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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Galloway Vs O'Brien

The UK's George Galloway really womped CNN's Miles O'Brien during their interview this morning.

O'Brien did his best to embarass the eccentric, anti-war British MP, but Galloway did not, uh, co-operate.

The context? Galloway was just eliminated from the UK version of "Big Brother."

Dude went on the show to raise money for charity:
GALLOWAY: I raised a very large sum of money for Palestinian refugees, for whom there's not much other fundraising going on.

M. O'BRIEN: Let's talk about that Palestinian group that you're giving money to.

How much money is going, first of all? How much money...

GALLOWAY: Yes.

M. O'BRIEN: And...

GALLOWAY: I don't know yet. It's the TV company. The TV company gives 16 pence out of every phone call revenue, which is 56 pence.

M. O'BRIEN: I see.

GALLOWAY: So it depends on how many million people called in. They're still calculating that.

M. O'BRIEN: This group you're providing money to has been, in some quarters, linked to terrorist organizations. What do you say about that?

GALLOWAY: Well, it's only linked with terrorist organizations by George W. Bush and the Zionist lobby on Capitol Hill, and nobody takes either of those very seriously over here, I can tell you.

M. O'BRIEN: So you don't feel as this group has goals linked to suicide bombings, for example?

GALLOWAY: Well that would be highly defamatory were you to broadcast that in Britain, because this is a registered charity in good standing with the British authorities and the British Charity Commission.

So you really ought to be more carefully without tossing allegations like that around.

M. O'BRIEN: OK.
Ouch.

(Trust me: O'Brien was not happy about this exchange.)

It gets better.

Galloway began to criticize the war in Iraq. O'Brien, doing his duty as an "objective CNN reporter," tried to put Galloway in his place:
M. O'BRIEN: Tell me, though, as you talk about this, how much credibility you think you have right now.

Let me share with our viewers a picture of you shaking Uday Hussein's hand, one of Saddam Hussein's sons --
CNN would NEVER do this to Rumsfeld, by the way --
...who had his own private torture chamber, and there are allegations which sort of cropped up, as a matter of fact, while you were inside the "Big Brother" program location there, that you somehow profited from that infamous Oil-for-Food program marshaled through by the United Nations.

What do you say to all of that?

GALLOWAY: Well, I mean, I'd even shake hands with George W. Bush, and he has his own private torture chambers, too, in Guantanamo Bay and in the third countries to whom he is shipping price whom he has illegal captured so that they can be tortured in other countries.
Hey now.
GALLOWAY: He had one or two torture chambers in Abu Ghraib Prison, and the whole world saw the result, the evil, wicked result of that.

But I'd still shake hands with him, because I believe it's better to talk to people than to go to war with them, and that wars are easier to start than they are to finish.

And your viewers will be well familiar --

M. O'BRIEN: Do you think Iraq would be better off --

GALLOWAY: I was going to deal with the -- I was going to deal with the other point that you made first, if I may.

M. O'BRIEN: OK, go ahead.

GALLOWAY: Your viewers are well familiar with the false allegations against me about the Oil-for-Food program.

The newspapers which carried those claims have now paid out millions, almost three million pounds -- that's almost $6 million to me -- in damages and costs for the false allegations that they made against me.

So Saddam Hussein never gave me any money.

But the newspaper, including American newspapers which claimed he did, have given me plenty.
Needless to say, O'Brien eased off at this point.

Solid TV.

Here's another classic rant from Galloway. This...from his appearance in front of the Senate...back in May of '05:
I have had two meetings with Saddam Hussein, once in 1994 and once in August of 2002. By no stretch of the English language can that be described as "many meetings" with Saddam Hussein.

As a matter of fact, I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him.

The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns.

I met him to try and bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war, and on the second of the two occasions, I met him to try and persuade him to let Dr Hans Blix and the United Nations weapons inspectors back into the country - a rather better use of two meetings with Saddam Hussein than your own Secretary of State for Defense made of his.

I was an opponent of Saddam Hussein when British and Americans governments and businessmen were selling him guns and gas. I used to demonstrate outside the Iraqi embassy when British and American officials were going in and doing commerce.
You can read the rest of this transcript at Common Dreams.

More later...

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