'The Daily Show' Turns to a Real Hostage Negotiator to Solve the Shutdown

House Republicans have been holding the government hostage for a little over a week now, so the Daily Show's Jason Jones sat down with Republican strategist Noelle Nikpour to try to hash things out. It didn't go well. 

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House Republicans have been holding the government hostage for a little over a week now, so the Daily Show's Jason Jones sat down with Republican strategist Noelle Nikpour to try to hash things out. It didn't go well. "We just want our government back, so what do we do?" Jones asked. "Defund Obamacare," Nikpour answered.

And it went downhill from there. Jones pointed out that Obamacare is a law, Nikpour said it's not a good law, that it's unconstitutional. Jones pointed out that it passed the Supreme Court. "The Supreme Court deemed it constitutional, but it had to go to the Supreme Court to do so," Nikpour said. Then Jones got meta. "Can we just stop this whole interview, please? It's just a vicious circle. You dig your heels in. You say something stupid," he said, and she said 'It's a stupid law,' "then I give a generically witty response like 'Yes, affordable health care for millions of unemployed people is a stupid law.' Then these dummies laugh. But where does it all end?"

"It ends with defunding Obamacare," Nikpour repeated, and Jones stormed off. He called in an actual hostage negotiator, formerly of the FBI, to talk about the psychology of those who take hostages. The analogy lined up a little too well. "They view themselves as extremely significant people, so they're mystified that they're not being followed more, and they're hurt by it and they're feeling very abandoned by it."

The problem is, the hostage is supposed to be the most valuable thing in a hostage situation. "We don't need government in our healthcare. We don't need government in our lives," Nikpour said. "We need smaller government." And as Jones put it, the GOP doesn't seem to care whether their hostage lives or dies. "You're supposed to say you'll let the hostages go safely, that's Hostage Taking 101," he said.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.