Latest Posts

  • Jon Stewart Interviews Imprisoned Newsweek Reporter Maziar Bahari

    Over the years, there have been a lot of people on The Daily Show whom I would not be surprised to see arrested. Of all the bigfoot hunters, porno librarians and Lou Dobbses, there was bound to be some imprisonment eventually. But I don't think I ever thought someone would be put in jail simply for being on The Daily Show, which is basically what happened to Iranian Newsweek reporter Maziar Bahari. Just to be on the safe side, Doris Kearns Goodwin ought to lawyer up.

    The original segment that Bahari appeared in can be found below.

    The Daily Show airs Monday through Thursday at 11pm / 10c.

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    Tags: Iran, Jason Jones, Jon Stewart, Maziar Bahari, Newsweek, The Daily Show, Video
  • Iran Thought Jason Jones Was a Spy?

    From The CC Insider

    Picture 28Remember when Jason Jones did a week of reports from Iran, and then basically everyone he interviewed got arrested? Well, Newsweek's Maziar Bahari (who will be on The Daily Show Monday) was one of those guys, and he wrote of his imprisonment in the magazine's latest issue. Turns out his interrogators didn't really get The Daily Show.

    "Why is this American dressed like a spy, Mr. Bahari?" asked the new man.

    "He is pretending to be a spy. It's part of a comedy show," I answered.

    "Tell the truth!" Mr. Rosewater shouted. "What is so funny about sitting in a coffee shop with a kaffiyeh and sunglasses?"

    "It's just a joke. Nothing serious. It's stupid." I was getting worried. "I hope you are not suggesting that he is a real spy."

    "Can you tell us why an American journalist pretending to be a spy has chosen you to interview?" asked the man with the creases. "We know from your contacts and background that you told them who to interview for their program." The other Iranians interviewed in Jason's report—a former vice president and a former foreign minister—had been ar-rested a week before me as part of the IRGC's sweeping crackdown. "It's just comedy," I said, feeling weak.

    "Do you think it's also funny that you say Iran and America have a lot in common?" Mr. Rosewater asked, declaring that he was losing patience with me. He took my left ear in his hand and started to squeeze it as if he were wringing out a lemon. Then he whispered into it. "This kind of behavior will not help you. Many people have rotted in this prison. You can be one of them."

    Yikes! Kind of hard to follow that with a wisecrack. Although, I will say that if you have to ask what's so funny about sitting in a coffee shop with a kaffiyeh and sunglasses, you'll never get it.

    The original segment with Bahari is here. Skip ahead to 2:14 for the interview.

    The Daily Show airs Monday through Thursday at 11pm / 10c.

    (via Andrew Sullivan)

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    Tags: Iran, Jason Jones, Maziar Bahari, Newsweek, Spying, The Daily Show
  • Recapping the Latest Sarah Palin Newsweek Cover Controversy

    palin-newsweek-runners-world1. Newsweek runs the cover you see to your right. The text reads "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sarah? She's Bad News for the GOP — And For Everybody Else, Too." They illustrate this statement with a portrait from Palin's recent Runner's World photoshoot. In the picture, Sarah Palin is wearing running clothes, grinning, clutching two Blackberries and leaning casually on an American flag.

    2. Sarah Palin, the person who posed for this picture in the first place, is angered. The photo was meant to be "all about health and fitness," she Facebooked, and Newsweek's "sexist and oh-so-expected" re-use of the image "shows why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, gender, or color of skin." She cannot name any books that have genders or skin (but then, who can?). Nor does she explain what the Blackberries have to do with "health and fitness."

    3. Various people around the internet agree with Palin that the cover is sexist. Other people disagree. Some of us remember the last time Newsweek caused a controversy with its cover image of Sarah Palin.

    4. An Indecision blogger and her editor spend almost an hour instant messaging about the Sarah Palin Newsweek cover. At one point your blogger's editor asks her to 'role play' a hypothetical meeting in the Newsweek editorial department.

    5. We all know that Sarah Palin leaps at any chance to play the victim (it's cardio), even when she's invited the scrutiny, prompted the inquiry or posed for the photo. Also, any time a major political figure agrees to be photographed in an unusual setting, wearing anything less than a power suit, and those pictures are made public, they will be seen and published and republished. In public.

    6. Yet here we have a political-type lady wearing shorts, on the cover of a national news magazine. That seems sexist.

    6a. Or not.

    7. All this discussion, and still no definitive answer to the big question: Did this photograph of Sarah Palin violate flag protocol?

    Tags: Men and Women, Newsweek, Sarah Palin
  • A Kind of Depressing Ten Years in Seven Kind of Depressing Minutes

    I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but we're, like, a month and a half away from the end of The Aughts. What? Huh? Already? Really? How did this happen? Where has the time gone? (Better question: Where has my hair gone? I'm almost positive I had a whole bunch of it at the start of all this.)

    Anyway, it's true. The decade is coming to an end. This might not mean much to you if — like a number of my friends — you spent the majority of it sleeping or drunk (or drunksleeping). So, if you wanna bring yourself up to speed before this all shuts down, here's a seven-minute wrap-up from Newsweek. [Spoiler Alert: It's been a kind of shitty ten years.]

    Tags: Al Gore, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, John McCain, Newsweek, Sarah Palin
  • Newsweek Reports That Barack Obama Just Might Very Well Be the Antichrist Maybe

    It seems that sound, scientific, indisputable proof that our president-elect is in fact the Antichrist has finally been found: Some random number generator randomly generated the random number "666" in Illinois randomly. How could you possibly ask for more proof than that?

    Unfortunately, the unquestionable and not-at-all-idiotic proof came just one day too late to warn voters of the hellfire into which they were about to submerge themselves, Newsweek's Lisa Miller reports…

    On Nov. 5, Todd Strandberg was at his desk, fielding E-mails from around the world. As the editor and founder of, his job is to track current events and link them to biblical prophecy in hopes of maintaining his status as "the eBay of prophecy," the best source online for predictions and calculations concerning the end of the world… Now Strandberg was receiving up-to-the-minute news from his constituents in Illinois.

    One of the winning lottery numbers in the president-elect's home state was 666 — which, as everyone knows, is the sign of the Beast (also known as the Antichrist). "It is very eerie, and I take it for a sign as to who he really is," wrote one of Strandberg's correspondents.

    Yes, it is a very eerie sign. I suppose we should all just give up Hope now and prepare ourselves for the End of Days.

    "[T]he spread of secular progressive ideas is a prelude to the enslavement of mankind," explains Richard Landes, former director of the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University.

    No wonder, then, that Obama triggers such fear in the hearts of America's millennialist Christians. Mat Staver, dean of Liberty University's law school, says he does not believe Obama is the Antichrist, but he can see how others might.

    No wonder, indeed. It's all so obvious and points so blatantly to the foregone conclusion that a medieval fairytale is playing out before us.

    Obama's own use of religious rhetoric belies his liberal positions on abortion and traditional marriage, Staver says, positions that "religious conservatives believe will threaten their freedom." The people who believe Obama is the Antichrist are perhaps jumping to conclusions, but they're not nuts: "They are expressing a concern and a fear that is widely shared," Staver says.

    Perhaps they're jumping the gun.

    Or, perhaps their paranoid illogical fantasies are preparing them for the inevitable.

    Or, perhaps this is in fact a sign that Barack Obama is really the Silver Surfer in disguise and the Earth is about to be devoured by Galactus, Eater of Worlds.

    One thing, though, that is not in question is that — regardless of what fantastical fate awaits our doomed planet — Newsweek's Lisa Miller will surely be spared of the carnage as a payment of debt reward for her fantastic journalistic efforts.

    Tags: Antichrist, Barack Obama, Christianity, Illinois, Newsweek