February 2, 2003

ROBERT SAWYER confirms the story of a Canadian Broadcasting Company interviewer who asked him about American “arrogance,” but says that we shouldn’t be too hard on her:

The interviewer (I’m sorry, but I don’t know her name, or even

what city she was in — Newsworld does production across Canada;

I’ve been on Newsworld many times, but never had been interviewed

by this woman) did indeed ask me a question related to whether

this was a terrorist attack, and whether it had been arrogant of

the Americans to launch a shuttle now. The idea that it was

terrorism hadn’t even occurred to me — it looked like a tragic

accident, and I was reliving my memories of when CHALLENGER had

blown up all those years ago. So, the question took me by

surprise.

In any event, I told her no, it wasn’t arrogance, and added that

the Bush administration had very much had a business-as-usual

policy post-September 11; I can’t remember exactly how I phrased

it, but my thought was that if you let terrorists freeze you into

doing nothing out of fear, they’ve won. I wish I remembered her

exact words better, and my own, but, like everyone else I was in

shock.

I’m sure she didn’t mean to be offensive, and it was quite clear

during our brief interview that she was being distracted by all

sorts of chatter in her earpiece (she first introduced me as

Robert Fischer, who is a staff reporter the CBC).

Well, I don’t know if that lets her off the hook, or just means that her guard was down and her prejudices were showing. You can decide that for yourself.

UPDATE: Arthur Silber has some thoughts on charges of “arrogance.”

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