At the opening of his Monday “The Daily Show” broadcast on Comedy Central reacted to the controversies swirling around embattled NBC “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams.
Stewart mocked the increased media scrutiny of Williams and his career, but went on to unleashing a blistering attack against the media for not being more skeptical of those promoting the threat of weapons of mass destruction from within Iraq during the first term of former President George W. Bush’s presidency.
“The crazy thing is the Bush administration are the ones who planted the [f—king] story in The New York Times in the first place,” Stewart said, reacting to then-Vice President Dick Cheney’s remarks to “Meet the Press” moderator Tim Russert on Sept. 8, 2002 about a Times story warning about the threat. “The run-up to the Iraq war was kind of beautiful in the evil efficiency of media manipulation. It’s like the Bush administration hired Temple Grandin to design a machine that kills the truth. So I love that now the media pretends that they must guard the crown jewel of their credibility when we’ve already have seen it’s Al Capone vault. Not that they weren’t hard on themselves post-[clusterf—k].
Stewart then played a series clips of media reflection in the years after the beginning of the Iraq war, which they suggested they should have asked more questions, including a clip from CNN’s Wolf Blitzer proclaiming journalists are only “the first draft of history.”
“But it wasn’t even your draft,” Stewart said. “You were just copying off of Cheney’s paper. You were plagiarizing history. But maybe this incident will cause reflection on your part. You’ll go back now and look at other instances of media maleficence that lead our country to the most catastrophic foreign policy decision in decades.”
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor