Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld sat down for two interviews with al-Jazeera last week. The first was with veteran interviewer David Frost – yes, the “Frost/Nixon” guy. He has a weekly show on al-Jazeera these days. By all accounts, his chat with Rumsfeld went very well, which makes it much less interesting than the second interview.
Round 2 pitted Rumsfeld against Abderrahim Foukara, who is al-Jazeera’s Washington bureau chief. It does not go well. Rumsfeld ends up predicting that the network will “drop all this on the cutting room floor,” but al-Jazeera posted it on YouTube instead.
“Why should I do everything you want and you won’t do a thing I want?”
“Because I’m the interviewer!”
Al-Jazeera has truly mastered the ways of Western media.
As it happens, I exchanged emails with al-Jazeera once myself. They wrote to ask a few questions about a story I had written. They were extremely polite and pleasant. Of course, I’m not Donald Rumsfeld. With one exception, no one is.