Jason Jones interviews Maziar Bahari

Iran isn't laughing at The Daily Show

The Daily Show’s Jason Jones mocks journalistic conventions to hilarious effect. But Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are not known for their sense of humor, and let’s just say they didn’t get the joke.

Jones did a series of reports on Iran that aired just after the disputed June 12 elections. They were uproarious but they also did a real journalistic service by presenting a diverse and sometimes surprising view of Iranian society. One of the key people Jones interviewed was Newsweek correspondent Maziar Bahari.

Soon after the series aired, Bahari was arrested as part of brutal and ongoing crackdown on the media. One day, his interrogators brought fresh evidence that he had spoken with an “American spy.” They inserted his CD in a computer—and played the interview with Jones.

PEN’s Larry Siems and I took advantage of whatever guilty feelings Jones might have had about his role in Bahari’s arrest to get him to interview the journalist as part of PEN’s World Voices Festival. Jones must have felt pretty guilty because he missed his wife’s birthday and his daughter’s ballet recital to do it (he’s married, by the way, to fellow Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee). This interview is really funny and really poignant. And if you hang in to the bitter end, you can watch a brief cameo by me and my daughter Ruby.

PEN has the video on its site and offers a downloadable version. You can also watch it below.


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Joan ValaNejad

This is an amazing and amusing

by Joan ValaNejad on

first hand account of the horrors and irrationality of persecution of journalists in Iran.  Thank you for posting.


A great and insightful interview.

by Bavafa on

Glad he got out OK and hope all other poltical prisoners will be free soon. 

Thanks for posting it.


Real McCoy

"I am proud to call him my hero"

by Real McCoy on

An accidental hero, it should read.

A mediocre news reporter, mistreated by the IRI's thugs; now impersonating as a pundit for the foreign audience.


Interesting meeting

by Benyamin on

The only way a nation can grow and evolve towards prosperity and better future is to recognize its own faults and mistakes.

Maziar was imprisoned for absolutely no reason! why shouldn`t he mock the system that doesnot respect the very rights is written within Iran`s constittution?

Are Iranian people are just bunch of toys for some in the "beyt e rahbary" to play with? does life mean anything to them(IRI)?

How long this nation is willing to shun its own youth? and what for? at what cost? the greatest and most valuable wealth any nation has is its own people and the IRI has been successfully getting rid of its best talents and minds because of one person to remain in power?

Maziar has my full support and I am proud to call him my hero as are all others that were/are imprisoned in IRI`s jails.


Real McCoy

"Islamic Republic Of Rose"

by Real McCoy on

When one is seated on high pedestal to mock his own "nation", it is not a laughing matter. We should, definitely, cry.



Islamic Republic Of Rose

by Arthimis on

Islamic Republic Of Rose Water ... Shall we laugh or shall we cry?