Thursday, February 19, 2009
Going Where the Silence Is
CP: You were actually described by Bill Clinton as being hostile and at times disrespectful. What is your take on that?Sad comment on the media, indeed.
AG: I thought it was just interesting that he was surprised in talking to a journalist that I would ask tough questions. We didn’t make an agreement with him before. He was calling into radio stations on the morning of the 2000 election trying to get out the vote for Hillary [for Senate], for Al Gore. We had a few minutes notice. They said the president was calling in, and that was it. He wanted to talk about getting out the vote. Well that was interesting to know what he wanted to talk about. That doesn’t determine what I ask him about. But that is why he was calling. So I asked him about that. I said some people are asking why vote. They believe corporations have captured both parties, and then give him a chance to speak. I mean that’s important, that he has a chance to express his point of view. And then I asked him about Leonard Peltier because it was the first time he was being asked publicly about whether he would be granting him executive clemency. He answered that question. In the end he did give clemency to Mark Rich. I guess Peltier wasn’t rich enough. Then I asked him about the bombing of Puerto Rico. He had called in during a Latino music show, so I was doing it with a guy who hosted the music show, Gonzalo Aburto. We were just asking about many different issues. I asked him about racial profiling. Al Gore had said that the first executive order he issued would be to ban racial profiling. So I said, "You guys have been in office for eight years, why haven’t you done it until now?" I asked him about the sanctions against Iraq and the number of people who died. And that was it. It was about a half-hour interview.
The next day the White House called and said that I would be banned from the White House. I said, "Why? He called me, I didn’t call him." They said, "We said he would talk about getting out the vote." I said, "That’s true. But I didn’t agree that those were the only questions I would ask."
"We told you he only had a few minutes." I said, "True." I said, "How many stations did he call?" They said, "40." I said, "Nobody took more than a few minutes?" They said, "No." I said, "Well, that’s just a sad comment on the media. He is the most powerful person on earth; he can hang up if he wants to."
They're wrong in saying that the elimination of the Glass-Steagall division between banks and investment banks contributed to this. Investment banks were already...banks were already doing investment business and investment companies were already in the banking business.
Oh, since they were already breaking the law, let's just change the law! Viola!
"I did not have sex with that investment bank!"
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