Gen. Musharraf on ‘Daily Show’ to Promote Book

Posted on September 13, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Books, Humor, People, Politics, TV, Movies & Theatre
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Adil Najam

UPDATE: Watch video clip from President Musharraf on ‘Daily Show’ here.

Most readers of this blog would already know that Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s President and Chief of Army Staff, will be in the United States in the second half of this month; i.e., soon. The key stops in the trip will be a speech at the United Nations General Assembly (Sep. 21), the launch of his autobiography (Sep. 25), a meeting with US President George Bush (Sep. 21 and later), and possibly another with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (Sep. 21 or 22). There will, of course, also be various community and think tank stops across the country.

Also see ATP poll on ‘Grading Gen. Musharraf’s Performance’. Updated story on his media engagements and book tour, here.

However, the stop I am looking most forward to is his appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (See here) – the late night ‘fake news’ comedy show on the cable TV channel Comedy Central, on September 26. It should be an interview to remember and I am not planning to miss it (actually, I try never to miss The Daily Show anyhow; see video clip below).

For those who are unfamiliar with the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning show (either because they do not live in the US or because they like to go to bed early) I can only say that it is a television news phenomenon like no other. Its fans call it the most (brutally) honest news show in America. Celebrities, and particularly politicians from all sides, see it as a must-do stop. And particularly in election season they fall over each other to get booked on it. All of this despite the fact that it is, by its own admission, a ‘fake’ news show, which takes great pleasure not only in making fun of politicians but also of ‘real’ news shows. The shows website describes it as being “even better than being informed… One anchor, five correspondents, zero credibility!”

Gen. Musharraf is quite savvy in dealing with the international media and his matter-of-fact way of speaking comes across well. He will, no doubt, make an interesting guest. But he may well meet his match in the blunt questioning in Jon Stewart.

Stewart is not known for polite questioning. Here, for example, is him interviewing former (and possibly future) US Presidential candidate and one of the most influential Republicans, Senator John McCain (can also be seen here):

The show is, in fact, irreverent to all sides. This is quite evident from this second video clip which relates to President Bush’s visit to India and Pakistan earlier this year (see related ATP Posts here and here). [For volatile South Asian emotions, please realize that this is a late-night comedy show, and the ‘expert’ being interviewed is a fake expert, making fun of self-styled ‘experts’ as much as anything else] (can also be seen here).

So, as you can imagine, it should be an interesting interview to watch; September 26.

The date, by the way, is not coincidental. It is the day after Gen. Musharraf’s autobiography – In the Line of Fire – will be launched. This highlights the importance of the show, as well as of this appearance. The publisher (Simon and Schuster) is keeping a very tight lid on the contents of the book until its launch and, surprisingly, not much of what is in the book has yet leaked out. So, we will have to wait till later for a review of its contents; meanwhile, see related op-ed by Hussain Haqqani, here.

65 responses to “Gen. Musharraf on ‘Daily Show’ to Promote Book”

  1. Jawaid Murtaza says:

    [quote comment=”3069″]Is Musharraf blessing in disguise?
    Many think he saved Pakistan from worse scenario and many think he sold Pakistan to US.
    I believe he is an honest and worthy leader ever seen in last 30 years of Pakistan’s history and he deserved the best and we all should read his book and watch his dialogues with John Stewart on September 26, 2006.[/quote]

    Recent news about merger between President Musharraf and Benazeer if it’s true, could be benefecial for Pakistan if She is given with restricted powers.

  2. Roshan Malik says:

    Jon Sterwart on David Letterman’s show about Musharaff….an interesting video clip :)

  3. Sridhar says:

    A “general” question.

    How does one “hang upside down from a tree’s branch and pluck mangoes with one’s feet”? I know that commandos are supposed to be kind of superhuman, as Musharraf undoubtedly is. But doesn’t “hanging upside down” mean that one is hanging by one’s feet (you would not be upside down if you hang using your hands)? If so, how can one pluck mangoes with those feet? Any commando insights on how this can be done?

  4. bhitai says:

    As expected, he got a free pass. Probably some kinda prior arrangement. It was a new kind of experience for Jon stewart himself who is used to having mostly has-beens on his show. Mushy did ok, I still doubt if TDS fans (who are mostly youngsters) will be motivated to buy the book. Which makes this appearance almost pointless..

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