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"The Daily Show" Takes On Obama Administration's 'Coup or Not' Semantics

Chris Maddaloni/CQ-Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- The Daily Show decided to have a little fun with what host John Oliver referred to at one point as the verbal “karma sutra” of State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki and White House press secretary Jay Carney after their nearly two weeks of non-answers as to whether former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s ouster was coup.
Playing a clip of Psaki saying, “I don’t want to be analyzing what the legal options are here, that is being closely looked at,” the Daily Show host asks incredulously, “So that’s our strategy?  We think we can get around our own coup laws if we can just manage not to use the word 'coup?'”
Oliver compared the administration response to a game show where the challenge is “to describe the events in Egypt, but if you use the word 'coup' you will lose everything," he said. "It's like the $100,000 Pyramid, except it's $1.6 billion and the pyramid is an actual pyramid.”
He does at least give Psaki some credit, calling her back and forth exchange with AP reporter Matt Lee on the issue an impressive display of semantics.

"She is going karma sutra on the English language, bending words into all kinds of exciting, exotic positions before reaching a climax of meaninglessness,” he said.
But after playing a series of clips from White House briefings on the matter, his take on Carney is not quite so charitable.

“That poor man. I honestly cannot tell if he’s doing a terrible job, or just has a terrible job,” Oliver said to laughter. “I think it might be 100 percent of both.”  
He concludes with a royal baby analogy to illustrate how illogical he thinks the Obama administration is being.

“It’s as if Kate Middleton gave birth, but English law prevented her from calling it a baby,” he said. "'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.'"   
Psaki is being a good sport about the roasting. A State Department official confirmed that even though she’s been traveling with Sec. Kerry, she has seen the clip – and found it funny.

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