The interview that Mike Wallace (born Myron Leon Wallace) did of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 2 years ago was aired on C-Span recently, and a diligent blogger has reported on what “60 Minutes” cut out of the interview when it aired. When Wallace confronted Ahmadinejad with the “wipe Israel off the map” threats, Ahmadinejad said that “the solution is democracy” in Israel and Palestine, a suggestion that he favors a one-state solution. I agree with blogger Tom Murphy that “60”‘s edits misrepresent Ahmadinejad’s thrust, making him out to be far more confrontational than he is, especially after Wallace promised Ahmadinejad that he would listen to his complete answers to questions. And yes, that this amounts to “suppression of basic facts concerning Israel and the Palestinians.”
Here’s Murphy’s data:
The text in italic was edited out of the 60 Minutes broadcast:
MR. WALLACE: You are very good at filibustering. You still have not answered the question. You still have not answered the question. Israel must be wiped off the map. Why?
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Well, don’t be hasty, sir. I’m going to get to that.
MR. WALLACE: I’m not hasty.
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: I think that the Israeli government is a fabricated government and I have talked about the solution. The solution is democracy. We have said allow Palestinian people to participate in a free and fair referendum to express their views. What we are saying only serves the cause of durable peace. We want durable peace in that part of the world. A durable peace will only come about with once the views of the people are met.
So we said that allow the people of Palestine to participate in a referendum to choose their desired government, and of course, for the war to come an end as well. Why are they refusing to allow this to go ahead? Even the Palestinian administration and government which has been elected by the people is being attacked on a daily basis, and its high-ranking officials are assassinated and arrested. Yesterday, the speaker of the Palestinian parliament was arrested, elected by the people, mind you. So how long can this go on?
We believe that this problem has to be dealt with fundamentally. I believe that the American government is blindly supporting this government of occupation. It should lift its support, allow the people to participate in free and fair elections. Whatever happens let it be. We will accept and go along. The result will be as you said earlier, sir.
MR. WALLACE: Look, I mean no disrespect. Let’s make a deal. I will listen to your complete answers if you’ll stay for all of my questions. My concern is that we might run out of time.
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Well, you’re free to ask me any questions you please, and I am hoping that I’m free to be able to say whatever is on my mind. You are free to put any question you want to me, and of course, please give me the right to respond fully to your questions to say what is on my mind.
Do you perhaps want me to say what you want me to say? Am I to understand –
MR. WALLACE: No.
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: So if that is the case, then I ask you to please be patient.
MR. WALLACE: I said I’ll be very patient.
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Maybe these are words that you don’t like to hear, Mr. Wallace.
MR. WALLACE: Why? What words do I not like to hear? [the words highlighted in italic and edited out of the interview]
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Because I think that you’re getting angry.
MR. WALLACE: No, I couldn’t be happier for the privilege of sitting down with the president of Iran.