Interviews With Hideous Men

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Rumpole of the Corndog writes:

Tonight CBS Evening News will air the first part of Mike Wallace’s interview with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. We’ve already gotten a preview, however, of Wallace’s impressions of the Iranian leader:

Of Ahmadinejad, Wallace said, “He’s an impressive fellow, this guy. He really is. He’s obviously smart as hell.”

Wallace said he was surprised to find that the Iranian president was still a college professor who taught a graduate-level course.

“You’ll find him an interesting man,” he said. “I expected more of a firebrand. I don’t think he has the slightest doubt about how he feels … about the American administration and the Zionist state. He comes across as more rational than I had expected.”

This is reminiscent of the way journalists and others would react after meeting Hitler. He wasn’t a raving lunatic, like I expected! He was calm! Rational! Even Charming! (I wonder whether Ahmadinejad is a vegetarian.) What did Wallace expect? That a village idiot somehow ended up running a nation of 68 million?

Stranger things have happened:

From: “Devil May Care” by Tucker Carlson, Talk Magazine, September 1999, p. 106

“Bush’s brand of forthright tough-guy populism can be appealing, and it has played well in Texas. Yet occasionally there are flashes of meanness visible beneath it.

While driving back from the speech later that day, Bush mentions Karla Faye Tucker, a double murderer who was executed in Texas last year. In the weeks before the execution, Bush says, Bianca Jagger and a number of other protesters came to Austin to demand clemency for Tucker. ‘Did you meet with any of them?’ I ask.

Bush whips around and stares at me. ‘No, I didn’t meet with any of them,’ he snaps, as though I’ve just asked the dumbest, most offensive question ever posed. ‘I didn’t meet with Larry King either when he came down for it. I watched his interview with [Tucker], though. He asked her real difficult questions, like ‘What would you say to Governor Bush?’ ‘What was her answer?’ I wonder.

‘Please,’ Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, ‘don’t kill me.’

I must look shocked — ridiculing the pleas of a condemned prisoner who has since been executed seems odd and cruel, even for someone as militantly anticrime as Bush — because he immediately stops smirking.

‘It’s tough stuff,’ Bush says, suddenly somber, ‘but my job is to enforce the law.’ As it turns out, the Larry King-Karla Faye Tucker exchange Bush recounted never took place, at least not on television. During her interview with King, however, Tucker did imply that Bush was succumbing to election-year pressure from pro-death penalty voters. Apparently Bush never forgot it. He has a long memory for slights.” [Carlson, Talk, 9/99]

[Ed. Note: During the Larry King-Faye Tucker exchange, Tucker never asked to be spared.]

Of all the presidencies in all the countries in all the world he gets elected in ours…

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Yeah. Like I would tell you....