CBS Shoots Itself in the Foot

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CBS had to make an awful admission today about its Dan Rather interview with Saddam Hussein.

They faked something, and it is the last thing in the world anybody would expect them to have faked.

CBS hired a voice announcer to do Hussein's answers in English, after three Arabic translators made sure they got the English right. The voice announcer actually faked an Arabic accent.

The network said something lame — that they hired somebody to do a voice appropriate to the interview.

There are a lot of people complaining about a lot of things the media is doing these days. I get a ton of complaints about my mouthing off in this segment, but this is truly bizarre.

Who in the news business would think you would have to have an Arabic accent — whatever that is — for Americans to listen to what Hussein has to say?

It's just an absurdity to think that Americans wouldn't pay attention to, or worse — wouldn't believe the words of the Iraqi dictator unless they came out sounding like some quasi-Arabic shtick.

Now you could say that this proves this thing or that thing about the big news networks — the traditional big three. I don't think it proves anything except the fact that even the big guys make stupid decisions sometimes. In other words, they are not immune to the impulse to shoot themselves in the foot.

And it has led to a Big Story promise. Any translations featured on this show will be through the voice of a translator — no faking a French accent, for instance, unless it is donned to mock the French.

That, of course, is a completely legitimate thing to do. When it comes to poking fun at the French, we will not fail in our duty.

What do you think? We'd like to hear from you, so send us your comments at Some of your emails will be featured on the air or on our site.

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