On last night's Daily Show, host Jon Stewart expressed nothing but astonishment regarding the story of John Beale, the high-paid EPA climate change expert who blew off work for years by claiming to be a CIA agent.
As things turned out, Beale had absolutely no connection to the CIA. Still, he managed to convince his superiors he was poking around Pakistan when he was in fact "riding bicycles and reading books" at home in suburban Virginia. A rather nice life for Mr. Beale—until he ended up pleading guilty of defrauding the government to the tune of nearly $900,000.
"This man is a liar—and boring as f---!" Stewart sputtered. "It is an amazing fraud perpetrated by a guy so he could do things we only do when we've run out of other things to do!"
Even more inexplicably, Beale secured a coveted handicap parking spot at the workplace he wasn't going to by claiming to have Malaria, which he didn't, from serving in Vietnam, where he'd never been. "He could've gotten a handicap parking space for a legitimate medical reason: his gigantic balls," Stewart quipped.
But the most striking moment of the House Oversight Committee hearing arrived when Rep. Jason Chaffetz learns that Beale is currently staying in the guest room of his friend and former supervisor, Robert Brenner. Lawmakers responded simply with unbelief. "This guy John Beale just broke the House Oversight Committee!" Stewart raved.
In a final twist, Stewart turned to correspondent John Oliver to report on the story, revealing that he, too, has been ensnared by Beale's remarkably unconvincing fraud. Somehow it all shifts into a discussion of, erm, the taste of Beale's urine, which —well, let's let that speak for itself.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.