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Fact-Checking BriWi On The Daily Show

Huffington Post   First Posted: 08/12/08 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 01:40 PM ET

Briwi Jon

Last Thursday night NBC anchor Brian Williams joined Jon Stewart on the Daily Show for their usual friendly bantering which, as usual, veered occasionally into the scrappy, wherein the guest-anchor threatened the home-anchor with opening "a can of whup-ass." (Oh, cable — here he opens whup-ass, back on network he daren't even show the word "nuts"). It was, as usual, a fun interview — Williams is one of Stewart's most-frequent guests — but one part stuck out as deviating slightly from known fact.

It occurred at the beginning of the interview, after Stewart had urged Williams to play to the crowd a bit on his entrance, and then put the anchor in his place, instructing him to sit instead of playing to the crowd. See below:

JON: I won't have it! Sit! This is not Tehran. I am the Mullah here!
BRIWI: Are you the Mullah or the mullet?
JON: You wanna go Jersey on me - you wanna go Jersey on me right now?
BRIWI: Hey! Of the two of us, I'm from Jersey. I can go Jersey on you easier than you can go Jersey on me. (Crowd ooohs). If there's a can of whoopass out here, I open it. Okay?

Tough talkin' from the Jersey boy — except, not strictly accurate. Actually, Jon Stewart is as much "from" Jersey as Williams is, given that both of them were born in New York State and moved to Jersey in their youth, where they had their formative years. Stewart was born in New York City and grew up in Lawrenceville, NJ; Williams was born in Elmira, NY and moved to Middleton, NJ at age 10. So: If the litmus test for being "from Jersey" is "spent years of youth in Jersey" then both men qualify; however, Williams' suggestion that he could "go Jersey on you easier than you can go Jersey on me" suggests that he, Williams, spent more of his formative years in Jersey — which seems to be contradicted by the facts.

The whole thing is moot, however, since both of them have publicly bragged about the Bruce Springsteen shows they've attended (though only BriWi so far has actually made it onstage, at least in reality). That seems to prove the Jersey bona fides right there.

Also they talked about Ahmadinejad, but that interview was a little less snappy. Watch the full video here.

Related:
Jon Stewart to BriWi: "Which Candidate Are You Biased Against?" [ETP]
Jon Stewart Experiences Joy [BruceSpringsteen News]
Brian Williams Introduces Bruce Springsteen At New Jersey Concert
[Backstreets via HP Media]

Related In Longer, More Boring Interviews With Less Jokes:
Transcript: Brian Williams Interviews Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [MSNBC]

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