Eric Burns, the host of FOX News Watch, gives FOX Fans an exclusive quick take on Dan Rather's interview with Saddam Hussein.
So what? Almost nothing in journalism is more overrated than the tough question.
Why? Because tough questions don’t get answered, especially not by tyrants. Does anyone really believe that if Rather had been more demanding, Saddam would have fessed up about his links to Al Qaeda or drawn a map to show where the weapons are hidden? Nonsense.
Nor did Rather do viewers a disservice by parroting his interviewee’s views. When the CBS anchor reported that Saddam wanted to debate President Bush out of “respect” for the United States, there was no reason for him to say that Saddam was lying, that he really doesn’t respect the United States. We all know that already. Rather did not need to provide a simultaneous translation of Saddam’s statements.
In fact, had he done so, he would have insulted the intelligence of his audience. “We report,” says FOX News Channel, “you decide.” That is exactly what Dan Rather did. He reported Saddam’s lies and distortions and equivocations. Americans are wise enough to decide for themselves that that is precisely what they were.
Of course, my friends on the Fox News Watch panel might have a different opinion—or several of them—entirely.
Catch Eric and the Fox News Watch panel this Saturday at 6:30 pm, 11:30 pm, 2:30 am & Sunday at 6:30 am, 3:30 am ET.