Round Table: You’re known as a special investigative reporter. What are your areas of expertise?
Stewart: Politicians and hookers.
Round Table: Interesting combination.
Stewart: Most people can’t tell them apart. If you study history–and I doubt you do–you’ll find that government is indistinguishable from a whore house. Of course, CNN and FOX don’t see it that way.
Round Table: How so?
Stewart: CNN thinks Republicans are evil and FOX thinks Democrats are evil.
Round Table: I see.
Stewart: Only on a clear day. Otherwise, most folks are too preoccupied with their online image to look into the promises being made on both sides of the aisle.
Round Table: You’ve been around long enough to know better.
Stewart: You got that right. Basically, my premise when I start working on a news story is, “Don’t trust anybody.” That was especially true during the Nixon administration. The thing is, people think that when Nixon quit, everything was pure as the driven snow. So, they’ve gotten lazy and listen to or watch only one news source and think they’re all-knowing when they’re dumb as a post.
Round Table: Those people are easily led.
Stewart: That’s right as rain. Of course, they don’t know they’re being led. The irony is, they think people like them are the leaders when, in fact, they’re the lemmings at the front of the stampede to the cliff.
Round Table: So how do you get to the truth?
Stewart: I find it best to get in bed with the worst people on the planet–figuratively speaking. Once you’re in bed with them, they tell you everything. That’s how an investigative reporter works. It’s not much different than the CIA’s approach to the truth and who’s telling it.
Round Table: I don’t trust the CIA.
Stewart: You’re not supposed to. If we thought they were choir boys, they couldn’t do what they do.
Round Table: Do you alienate people on purpose?
Stewart: I try to. When people are angry, they say things they wouldn’t normally say. Nothing beats an angry news source for providing true facts.
Round Table: I’ve found that drunks are the same.
Stewart: They are, but buying them drinks costs a lot more than pissing them off.
Round Table: Thanks for stopping by for this interview,
Stewart: Yeah, right.
Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of the satirical novel Special Investigative Reporter.