'The Daily Show' Puts Egypt Coup Deniers on a '$1.6 Billion Pyramid' Hot Seat

The Atlantic

The Daily Show put government spokespeople on a high-stakes game show last night. The U.S. government has avoided using the word "coup" to describe the events in Egypt because of the anti-coup rule that would prevent the U.S. from giving Egypt $1.6 billion in aid. "Your challenge is to describe the events in Egypt, but if you use the word coup you will lose everything," John Oliver said. "It's like the $100,000 Pyramid, except it's $1.6 billion and the pyramid is an actual pyramid."

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The first contestant was State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Saki, who said, among other things, that there are millions of people in Egypt who do not think it's a coup. Oliver commended her on her verbal gymnastics: "She is going kama sutra on the English language, bending words into all kinds of exciting, exotic positions before reaching a climax of meaninglessness." Tying it all to the big story of the week, Oliver said the not-a-coup situation is as if Kate Middleton had a baby, but couldn't call it a baby. "'Yes, this tiny human emerged from my womb after nine months of gestation. But is it a baby? I don't think we should get bogged down in calling it that just yet.'" 

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