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Jon Stewart grades Iraq benchmark report as 'not un-bad'
David Edwards and Nick Juliano
Published: Tuesday July 17, 2007
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In a dig at the rhetoric employed by members of the Bush administration in describing the war in Iraq, the Daily Show on Monday examined the "Cirque du Soleil-like contortions" used to spin progress in the war.

Host Jon Stewart also lamented the loss of some ripe material when President Bush decided to commute the prison sentence of former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

"I thought for sure, for sure, that we'd be coming back from break to a Scooter Libby goes to jail perp walk thing ... nice clever over-the-shoulder (graphic), 'Pokey-man,' you know what I mean?" Stewart said. "Yeah, that's not great, but the graphic was cute, it was Libby being sodomized by Pikachu."

After the brief aside, Stewart returned to the news of a recent report on Iraqi government benchmarks.

"As you know we are now entering our fifth year of making very good progress in Iraq," he said. "Obviously, the president defining progress now as 'moving forward through time.'"

Stewart then showed President Bush noting that the Iraqi government has achieved satisfactory progress on eight of 18 benchmarks, according to an interim progress report recently delivered to Congress.

"There ya have it, eight out of 18, otherwise known as a gentleman's F," Stewart said. "By the way that's the report card the Bush administration themselves submitted. why didn't they cherry-pick the results? They did."

"What was really amazing about the report," Stewart continued, "was the Cirque du Soleil-like contortions needed to spin it positive."

Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said the Iraqis have made "not inconsequential movement forward" in a clip played on the show.

"Wait, not inconsequential," Stewart mused, "so that's like not un-bad. Tell me not less." The following video is from Comedy Central's The Daily Show, broadcast on July 16.