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The January 9, 2013 episode of The Daily Show examines corrupt financial institutions, Detroit’s controversy over a new bridge and the Jeff Bridges experience with a Zen master.
The episode begins with Jon Stewart saying that, after the heaviness of the previous episode’s discussion, he is making an effort to keep things light. To start this off, he begins by talking about disgraced or corrupt financial institutions. He talks about two of these organizations in particular, HSBC and AIG. In the case of HSBC, they have been caught transferring money for countries like Iran and helping drug cartels and terrorist organizations to launder money. These actions should, of course, lead to prosecution. However, Stewart reports, some are saying that HSBC is too big to prosecute. As for AIG, they are suing because the terms of the bailout are unfair and too onerous on the shareholders. Stewart points out that they got the bailout on the same terms as AIG might lend money themselves.
The second segment finds Al Madrigal in Detroit interviewing people about plans to build a new bridge to Canada. Detroit already has a bridge to Canada, the Ambassador Bridge. The people Madrigal interviews are not pleased with the plans for a new bridge. They think the money should be spent elsewhere. Al Madrigal then interviews a representative from Canada who informs him that this bridge is going to be paid for entirely by Canada. Detroit and Michigan will not have to spend any money. Madrigal then returns to his original interviewees who tell him they do not trust politicians or that they expect the Canadians (or the Chinese) to invade. The Canadian representative tells Madrigal that the only people able to work on the bridge will be American and Canadian citizens and they will not be using Chinese steel. Madrigal then finds out that most of the campaign against the new bridge is being paid for by Matty Maroon who owns the Ambassador bridge. Madrigal tries to talk to him, but he does not return his calls and after Madrigal drives over the bridge a few times he is forces to give up.
The guest for this episode is Jeff Bridges promoting his book, The Dude and the Zen Master. They spend the interview talking about how a person becomes a Zen Master and how this Zen Master told Bridges that the dude was a Zen Master. If you are a fan of Jeff Bridges, you will likely love this interview. He drives me nuts (in a bad way), so I really did not enjoy this interview. His laugh was like nails on a chalkboard for me. The rest of the episode, however, was pretty good. Madrigal’s segment was really entertaining. Overall, I would say this is one of the better episodes from this week.