Iraqi Ambassador on The Daily Show 10/9?

Was that really Hamid al Bayati being interviewed by John Oliver?

Hmmm. Maybe this post needs some content.

Why would the Iraqi ambassador agree to one of those phony-funny TDS interviews? He appeared to take Oliver’s questions quite seriously. He didn’t get upset but he didn’t seem to get the joke either.

I haven’t found a Youtube clip yet. One of his questions was “Rate the invasion on a scale of 1 to 5”, and he asked Bayati if he’d like the US to invade again in the future.

I watched it too, and i seemed that maybe the interview was faked. It looked like there was a real interview (with real questions) conducted by a thin tall man wearing glasses, and then footage of Oliver was edited in with the phony-funny questions. (I like that term, BTW. Mind if I steal it?)

Either way, I thought it was freakin’ hilarious, but not quite as good as Stephen Colbert’s very real interview with Oliver Stone. :wink:

Yes. If you scroll over to the “The Mission” tab at the Web site of Iraq’s U.N. mission, you can see al Bayati’s picture.

Al Bayati may have been playing along or he just may not have quite understood TDS, given the cultural differences. The Daily Show always does some games with cutaways but I’d guess the interview happened more or less as presented.

But he was answering Oliver’s questions, so I don’t think so.

Stone pwned Colbert. That was awesome. Clearly the way to win is to say utter bullshit that the Colbert character can’t disagree with. I’ve always thought the interviews were the weakest part of the show, in that he had to go out of character for something like a charity and stay in character but be feeble for someone he agreed with. Maybe this will force a change in them.

As I was watching the ambassador interview I kept noticing the camera angles; they’d never show the person in the foreground (shot from behind) clearly, just a bit of the side of their head. I wasn’t looking for it, but after about 30 seconds it really stuck out as being unusual. I’m leaning towards spliced interviews (IOW, ambassador was answering someone else’s questions).

I don’t think it was spliced either. What kind of questions can be answered with “a” and “b” and “strongly disagree”?

What surprised me was that TDS could get the guy. I would have thought his appearances would be vetted by somebody in the administration.

That’s just how TV interviews are shot. Don’t you think their targets would complain even more if TDS was doing that kind of thing?

After two hours of digging, I can’t find a cite either way. So I’m stumped.

That’s because its what’s known as a “one camera shoot.” Meaning they conduct the interview with the camera pointed at the subject, then they redo the interview with the camera pointed at the reporter. (Didn’t you people ever see Broadcast News? Sheesh. Everybody does it.)

I seriously doubt that the ambassador didn’t have a clue as to what was going on. First of all, he’s not some yokel they yanked off the streets of Baghdad, dude’s been living outside of Iraq since before the invasion. Secondly, those things have to be vetted before they’re agreed to, so even if the ambassador and his staff had never heard of The Daily Show before, they would have done some checking to get a feel for it, because they would have to get the permission of the Iraqi government to do the interview. The ambassador is “the voice” of Iraq in the UN, so he’s not going to say anything on the record without getting it cleared with the higher ups. (And it being taped is “on the record,” even if he’s not speaking at the UN.) Third, IIRC, the Iraqi government has decided that they need to do a PR campaign in the US. Doing an interview on The Daily Show would be a better way of getting good PR than running travel ads which said, “Come to Iraq! We promise we won’t blow you up or cut your head off on the internet!”