Conor Friedersdorf
The Atlantic
May 1, 2014

On network television, broadcasters tend to be very deferential when interviewing U.S. officials. This is especially true if they’re wearing military dress.

In contrast, comedians who appear on fake news programs affect an adversarial, intentionally disrespectful persona for laughs. And sometimes, as in John Oliver’s interview with outgoing NSA head Keith Alexander, the result is a U.S. official getting called on his slipperiness in a way that would never happen on more “serious” programs.

Here’s the video:

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