Remember 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 after the jump. Skip ahead to 2:14 for the interview.
The Daily Show airs Monday through Thursday at 11pm / 10c.
[via Andrew Sullivan]