Interview with Ahmadinejad

The much-buzzed-about "60 Minutes" interview with the president of Iran.


Kl
August 14, 2006 7:44PM (UTC)

We were riveted during Mike Wallace's interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on last night's "60 Minutes," below. Earlier this year, when Ahmadinejad wrote a letter to President Bush, the White House dismissed it as a publicity stunt. Maybe it'll do the same with his interview Sunday -- or, Allah help us, his blog, which he just announced. But Ahmadinejad strikes us less as a stunt artist than a brilliant manipulator -- and that's not a swipe at Wallace, either. (Critics who claim he went easy on his subject are about as on target as this dull parody.) To us, Wallace did a good job pressing Ahmadinejad on key issues -- his anti-Semitism, his anti-Americanism, his funneling of explosives to Iraqi insurgents -- while at the same time asking him a range of ordinary human questions that seemed able to capture who he reallly is. When Wallace turned the topic to his family, for example, asking if he had three children, Ahmadinejad saw through the ploy instantly: "You know very well, sir." Wallace was neither the sycophant we're used to seeing nor the faux-tough guy who puffs his chest and gets nowhere. We ended up feeling like we saw the real Ahmadinejad. And what we saw -- a media-savvy anti-American zealot with a razor-sharp mind -- was pretty damn scary.

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Kl

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