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The Daily Show: Where Presidents Come to Play…

By Brian | September 26, 2006 | Share on Facebook

Last week, I marveled at The Daily Show’s ability to book Bill Clinton as their guest.

Last night, John Stewart announced that tonight’s guest will be President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan. I’m quoting from memory here, but Stewart said something to the effect of:

Our guest tomorrow night will be President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan. The actual President of Pakistan. Why this is, I have no idea…

When I think about the planning that went into Musharraf’s book launch, it absolutely boggles my mind that a sitting president of any country, let alone one that is deeply allied in a war with major world powers like the U.S. and Britain, could possibly have this kind of time on his hands.

First, he wrote the book (or at least we assume he wrote it), and included salacious details that would play well to American audiences. Then he coordinated its release with his trip to New York for the UN General Assembly. Then, he recorded an interview on 60 Minutes, leaking one of his salacious claims, and got them to air it right around the time he made his keynote speech to the UN. Then, after creating the controversy, he remained in New York long enough to do several additional interviews after the book’s release (including The Today Show and The Daily Show with John Stewart), guaranteeing that the interviewers would say something like “there has been much controversy lately about your claims regarding Richard Armitage,” followed by quotes from the book itself. All he has to do now is sit in his chair, smile, and make tell a few stories, and his book will sell millions of copies. Not only that, but he’s probably also improving the American people’s perception of Pakistan in the process.

Impressive piece of marketing. The guy should run for office one day…

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