Dennis Prager writes:
Here are some of the tough questions Mike Wallace asked one of the vilest leaders on earth today: What he thinks of President Bush, why he is concerned about how his jacket looks on television and what he does for leisure. Never once did he challenge Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s attacks on America — such as America’s loving war, seeking to be an imperial power or oppressing its own people.
When asked about his statements that the Holocaust is a “myth,” Ahmadinejad replied, “What I did say was, if this is a reality, if this is real, where did it take place?” Wallace did not respond to the leader of a country saying “if” the Holocaust “is real” with a single question. But he probably laughed more with Ahmadinejad than any American news reporter has ever laughed on camera with the president of the United States.
If CBS wanted anything more than ratings and Wallace wanted to be more than a “useful idiot” (Lenin’s phrase for the Western journalists and academics who supported Soviet Communism), here are some questions he should have asked Ahmadinejad:
Read the rest.
In his latest TCS Daily column, Glenn Reynolds looks at the current low ebb of elite journalistic credibility:
I had hoped that increased scrutiny from bloggers would make the press more honest, but so far there’s no sign of that. And bad or dishonest reporting is destructive and unpatriotic (note that reporting bad news honestly is not, a distinction that dishonest media defenders sometimes try to elide). Can a free press survive if the public concludes that it’s in the business of purveying politically motivated propaganda on behalf of civilization’s enemies? And, if this kind of thing keeps up, will people be able to resist coming to such a conclusion? The press often responds to business scandals by noting that misbehavior by businessmen is likely to undermine support for free enterprise and lead to public demands for free enterprise. I fear that the same dynamic may lead to reduced support for a free press, and to demands for government regulation of reporting in wartime.
In the meantime, we have to hope that the market will correct the problem before things get that bad. Perhaps newspapers will be less willing to use photos and stories from AP and Reuters when those stories are likely to be lies, and, and I strongly suspect that readers will be less likely to trust newspapers when they run stories that are exploded as propaganda. It’s not too late for the press to save itself yet. But it’s getting close.
Update: Bernard Goldberg has some thoughts about both his former fellow “Tiffany Network” employee and his most recent interviewee:
Even at age 88, Mike is still Mike, which is another way of saying he’s still the best out there. But after watching his “60 Minutes” interview, I came away thinking that Mr. Ahmadinejad understands us a lot better than we understand him. Over the years, dangerous men like him have learned how to play the media game. They have gotten quite sophisticated. I’m afraid we haven’t. Unfortunately, “Mike Wallace on line one” doesn’t scare anybody in Tehran.
That’s OK. Mike just wanted some pillow talk, anyhow.