Michael Lucas on Bad Journalism
BY Michael Lucas
September 23 2010 3:10 PM ET
American interviewers didn’t go to Iran. They spoke with Ahmadinejad in the comfort and safety of American studios. They had nothing to fear. Yet they greeted this bastard, one of the bloodiest dictators of our time, who stole the last election, in the most polite and gentle way: “Thank you very, very much for coming here, Mr. President,” said Couric. “It’s always good to see you here,” said King.
Larry King is actually the exact opposite of Oriana Fallaci. King will never insist or pressure. King did ask the right questions: Stoning of women? Promises to wipe Israel from the face of the globe? Nuclear ambitions? Massacre after the fraudulent elections? Denial of the Holocaust? But every time, Ahmadinejad was allowed to run away from the question and talk about what he wanted to talk about. Asked about why he denies the Holocaust, he talked about the mistreatment of Palestinians. Stoning of women? He never heard about that. Election fraud? American propaganda. Hangings of gay people? “We do not have such a phenomenon in Iran.”
It was painful to see the half-smile and comfort with which Ahmadinejad was giving his answers. In fact, he wasn’t answering questions at all. He was delivering monologues, always with an arrogant smirk on his face. And never once was he interrupted, never once taken to task for his lies. When Larry King asked about Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust, you could see that it was a question that was deeply and personally important to him (King’s relatives were killed in the Holocaust). And when Ahmadinejad evaded the question, you could see how irritated King got. Yet he didn’t fight on. He simply followed with a softball about whether the United States and Iran will ever have a good relationship.
Christane Amanpour’s style is a bit more challenging, but in the end she too surrendered to his lies. Ahmadinejad was able to go on for up to five minutes without any attempt to interrupt him. And during his interview in September 2009 with Katie Couric, when she showed him a picture of a Muslim woman who was murdered during the protests against the election, Ahmadinejad countered with a photo of a Muslim woman who supposedly was murdered earlier that year in Germany — and shut her up, even though there is quite a difference between the state killing opposition members and a criminal murdering an individual.