And now the most intriguing two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...
When Dan Rather's interview with Saddam Hussein appeared on CBS News last week, it sounded as if he had used a translator from Saddam's part of the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SADDAM HUSSEIN, PRESIDENT OF IRAQ (through translator): Mr. Rather is an intelligent person. I believe that he wants to get to the truth and not merely provoke or try to get someone to say something that might be held against him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
It now turns out, however, that it was the voice of an American actor named Steve Winfield, who has a special flair for mimicking foreign accents. CBS told the Los Angeles Times that the translation was 100 percent accurate, though it was not clear that Winfield had actually done the translating since CBS could not say whether he speaks Arabic. Rather, by the way, told the Washington Post that he worked from a list of about 30 questions which he had rehearsed in advance in front of a mirror in his Baghdad hotel room, unconcerned apparently that the Iraqi regime routinely bugs the rooms of foreign visitors.
It's No Secret
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the man now in U.S. custody as the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 atrocities apparently makes no secret of his role in those events. The only journalist who has interviewed him since that day, Yosri Fouda of Al Jazeera television, described his conversation with Mohammed and his nephew Ramzi Binalshibh to the London newspaper the Guardian. Fouda said that after talking to Mohammad for a while, he finally screwed up his courage and asked, "Did you do it?" Mohammed, he said, responded calmly, "I am the head of the Al Qaeda military committee and Ramzi is the coordinator of the Holy Tuesday operation and, yes, we did it."
The story of the three little pigs can no longer be told to the students at the Park Road Nursery and Elementary School in the town of Batley, in West Yorkshire, England. The reason is that there is a large number of Muslim pupils at the school and pork and pig products are forbidden in the Muslim faith. Therefore, school officials decided, the story of the three little pigs "could have caused offense to religious sensitivities."
Supreme Court Under Scrutiny
And there's a new poll out that finds that a huge majority of Americans, 76 percent, think the Supreme Court should listen to public opinion to some extent. But only half that number think public opinion should matter to the Court "a great deal." The poll by Quinnipiac University, also found that 52 percent support the decision that ended the Florida recount, and that a majority of 62 percent support Roe v. Wade, the decision that made abortion a legal right.