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Ear to the Ground

Iraqis Tuning In to Their Version of ‘The Daily Show’

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Posted on Oct 24, 2006
Saaed Khalifa
From AOL

Saaed Khalifa, host of the Iraqi satirical newscast “Hurry Up, He’s Dead”

Baghdad’s answer to Jon Stewart (Saaed Khalifa, right) skewers both Iraqis and Americans alike in his nightly “Daily Show”-esque broadcast. A recent joke: Iraq’s Ministry of Water and Sewage changed its name to the Ministry of Sewage—because it had given up on the water part.


N.Y. Times via AOL:

BAGHDAD, Oct. 23—Nearly every night here for the past month, Iraqis weary of the tumult around them have been turning on the television to watch a wacky-looking man with a giant Afro wig and star-shaped glasses deliver the grim news of the day.

In a recent episode, the host, Saaed Khalifa, reported that Iraq’s Ministry of Water and Sewage had decided to change its name to simply the Ministry of Sewage—because it had given up on the water part.

In another episode, he jubilantly declared that “Rums bin Feld” had announced American troops were leaving the country on 1/1, in other words, on Jan. 1. His face crumpled when he realized he had made a mistake. The troops were not actually departing on any specific date, he clarified, but instead leaving one by one. At that rate, it would take more than 600 years for them to be gone.

The newscast is a parody, of course, that fires barbs at everyone from the American military to the Iraqi government, an Iraqi version of “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.” Even the militias wreaking havoc on Iraq are lampooned.

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By Chah', October 29, 2006 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment
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Why the Afro wig though?  I deeply resent that.  Playing in to Western stereotypes of lampooning Black people.  Sigh ... Idiot.

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By Don, October 25, 2006 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment
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Excellent.  Nuf said.

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By Spinoza, October 25, 2006 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment
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Everyone should see V for Vendetta

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By tdbach, October 25, 2006 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment
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Comedy is the indomitable spirit that defies the most inhospitable of worlds, like the seed that settles into the faintest sliver of a crack in a boulder on a bitter-cold wind-swept mountaintop, growing into a tree. The joy of irony may yet save us all in these perilous times.

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