Jon Stewart's Fake News Makes Inroads in Iran

Thursday, 05 Dec 2013 08:26 PM

By Cynthia Fagen

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Tehran State TV has been railing against Jon Stewart and his new movie "Rosewater" — based on an Iranian-Canadian writer's prison memoir of the nation's turbulent 2009 presidential election — while other broadcasters seem to emulate "The Daily Show" funnyman, The New York Times reported Thursday.

Canadian-Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari, on which the movie was based, wrote on his website that Iran's state broadcaster doesn't find Stewart the least bit funny with one commentator devoting six minutes attacking him as a mere pawn “directing an ultra-formulaic movie commissioned by his masters” in “the Zionist lobby” telling “the story of the American-Israel sedition of 2009."

But Stewart's self-described fake news program, which mocks traditional media coverage, has a fan base there. Although viewers can only see "The Daily Show" on illegal satellite dishes, Stewart's influence can be seen in a video report broadcast recently on a state television program, called "8:30 P.M.," that appeals to young viewers.

Story continues below video.

The report openly mocked the same network’s main government news channel for the way it had censored images of Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s top foreign policy official as she hugged a male counterpart at the talks on Iran's nuclear program in Geneva.

During its live broadcast from Geneva, the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, leaned in to kiss Ashton’s cheek. But before his lips made contact, the screen was blurred, obscuring the kiss.

It remained there as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the Russian foreign minister did the same.

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