Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hard truths in Hardtalk

posted by Philip Cunningham

There's a telling moment in the February 1, 2011 BBC Hardtalk interview when host Stephen Sackur asks US publisher and billionaire Mortimer Zuckerman if he supports democracy. He does but he doesn't. The non-verbal shift of gears is comical, but the subject itself is not. The hypocrisy brings to mind another wealthy publisher, self-styled human rights activist and opinion leader, Robert L. Bernstein, formerly of Random House, who recently attacked Human Rights Watch, a group he himself helped to found and fund, for having the temerity to criticize Israel.

An excerpt of the exchange below sums up an attitude that permeates America's "democratic" elite.

Sackur: Do you believe in democracy?

Zuckerman: Totally...

Sackur: Totally?

Zuckerman: Without question.

Sackur: In the Middle East?

Zuckerman: Ah, well, no. The Middle East....