Jon Stewart mocks Brian Williams, bodyslams media for pushing their own fake Iraq war stories
Daily Show host Jon Stewart led a tongue-in-cheek cheer on Monday for the media attention surrounding NBC News anchor Brian Williams’ discredited story about being targeted by enemy fire in a military helicopter.
“Finally, someone is being held to account for misleading America about the Iraq war,” Stewart said. “It might not necessarily be the first person you’d want held accountable on that list. But never again will Brian Williams mislead this great nation about being shot at in a war we probably wouldn’t have ended up in if the media had applied this level of scrutiny to the actual f*cking war.”
While news outlets were busy protecting the “crown jewel” of their credibility, Stewart argued, they were all too happy to pat themselves on the back for backing then-President George W. Bush and his administration as they peddled bogus claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq leading up to that war.
Stewart confessed to being impressed by the “evil efficiency” of the Bush narrative for war, which included planting a story in the New York Times, and following it up with an appearance by then-Vice President Dick Cheney on Meet The Press to discuss it.
He then showed footage of NBC’s Tom Brokaw blaming the “fog of covering a war” for the lack of accountability toward Bush and Cheney, while CNN’s Wolf Blitzer shrugged off any criticism, calling his network “a first draft of history” operation.
“It wasn’t even your draft,” Stewart said. “You were just copying off of Cheney’s paper. You were plagiarizing history.”
As for Williams, Stewart attributed his “bungled” story to what he called “infotainment confusion syndrome.”
When the Nightly News host originally — and correctly — reported the story, Stewart noted, he was looking straight at the camera. But when he embellished it in an interview with David Letterman, he was turned to the side in “anecdote mode.”
“Like with most cases of masturbation, typically being caught is punishment enough,” Stewart said of Williams’ offense. “Self-love can be a bad habit. Probably shouldn’t do it at your work desk.”
Watch Stewart’s commentary, as posted online on Monday, below.