The Best (Fake) News Show on Television

You know, you can read something all you want in the Post (and, in fact, I’d recommend both E.J. Dionne’s and Richard Cohen’s columns in today’s edition), but sometimes there’s nothing like The Daily Show to really make a point. Sure, they claim to be a “fake” news show, but if so, I’m more impressed with their fake news than the so-called real thing.

First, Jon Stewart shows Gloria Borger’s recent CNBC interview with the robot (I’m sorry, I guess he’s technically a cyborg) Dick Cheney, in which she quotes him as saying that the alleged meeting between Mohammed Atta and an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague was “pretty well confirmed,” prompting the co-president to cut her off, vehemently denying that he ever said that. Here’s the specific portion of the transcript (which I understand originally came from The Drudge Report, but we won’t necessarily assume it’s wrong, if only because I just watched the footage myself):

BORGER: Well, let’s get to Mohammad Atta for a minute, because you mentioned him as well. You have said in the past that it was, quote, “pretty well confirmed.”

CHENEY: No, I never said that.


CHENEY: Never said that.

BORGER: I think that is...

CHENEY: Absolutely not. What I said was the Czech intelligence service reported after 9/11 that Atta had been in Prague on April 9th of 2001, where he allegedly met with an Iraqi intelligence official. We have never been able to confirm that nor have we been able to knock it down.

At which point, of course, Stewart cuts to the video of a December 2001 appearance on Meet the Press in which Cheney uses the exact words Borger quoted him as using (transcript courtesy of the Post).

CHENEY: Well, what we now have that’s developed since you and I last talked, Tim, of course, was that report that’s been pretty well confirmed, that he did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack.

Remember in the old sci-fi movies where the robots, when presented with something illogical or inconsistent, would sputter “does not compute” and collapse into smoking paralysis? Well, apparently, they’ve improved the robots since then...


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