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2007-10-04

Daily Show Host Jon Stewart Apologizes to Jeremy Scahill for Hostile Interview on Blackwater Book

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Last night on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, Jon Stewart apologized to independent journalist and Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill for a critical interview earlier this year on Scahill’s book, "Blackwater: The Rise of The World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army." [includes rush transcript]

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Did you catch The Daily Show last night? Jon Stewart apologized to our own Jeremy Scahill for the critical interview Jon did with Jeremy’s book, Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. Stewart started by playing an excerpt of his interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews the night before.

JON STEWART: I did take offense to one thing that Matthews said.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: This is a book interview from hell!

JON STEWART: No, it’s good.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: This is the worst interview I have ever had in my life!

JON STEWART: The worst interview? Sir, I’m not even sure you were the worst interview I had done that week. Sir, I say to you this: I took the time to read your book, but you have clearly never seen my show. I do terrible interviews routinely. Let me show you what I mean. This is from, like, a couple of months ago. I had the author of a book on about a certain private security firm in Iraq.

Tell me about Blackwater. What is the issue with — if somebody is an ex-soldier and looking to make a little money, why is that a terrible thing?

Yes, why?

JIM LEHRER: Blackwater guards fired on civilians.

FOX NEWS: Eleven Iraqis were killed in a shootout with Blackwater contractors.

ALESSIO VINCI: Blackwater basically started shooting without being provoked, without any kind of reason.

RICHARD ENGEL: After the shooting, Blackwater guards simply drove away.

JON STEWART: You see, Mr. Matthews, sometimes I can be unexpectedly confrontational. And other times, it’s almost as though I don’t know what the [bleep] I’m talking about at all. Yes, apparently, apparently — and this was news to me — it turns out having a private security firm subject neither to Iraqi, United States nor international law can create some oversight issues killing-wise.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Jon Stewart on The Daily Show last night. Jon, it takes a man to admit a mistake; it takes a mensch to invite Jeremy Scahill back on the show and do it right.

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