interrogations were not torture under the American standards. What the Iranians did to Bahari fell well short of the torture carried out by the Bush Administration. It will remain when one Bush’s most lasting legacies — denying us of the ability to denounce such treatment, particularly given Obama’s opposition to any investigation of torture.
He can only be thankful he did not do a clip on the Colbert Report.
For the full story, click here.