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

October 04, 2007

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]


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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