George Orwell who wrote the Preface to How to Deceive, the New Times Bestseller, was finally going to be interviewed by Stephen Colbert.
In the audience were comics and political newscasters of all sorts. Bill Maher accompanied by Cornell West and Ann Coulter. Maher had originally tried to secure the interview but Colbert managed to steal it away with a case of his Ben & Jerry’s Americone Dream Ice Cream. Also in the crowd was Jon Stewart next to Bill O’Reilly, the two arguing over the armrest between them. Eventually O’Reilly ceded since the armrest was too much in the middle for his liking, and in the back sat Geraldo Rivera twirling his mustache, praying for Colbert to blow the interview.
“This one’s for you, Papa Bear,” said Colbert to O’Reilly as he headed up to the hot seat. He accepted the claps and cheers, many happening because of the ‘Applause’ sign. He then lowered into his chair and sat across the table from the legendary writer, refusing to shake his hand as Orwell stuck it out.
“Now you wrote the novel 1984, correct?” he continued with Orwell nodding. “Well, my friend let me tell you something. I’ve got some problems with it. I don’t remember 1984 quite the way you described it. Let me tell you a little something about my 1984, about what I remember because let’s not forget, my brain is outstanding.”
Stephen’s finger pressed against the wooden table, “In 1984 President Reagan announced he would seek a second term—a great time for America. The Senate rejected amendments to permit spoken prayer in public schools—not such a great time for old glory. The CIA’s Information Act passed which secured America’s safety… and you can see how that’s panned out.”
Colbert moved on as Orwell simply sat and listened. “And in 1984 the US and Iraq regained diplomatic relations, a clever ruse even back then.” He breathed. “There was no dystopian society, no Winston Smith, no thought-crime. There were hair bands, Madonna and David Lee Roth demonstrating the spin kicks.
Stephen pulled up the copy of How to Deceive. Opening to the preface page he stated, “You wrote the preface to this book. In it you said, and I quote, ‘How to Deceive is the most important book of 2012. Read it; study it. The words between the covers will be remembered and referenced for years to come.’ Well, frankly, I’m afraid that’s hogwash. This coming from a man who lived in France and wrote about farm animals. I believe, sir, that YOU have deceived us with your rubbish thoughts.”
“Here, here,” shouted O’Reilly from the crowd. Dirty looks spread about, never penetrating his rough exterior. Colbert kept on laying the grit to the writer, “You, Mr. Orwell—master of newspeak—shame on you!” He held up the book, “This book, How to Deceive, is propaganda. Don’t you see?”
Orwell attempted to say something but was cut off, “Not yet sir. You’ll have your turn.” Colbert continued, “Now I don’t know much about Ahearn and Dowling—they don’t have an iPhone app—but I can tell you this. These guys are rabble-rousers. They are teaching America to lie, telling Americans to create false identities to deceive government and big business because they claim the two deceive us in turn.”
Colbert proceeded. “We are not being lied to, sir. The case of Goldman Sachs was an accident, poor judgment. Who hasn’t had a bad day? City Bank, Bear Sterns, AIG, AmTrust Bank, Mutual Bank, Colonial Bank… Mr. Orwell, can you not see the propaganda of this book?” He slammed down the book.
“Now what do you have to say for yourself, Jorge,” asked Colbert? Orwell leaned forward from the chair. “Stephen, if you tell a lie big enough, and tell it frequently…” he paused. “It will be believed. That is the message of How to Deceive”.
“Which novel is that from, sir; the one about disobedient farm animals or the one about disobedient humans,” asked Colbert?
Orwell stated “Adolf Hitler…”
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