Some things are too good for television.
Bill Clinton has taped an interview with Chris Wallace, to be aired Sunday (September 24) on Fox. The interview was supposed to be mostly about Clinton’s impressive charitable fundraising, but Wallace claimed his viewers insisted that he ask Clinton the all-important question Why didn’t you do more to get Osama bin Laden? and that’s when the fireworks begin.
I found out about this at ThinkProgress, and they have a transcript of the interview here (This link contains a synopsis, but there’s a link to the full transcript at the bottom.). The transcript reads like the best televised smackdown I’ve ever seen, sort of like Lloyd Bentsen’s famous putdown of that nincompoop Dan Quayle, only it goes on and on.
Fox will no doubt edit it to make Wallace look good, so I recommend you read the transcript first, then watch the show to see what they’ve done to Clinton’s words. As always, fast for at least twelve hours before tuning in to Fox News, to minimize the danger of choking to death on your own vomit.
UPDATE, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25,2006: I watched the show on Sunday, and while I wasn’t following along with the printed transcript, I thought they ran the whole thing, so that’s to their credit. However, they did cut it into segments, introduced by Wallace, who (to my mind) kept implying that Clinton “went off” in an unexpected and inappropriate way. They teased the show all day, running little snippets. Their favorite one seemed to be the one where Clinton says “I tried to get Osama bin Laden and I failed.” They always cut that one off before he says “…and I regret that,” so the word “failed” rings in your memory as they cut back to whatever “news” announcer was on at the time. Then they followed the half-hour interview with a half-hour “analysis” of it, in which they tried but failed to portray Clinton as an unstable, hypersensitive, terrorist-loving peacenik who went crazy on the air. I was left wishing the rest of the Democrats were as willing to stand up for themselves and their party and values.