Jun 20, 2008
Gitmo the glove puppet
I've never really got the handwringing over the The Daily Show — the whole 'what have things come to when most young people get their news from a fake-news programme' argument. The Daily Show doesn't offer fake news, certainly no more fake than the news parodied on Have I Got News For You. Its a topical sketch comedy program. If many young people are getting their news from Jon Stewart, it's because nobody else is reporting it. This week, for instance, the House Senate committe heard that a senior CIA lawyer had instructed Guantanamo officers: "If the detainee dies, you're doing it wrong"; they also heard from Colin Powell's former chief of staff that 100 detainees had died while being interrogated ("Death, Mr. Chairman, seems to me to be the ultimate torture, indisputable and final"); while a McClatchy report claimed that of the 66 detainees they investigated, most were "low-level Taliban grunts, innocent Afghan villagers or ordinary criminals and at least seven had been working for the U.S.-backed Afghan government and had no ties to militants".
And not a single network covered it. Not a peep out of CNN, NBC or ABC, or FOX, where they were more concerned with fulminating against the Supreme Court for giving detainees the right to establish their guilt or innocence in a court of law. Then we turn on Jon Stewart and we get a pinpoint-accurate dismantling of the issue using a glove puppet. No wonder people are watching him. How I wish this news was fake.