Fox Clinton Interview

Remember what it was like when being a president meant you were expected to be able to string more than four words together into a coherent thought without a teleprompter?

Transcript, MOV.

"This is the first 20 minutes of Bill Clinton's interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. In this clip, Wallace asks Clinton why he didn't do more to capture or kill Osama bin Laden while he was in office. Clinton clearly feels like he has been set up and doesn't hold back in telling Wallace just how he feels."
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26 Responses:

  1. allartburns says:

    "I've got an idea, let's get Clinton as a guest under the guise of asking about his charity work then surprise him with questions he can't answer!"

    "Like the way the liberal media keeps asking Bush all those trick questions?"

    "Exactly! Clinton will never know what hit him."

    • fo0bar says:

      "liberal media": anyone who does not give Bush his daily blowjob

      "trick questions": any questions asked during Bush's yearly non-screened press conference (I don't know why they let His Excellency answer non-screened questions)

  2. autopope says:


    That performance would almost get him a "B+" on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, where they ritually eviscerate ministers of state before breakfast, three days a week.

    It's not up to Michael Heseltine standards ("ha ha, Mr Humphries, so you want to know when I stopped beating my wife? Well, as the regular audience know, this is what we in the trade call a set-up, and the simple answer is, I'm not married, so your question is bollocks. Now, if it's the Westland procurement scandal you're asking about ...") but it's getting there.

    (I've never really understood why American journalists are such pussies: now I get it, they've got no real adversaries to get their teeth into. Any Labour or Conservative front-bencher would have garotted this guy in his own intestines if he'd tried to pull that kind of stunt on them.)

    • mcfnord says:

      I particularly love BBC interviews with African despots.

      • kebernet says:

        Speaking of Despot interviews, WTF was up with Jon Stewart felating Musharef? The opening was good, and I know he has to let the man get his book plug in, but I really wished he has just ended the interview with "When are you going to schedule free elections?" and "Why is Kahn not in jail?"

    • hexapod says:

      I have no first-hand experience watch said interviews, but I'll take your point as a given.. I think the issue at hand here is not so much the absolute level of Clinton's performance, but how refreshing it is to see a Presidentt who can EVEN SPEAK ARTICULATELY.

      I wonder if Clinton would be able to meet the the higher standard of conversation if he had to deal with the BBC regularly.. For all the ciriticism of Blair he's waaaaay more articulate than his American counterpart.

    • sherbooke says:

      In some respects, the Today program can be as choreographed as any US political program - for example, on Today multi-party interviews, don't the ruling party always get the last word? Don't forget that the Today program airs at 7 through 9am. They try and *set the agenda for the day. Came a bit unstuck with the WMD interview and the subsequent suicide. Also, with people like Esler, Wark or Paxman you can end being sympathetic with the target. It's a fine line sometimes.

      What's good about the Clinton interview is that it steps outside the usual discourse. He refuses to play the polite little game of interviews. He steps outside the interview box and asks questions about motivation, the wider political gambits involved. In doing so, he confronts the larger political discourse of the moment. They (and we all know who "they" are) are obviously expecting Clinton (like other Democrats?) to fold under pressure and become part of the Democrats "weak on defense" thread so clearly being orchestrated against them in the run-up to the Autumn Elections. Why don't the other democrats stand up against the torrent?

      Of course, the informed know about Fox and their political paymasters - BTW, wierd article in the Guardian this morning by one of the Diggerlettes and how green Sky is - it's a pity his remarks will only have impact inside Blue territory (redstater: oh, that Clinton he's so rude. Anyway, he's the devil). At least it's a stick in the sand. I hope it marks a turning point.

    • aig says:

      I always loved the Jeremy Paxman interview with Michael Howard where he asked the same question 14 times in a row because Howard was not really answering the question.

    • dr_memory says:

      Nevermind the press conferences, I'd love to see our presidents required to do what your PMs do on a regular basis: stand up in front of Congress and actually answer questions from the opposition party.

      Clinton shows signs of actually being able to think on his feet from time to time, but for the most part, American presidents may as well be the Pope for all the time out of the bubble that they are expected to spend.

  3. dsgood says:

    From the Fox News feed at
    Clinton Gets Crazed
    Sep 23 2006

    Bill Clinton insists he tried to catch bin Ladin

  4. transgress says:

    I've never really had a strong opinion on Clinton one way or the other, but I must admit I was quite impressed by this interview, it has a very large 'lets get down to brass tacks' tone to it, he was fairly honest and he was the first guest I've ever seen on Fox call them out on their tactics. In all I was fairly impressed with how Clinton handled himself here.

  5. error27 says:

    Wallace thinks he's so clever and he smirks all the time. In hyping the interview he kept on talking about how he made Clinton get worked up. But really the only reason Clinton got upset is because Wallace was too retarded to understand what Clinton was saying. No Mogadishu did not cause 911.

    Wallace accused Clinton of causing 911 and then got upset when Clinton accused Fox of being biased... What a putz.

  6. mc_kingfish says:

    I had tears in my eyes half-way through that.

    I really miss the United States of America.

  7. lars_larsen says:

    Clinton is one of the few people on earth who is utterly incapable of loosing an argument.

  8. wisedonkey says:

    Reading from a teleprompter requires the ability to read. That's why Shrub uses an ear piece.

  9. justinmm2 says:

    I think Chris Wallace deserves a little credit - he didn't run away crying. I mean, I think Bill* may have gone a little overboard in knocking Fox News, and do think he came off a tad paranoid, but a) I'm kinda sympathetic, and b) It was pretty awesome to watch.

    Some of it has me wondering, though. He states again and again that he tried to do so much because he felt it was extremely important, but never ended up doing it for one reason or another. Obviously, the president isn't a dictator**, but it seems almost like he thought it was a big deal but didn't keep it on the front burner for very long. But hindsight is 20/20, I suppose. And I'm sure he's got a few more facts than I do.

    Oh well, I guess that's what politics is all about.

    * - Consider that as sarcastic as you like

    • jkow says:

      but the reasons are reasonable ;)

    • wynnara says:

      There was a documentary on CBC about the lead up to 9/11 and how the US first learned about bin Laden in the mid-90s. Included were many interviews with Richard Clarke and he said that there were a number of times when they had bin Laden in their crosshairs... ready to take him out... but they were told by the administration they had to back down because of fears over political fall out.

      Still, Clinton is right about one thing... he did try... and that's a helluva lot more than Bush and his cronies did in the lead up to 9/11. It'd gotten to the point that Clarke said he was going to quit because he figured he'd become like Ahab chasing the big white whale... at least if he quit there was a chance that someone else in his job might come to the same conclusions and then get some action done.

      • kebernet says:

        Well, the point I think he made very forcefully and accurately was that people like Dick Armey and Peggy Noonan went completely apeshit with "wag the god" claims when he tried to do anything about terrorism. Hell, just launching a few cruise missles at bin Laden damn near made the senate go spastic. After Somalia, there was no way they were going to let him put boots on the ground after bin Laden... of course, now al Qaeda franchises are taking over Somalia because we bailed on that situation as well.

  10. fantasygoat says:

    You don't miss it until it's gone.