It’s hard to image anyone could get in serious trouble for appearing on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, but it happened last year to the journalist Maziar Bahari.
In June of 2009 Bahari was arrested during the turmoil following the disputed Iranian presidential elections. He was held in prison for a hundred and eighteen days, and during that time he was questioned extensively about a jokey interview he had done earlier that year with The Daily Show’s Jason Jones; authorities were convinced Jones was a spy. During the PEN World Voices Festival the two men sat down for a second interview at the French Institute.
Listen to their conversation here for free.
On Being a Media Mastermind:
Bahari: They [his captors] put me under a lot of pressure to confess that I was the mastermind of the Western media.
Jones: Of course you were.
Bahari: No, I just masterminded you.
On the Sacrifices Jason Jones Had to Make: Today is my wife’s birthday, also my daughter’s ballet recital and I skipped it to be here for Maziar Bahari; because that is what you have to do when you get someone in prison.
On his Interrogator’s Obsessions: Stupidity comes out of ignorance and he didn’t know a lot about the West. He was fascinated by sex of course, and he went through all my Facebook contacts and e-mail contacts and he asked me if I had sex with any of the women--and some of them were seventy-year-old human rights lawyers.