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Hume Interviews Rice, With Worse Than "Softball" Questions

Reported by Nancy - December 17, 2005 -

Brit Hume was on a roll this past week. First it was an "exclusive" interview with President George W Bush on Wednesday (12/14), which turned out to be not so exclusive since Bush is doing the rounds of all the major media outlets. Thursday night (12/15) Hume had another "exclusive" interview, this time with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. For a woman of her education & experience, Rice seemed rather uncomfortable with the language of diplomacy, stumbling occasionally over words & phrases she must have said a thousand times before. Perhaps her boss's abuse of the English language is rubbing off on her. At least she knows how to pronounce "nuclear" properly.

Frankly I can't take this dog-&-pony show that seriously. So here's my ABRIDGED version of the Hume-Rice interview ("edited for clarity" as the FOXNews website always says).

HUME: Characterize, if you will, how well or badly this voting has gone in Iraq today.
RICE: blah blah blah a historic & triumphant day blah blah blah

HUME: You believe, apparently, that this is going to work. Why do you believe this will work?
RICE: I believe that Iraq is going to be a great nation again blah blah blah the desire for freedom burns very deep.

HUME: The UN -- you sent a reputed tough guy to the UN to be the ambassador, to work on reform of the institution. How's it going?
RICE: John Bolton is doing a great job blah blah blah UN reform blah blah blah we've got to get UN reform blah blah blah simple things like an ethics office blah blah blah

HUME: Do they have one?
RICE: There isn't one that the secretariat can really draw on, at this point. Every institution in the world has an ethics office. blah blah blah. You've got to have accountability & transparency blah blah blah

HUME: Syria, you've tried to get Syria to be helpful. You've tried to get Syria to stop the flow of trouble from across that border. How would you characterize that situation?
RICE: blah blah blah Syrians blah blah blah don't really ever take a strategic decision to change their behavior. blah blah blah the Syrians are supporting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad blah blah blah attacks on Israel that destabilize the Palestinian territories. The Syrians are frustrating the will of the Lebanese people blah blah blah by continuing intimidation & even though nobody knows the full story by clear links to some of the political assassinations that have taken place in Lebanon. blah blah blah the Syrians are frustrating the hopes of the Iraqi people blah blah blah keep these terrorists from coming across their border blah blah blah

HUME: Which country is the greater problem for our efforts in the Middle East: Syria or Iran?
RICE: blah blah blah problems on both fronts blah blah blah. Iran blah blah blah probably the greatest state sponsor of terrorism, sponsoring the Palestinian rejectionists, sponsoring Hezbollah activities blah blah blah seeking nuclear technologies that could lead to a nuclear weapon blah blah blah the will of the international community blah blah blah if Iran does not respond to this diplomacy, we're going to end up in the Security Council blah blah blah nuclear weapon blah blah blah

HUME: And you believe the Security Council will go there?
RICE: I don't think we're going to have any choice if the Iranians don't demonstrate that they want another way out of this.

HUME: blah blah blah
RICE: blah blah blah

Comments: Sorry, I couldn't resist. I left in some of what I thought were the more hysterically funny statements Rice made, like

Every institution in the world has an ethics office.
... although some ethics offices are more functional than others.
You've got to have accountability & transparency
... just like the Bush administration.
John Bolton is doing a great job
... Is that better or worse than a "heckuva" job?

On a more serious note: Hume's questions were beyond softball. He's interviewing the Secretary of State & doesn't ask about anything other than the talking points that every senior member of the Bush administration has been selling for the past week. They might as well have both simply read some recent State Department press releases.

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (anything about Hume or Rice, even this interview, if you must). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.