The Jaker

Mostly rational politics, with occasional rants about how a few crazy Republicans are ruining the country.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Ahmadinejad on "60 Minutes"
I watched Mike Wallace's interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on "60 Minutes" last weekend.

First of all, Mike Wallace is too old and stodgy to be doing these kinds of interviews. He just didn't seem to have the stamina, the patience, the sharpness of thought that I would have liked to see in someone interviewing one of the most important people in the world. In fact, 60 minutes needs pretty much a complete re-fresh. Even someone like Anderson Cooper would have done a better job with that interview.

Secondly, regarding Ahmadinejad, I'll be careful what I say, as this blog is a matter of public record. He comes across as a somewhat intellectual man, who follows events in the U.S. (citing Bush's low poll ratings), makes fairly reasonable arguments for wanting civilian nuclear energy (natural energy supply is not limitless), and is not just a religious nut as we might expect. But he also seems like one of those incredibly stubborn guys you could debate for hours and hours and would never ever change his mind. His persona in interviews like this (very measured words, earnest criticisms of American foreign intervention) runs in sharp contrast to horrifying and irresponsible public statements such as calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map".

And, if the past is a guide, Ahmadinejad may be a truly evil man who has just learned how to tailor his quotes for an audience. The WSJ, in an article listing questions they wished Wallace had asked (subscription req'd), says the following:

Mr. President: Are you aware of a man named Mansour Ossanloo? He is the leader of the independent trade union representing the workers of the Vahed Bus Company in Tehran. A year ago, your security forces raided one of their meetings and cut out a piece of Mr. Ossanloo's tongue. Now he speaks with a lisp. Is this how "dialogue" is conducted in the Islamic Republic of Iran?

Something like this is exactly what should have been asked, but perhaps the setting was such that Wallace was intimidated into being more general.

60 Minutes is a good show, but better personnel could make it much better.
posted by CB @ 4:12 PM  
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