Interview with a Dictator World Leader

By | March 9, 2015 | 0 Comments

We were able to find the tweet that he referred to from the Supreme Leader. It happened seven months ago, the Supreme Leader’s Twitter page has, quote, “This barbaric wolf-like and infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime, has no cure but to be annihilated.” Mr. Foreign Minister, can you understand why Jews and others would take umbrage at that kind of language? [Emphasis added.]
Ann Curry, NBC, March 4, 2015

No, I won’t.
– Javad Zarif, foreign minister of Iran

Tonight the NBC Network is honored to broadcast an interview with a world leader – one whose name has been on the front pages of newspapers throughout our country and elsewhere. While this man is controversial in some circles, he remains beloved in his own nation, where well over 99% of voters approve his policies, and where massive public demonstrations attest to his popularity.

With war clouds on the horizon, we feel it is important to provide a forum for his views to be expressed. After all, if the cycle of violence is to be ended, we must try to see things from his point of view.

Our award-winning reporter, Lowell Thomas, was privileged to be granted an exclusive interview with the German Chancellor and Führer or Leader, Adolf Hitler. The broadcast originates from his headquarters in Berlin, and the transcript is being furnished through the courtesy of the Minister of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment Dr. Goebbels, who has kindly agreed to revise it for accuracy.

We take you now to the studios of Grossdeutscher Rundfunk, the Greater German Network in Berlin.

NBC. Thank you, Herr Hitler, for agreeing to speak with us today. I’m sure our audience is grateful for the opportunity to share your thoughts. And may I compliment you on your uniform? (Shakes hands, embracing Hitler’s hand in both of his.)

Adolf Hitler. It is my pleasure, Herr Thomas, and hello to your audience.

NBC. Herr Chancellor, there is talk of war everywhere. Do you think war can be avoided?

A.H. Lowell, I’m sure war can be avoided, if only the people can be heard. They don’t want war, nor do I. There are peace demonstrations in many countries. But the war drums are being beaten incessantly by the big-money interests. Wall Street wants war. The Jewish lobby and their yes-men in your government want war. But the people don’t.

NBC. Herr Chancellor, some people say that the problem started when you scrapped the treaty that ended the last war.

A.H. That’s nonsense, Herr Thomas. The treaty had many unfair provisions, but we tried many times to straighten things out with the League of Nations. Our opponents in the last war just wouldn’t be reasonable, but that’s their fault, not ours. After all, they lost.

NBC. With respect, Herr Chancellor, some people believe your nation lost that war.

A.H. People can believe what they like. I’m a tolerant man.

NBC. Herr Chancellor, it has been claimed that you enlarged your armed forces and are building weapons that go beyond the restrictions agreed upon by the world community.

A.H. That’s a complete fabrication. I’m certain that if impartial inspectors checked things out, they would find that our weapons are well within the agreed limits. All we want is a fair investigation. Where, exactly, are these forbidden weapons, I ask you? Our factories are producing things for peaceful uses.

NBC. But, Herr Chancellor, would you allow inspectors free access to all sites?

A.H. With good will on both sides, I’m sure that could be worked out. All I ask is that we sit down and talk. Surely we can dialogue, can’t we?

NBC. Please tell us, Herr Chancellor, what we are to make of the allegations that you used poison gas on your own minorities.

A.H. Many people have a problem with gas, but it’s really not a topic for polite conversation. I think we can agree on that.

NBC. Herr Chancellor, there are rumors that your secret police have used, shall we say, excessive methods on political dissidents and minority groups. For example, there are allegations that a concentration camp has been built at Dachau.

A.H. That’s ridiculous, Lowell. Everyone knows that Dachau is a delightful little suburb of Munich, a city where I spent many happy days with my old comrades, drinking beer and discussing events of the day. And besides, America’s own record on minority rights isn’t, shall we say, lily white (laughs politely).

NBC. That’s regrettably true, Herr Chancellor. Who are we to criticize?

A.H. There, you see? With a tolerant attitude, can’t we all just get along?

NBC. But Herr Hitler, some people claim that the Jews are being rounded up and sent to concentration camps. What are we to make of your statement that this is a myth?

A.H. What I did say was, if this is a reality, if this is real, where did it take place?

NBC. Herr Chancellor, your neighbors complain that you have designs on their territory. What can you say to calm their fears?

A.H. No one has anything to fear from us. With a few minor border adjustments, the disputed territory can be returned to its rightful owners. That’s only fair, after all. Don’t you agree?

NBC. Certainly that sounds reasonable, Herr Chancellor. But what if your neighbors remain apprehensive?

A.H. Herr Thomas, you can see how this interview has gone far to dispel those needless fears. But I will go even farther. I will agree to discuss the whole situation with your president, Herr Roosevelt. Then the world can judge who is telling the truth.

NBC. But Herr Chancellor, isn’t it true that you claimed Roosevelt’s paralysis was caused not by polio but by syphilis?

A.H. I never said that. I was misquoted by your hostile press. Besides, I offered to talk to him, not sleep with him (coughs). And I practice safe speech.

NBC. Herr Hitler, we want to thank you again for your gracious consent to this interview. Do you have a final word for our audience?

A.H. Yes, I do, Herr Thomas. Let us give peace a chance. After all, war is not the answer.

NBC. Thank you, Herr Chancellor. I believe my audience will find, as I have, that you are an impressive, attractive man, and very smart. I’m sure your words will reassure the world. We return you now to our New York studios.

Author’s note:

This interview not only didn’t happen, it couldn’t have happened. Lowell Thomas, one of the leading journalists of his day, would never have considered it for a moment. His vivid descriptions of German bombs falling and thousands of civilians dying were classics, but he never implied that the war wasn’t worth fighting, or gave any cause to doubt which side he was on.

In those days, reporters never – not once – confused objectivity with neutrality. Objectivity is telling the truth. Neutrality is not taking sides. If one side is evil, objectivity requires saying so. In contrast, neutrality means denying this fact.

Thomas’s competitor at CBS, William L. Shirer, reported from Berlin before America entered the war. His accounts had a historian’s accuracy, but he never allowed anyone to confuse enemy propaganda with his own views. He knew his duty was to report what he saw. He never – not once – acted as a sewer through which our enemies could flush their toxic propaganda onto his audience.

Their network bosses regarded themselves as engaged in the news business, not show business or politics. They never – not once – gave anyone cause to doubt that they were American networks. After all, the networks were named Columbia, National, and American – that should tell us something. Reporters didn’t allow their personal opinions of the current administration to color their reports, especially not when America was confronted by enemies abroad.

Prior versions of this column appeared when Dan Rather interviewed Saddam Hussein, and when Mike Wallace interviewed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Like the interview with Zarif, the questions were softball and non-confrontational. The questions seemed designed to offer the tyrant a platform, rather than to expose the tyranny.

Osama Bin Laden is dead, so no one can interview him, though some “journalists” no doubt would have been eager to do so. I hope a future version of this column will not be needed, when yet another advocate of tyranny and genocide is interviewed. But I wouldn’t bet money on it.

Here is a clue: Decent nations with which we can have friendly relations do not have a “Supreme Leader.” We should have learned that from der Führer. Whether the “Supreme Leader” wears a brown uniform cap or a black turban is merely a matter of clothing style – it makes no moral or political difference. If we want to remain free, or even remain alive, we must be able to recognize “Supreme Leaders” for what they are, regardless of how they dress.

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