I recently watched the movie, Rosewater, directed by Jon Stewart. The amount of meta-ness about the film is almost over the top. The film is about an iranian journalist who was imprisoned for about four months during the Color Revolution in 2009. A material contribution to his imprisonment was his interview with the Daily Show shortly before. As a media platform that pokes fun at actual news outlets and contemporary affairs to bring to light the absurd, the Daily Show by Jon Stewart had sent a reporter to Iran during the protests in 2009 to interview with Bahari. The comedic interview led the Iranian authorities to believe that the iranian journalist was a spy for the American government.
It’s crazy that a comedic fake news shoe could have such an impact. On the one hand, Bahari’s imprisonment is tragic, and yet on the other hand, this tragic event and subsequent movie truly brought to light the absurdity that authoritarian governments are.
Anyway, I hope to think about this more. The Chinese philosopher, Lin Yutang, was absolutely right in that the importance of humor is much overlooked in our society and that dictators lack humor.