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Mike Wallace Buddies Up to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:

Wallace has interviewed Ahmadinejad for Sixty Minutes. According to the Hollywood Reporter, "The 88-year-old Wallace, who has interviewed almost every notable person in his nearly 40 years on '60 Minutes,' said Wednesday that he wasn't going to let a little matter such as retirement stop him from doing a story about one of the biggest gets these days."

So what does he think of the man whose agents are killing scores of Americans in Iraq, not to mention thousands of Iraqis, and who also is the world's leading Holocaust denier and most dangerous anti-Semite [relevant aside: Wallace is Jewish], currently engaged in a devastating proxy war with Israel and threatening to wipe out the country entirely? "He's actually, in a strange way, he's a rather attractive man, very smart, savvy, self-assured, good looking in a strange way.... He couldn't have been more accomodating. He had a good time doing the interview." These comments are not balanced out by any negative impressions from Wallace, except to note that his interview subject is "very, very short" but, he added immediately, "he's comfortable in his own skin." If Wallace doesn't feel revulsion at meeting the likes of Ahmadinejad, it really makes me wonder. [This can be dangerous stuff. I was going to post something along the lines that I'm sure Stalin was quite charming, too, but then I remembered that Stalin actually charmed the pants [actually the Poland] right off of FDR.]

UPDATE: Powerline has similar thoughts.

UPDATE: I guess I shouldn't have wondered. Wallace apparently has no moral sense beyond a belief that he should "get the story." Outside the Beltway recounts this hypothetical posed to Wallace:

With Jennings in their midst, the northern soldiers set up a perfect ambush, which will let them gun down the Americans and Southerners, every one. What does Jennings do? Ogletree asks. Would he tell his cameramen to "Roll tape!" as the North Kosanese opened fire? What would go through his mind as he watched the North Kosanese prepare to ambush the Americans? Jennings sat silent for about fifteen seconds after Ogletree asked this question. "Well, I guess I wouldn't," he finally said. "I am going to tell you now what I am feeling, rather than the hypothesis I drew for myself. If I were with a North Kosanese unit that came upon Americans, I think that I personally would do what I could to warn the Americans." Even if it means losing the story? Ogletree asked.

Even though it would almost certainly mean losing my life, Jennings replied. "But I do not think that I could bring myself to participate in that act. That's purely personal, and other reporters might have a different reaction." Immediately Mike Wallace spoke up. "I think some other reporters would have a different reaction," he said, obviously referring to himself. "They would regard it simply as a story they were there to cover." "I am astonished, really," at Jennings's answer, Wallace said a moment later. He turned toward Jennings and began to lecture him: "You're a reporter. Granted you're an American"-at least for purposes of the fictional example; Jennings has actually retained Canadian citizenship. "I'm a little bit at a loss to understand why, because you're an American, you would not have covered that story." Ogletree pushed Wallace. Didn't Jennings have some higher duty, either patriotic or human, to do something other than just roll film as soldiers from his own country were being shot? "No," Wallace said flatly and immediately. "You don't have a higher duty. No. No. You're a reporter!" Jennings backtracked fast. Wallace was right, he said. "I chickened out." Jennings said that he had gotten so wrapped up in the hypothetical questions that he had lost sight of his journalistic duty to remain detached.

UPDATE: A commenter notes that Chris Wallace says his dad has "lost it." In December, Wallace said that if he had the chance to interview President Bush, he'd ask: "What in the world prepared you to be the commander in chief of the largest superpower in the world? In your background, Mr. President, you apparently were incurious. You didn't want to travel. You knew very little about the military. . . . The governor of Texas doesn't have the kind of power that some governors have. . . . Why do you think they nominated you? . . . Do you think that has anything to do with the fact that the country is so [expletive] up?" Somehow, I doubt Wallace will be as hostile to the President of Iran!

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Kos Readers Reactions to Wallace Interview With Ahmedinejad:
  2. Mike Wallace Buddies Up to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
144 Comments
Kos Readers Reactions to Wallace Interview With Ahmedinejad:

I found the actual interview a snore, as Ahmed speechified, avoiding answering the questions Wallace put to him. It was relatively easy for him to get away with this, given the fact that both men needed interpreters. The result is that the interview was just a little more interesting that watching an Iranian government propaganda video.

More interesting to me is this Daily Kos discussion thread, in which (I'm only barely exaggerating here)Kos readers debate whether Ahmed is as bad as George W. Bush.

What did VC readers think of the interview?

UPDATE: Here's an op-ed by David Harris of the American Jewish Congress, who takes a rather dim view of the interview. Among other things, Harris points out that Wallace asked no questions about human rights in Iran, including the rights of Wallace's fellow journalists.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Kos Readers Reactions to Wallace Interview With Ahmedinejad:
  2. Mike Wallace Buddies Up to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
58 Comments