Thursday, April 14, 2005

60 Minutes II

Those of you who caught 60 Minutes II last night have written in wondering exactly what was wrong with the interview. You sense something was wrong but you can't quite put your finger on what. I was in and out on that interview so I wouldn't presume to you give a blow by blow of how they botched it, but I agree that they botched it.

For those who missed it, they had an interview with Giuliana Sgrena done by Scott Pelley.

Here's the section where Pelley blew the interview (for me):

The Army has finished an investigation, but the report isn’t expected until the end of the week. The Pentagon declined to talk with 60 Minutes Wednesday, but the Army issued this statement on the night of the shooting: “Vehicle traveling at high speed refused to stop at a check point.” [The soldiers] “attempted to warn the driver to stop by hand and arm signals, flashing white lights, and firing warning shots…when the driver didn’t stop the soldiers shot into the engine block which stopped the vehicle.”
"I think that is a lie," says Sgrena.
"Let's take this piece by piece," says Pelley. "Vehicle was speeding."
"No," says Sgrena.
"Attempted to warn the driver by hand signals," says Pelley.
"No," says Sgrena.
"Arm signals. Flashing white lights," says Pelley.
"Firing warning shots."
"Nothing at all," says Sgrena.
"What you’re saying in this interview is that none of those things happened?" asks Pelley. "Nothing. No," says Sgrena. "I'm sure."
Checkpoints are a dangerous fact of life in Iraq. . . .

Piece by piece? No, Pelley didn't take it piece by piece.

He dropped the ball. Sgrena has stated the shots came from behind. The statement, one Pelley reads, says the engine block was the target. And Pelley offers up a witness on how hard it is to shoot an engine block (believe the guy said something like that wasn't as easy as it looks in movies). But Sgrena, although our domestic press doesn't want to address it, has stated the shots came from behind.

From Democracy Now!'s March 25th episode:

Naomi Klein: And what Giuliana Sgrena really stressed with me was that she -- the bullet that injured her so badly and that killed Calipari, came from behind, entered the back seat of the car. And the only person who was not severely injured in the car was the driver, and she said that this is because the shots weren't coming from the front or even from the side. They were coming from behind, i.e. they were driving away. So, the idea that this was an act of self-defense, I think becomes much more questionable. And that detail may explain why there's some reticence to give up the vehicle for inspection. Because if indeed the majority of the gunfire is coming from behind, then clearly, they were firing from -- they were firing at a car that was driving away from them.

Piece by piece, Pelley? In the reality based world, we're wait for real reporting to come via Democracy Now! and The Laura Flanders Show.

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And for those wanting an immediate response to the "attack" last night, I think Kat sums it up best with this quote from Tori: "I guess in times like these/ You know who your friends are."