Monday, November 13, 2006

The One That Got Away


It was really sad to hear Andrea Seabrook interviewing Richard Perle yesterday on Weekend Edition Sunday. Has Seabrook ever heard of doing one's homework before interviewing a guest? A great place to start would have been Source Watch. Perle is one of the big fish behind the mess in Iraq, but Seabrook doesn't know enough to hold him to account.

At one point she mentions the discredited linking of the Saddam Hussein regime to terrorists and Perle responds, "I don’t believe it’s correct to say his ties to terrorists have been discredited. There were numerous links between Iraqi inteligence and various terrorist organizations including al-Qaeda; those have been documented. And I frequently hear people say that there’s no evidence. It’s simply wrong; I’ve seen the evidence." That would be easy enough to counter. She might have said, "Well, I'd challenge you to produce any such documentation, since no ties to al-Qaeda have ever been proved."

Instead Seabrook responds in the most haltering, timid manner that this quote does little to convey, "But much of that evidence that I’ve heard other analysts say on both sides of the aisle and from several different policy points of view has in fact been discredited. Most people it seems now are saying Saddam Hussein didn’t have any serious connection with terrorists." To which Perle simply says, "that’s wrong. I’ve looked at the evidence."

Seabrook then comes out with this: "Going into Iraq was part of a larger plan for the Middle East, part of a large picture of spreading democracy in the Middle East… is that still viable?"

Unbelievable. Even Perle has to remind her that spreading democracy had nothing to do with toppling Saddam.

If Seabrook had done her work she might have challenged Perle on his reasons for pushing for the Iraq War-- his Likuud/Israel connections, his championing of the corrupt Chalabi and Iraqi National Congress, and his own corrupt history.

5 comments:

larry said...

Perle is also an arms dealer, he makes money directly from conflict. I wouldn't be surprised if he made money on the interview. There was a time when he charged for such.

Porter Melmoth said...

Thanks for aiming the spotlight of odiousness back on one of the principal players in our current folly: 'Dark Prince' Richard Perle. Only Paul Wolfowitz and Bill 'Howdy Doody' Kristol inspire more outrage and disgust in this child's world view of current events. Perle is the sort of unadulterated creep who means to triumph every step of the way, and his high-toned vanity demands that he keeps his stained hands in the media circuit, in order to flaunt his status as exemplary neo-con. Here is Perle on NPR, his old intact self: gentlemanly, soft-spoken, faux-sophisticated, reasonable-sounding but firm, the perfect interviewee for an awe-struck NatPubRad nerd. In short, Richard easily wins over tinker-toy 'journalists' such as Seabrook, not only with his oily grace, but by stonewalling in the most civil tones imaginable. And now that he's distancing himself from the Bush Machine, he can strut and pose in new ways that will always leave NPR types with a feeling that they have been massaged rather than having experienced yet another mind-f*#k by one of the great masters of that art.

Perle as war profiteer? Absolutely. Check out Bob Greenwald's documentary 'Iraq For Sale', free viewing on Google Video.

Andrea Seabrook is yet another one of those NPR babes that seems to be smiling with self-satisfaction whenever she's blabbing. There are few things worse in radio than self-loving on-air talent. Rush Limbaugh ain't the only one in town to pull that trip.

kframbo said...

Thank you for giving a brief synopsis of this story - I was so apoplectic about NPR having Perle on as if he is some sort of pundit or "elder statesman" that I couldn't stop yelling at the radio. Seabrook was soooo lame, I can't believe some producer or manager at NPR doesn't send her back to making copies for the big kids that work there. I think if she ever got the opportunity to interview Osama bin Laden she would spend the time asking him questions like," So, now that you are a respected political figure in the world, what would you suggest we do to further your agenda?". She might follow that up with a question about the color of the drapes at his Tora Bora cave.
The very fact that she kept letting Perle flap his lie hole with out at least minimally asking him to account for his responsibility for the Iraq failures is unforgivable!

Wondering Willa said...

Thank you so much for discussing the Perle interview. Listening to this on Sunday morning made me positively cranky at how little it resembled anything like journalism.

I, too, was frustrated at the very meek response to this Perle statement: "I don’t believe it’s correct to say his ties to terrorists have been discredited. There were numerous links between Iraqi inteligence and various terrorist organizations including al-Qaeda; those have been documented. And I frequently hear people say that there’s no evidence. It’s simply wrong; I’ve seen the evidence." Well, show it to us.

I don't pledge to them because my needs aren't being met.

bluetaco said...

What NPR seems to have perfected with its interviews of prominent types like Perle is a kind of draining away of every last hint of journalistic standards and to model the whole interview on what one might overhear between two very chummy friends at a Georgetown cocktail party.