By Wajahat Ali
Jan. 15, 2008
Going 15 Rounds with Seymour Hersh
“I‘m having a horrible day,” grumbled Seymour Hersh, the 70 year-old Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist, arguably the most revered of his time, and reporter for the prestigious New Yorker magazine.
Almost a week before, I called Seymour Hersh on a lark trying to score an interview regarding his New Yorker article “Shifting Targets: The Administration’s plan for Iran,” an explosive piece outlining the Bush Administration’s strategic and aggressive preparation for a potential attack on Iran. When Hersh writes, everyone reads, and the world pays attention.
Fast forward one week, I’m casually sitting behind my desk with my laptop in front of me, calling Hersh’s office number to leave a message on his machine reminding him of the interview upon his return from the publicity trip.
The phone rings. It rings again. Instead of a soothing, feminine, robotic automated voice message, a surly and flustered voice answers, “Hello?”
“Why do you want an interview? Who are you again? Islamic what? Islamic? Listen, you know I did Jazeera right? Al Jazeera? They’re Muslim (pauses). Oh, God. I mean, so, so what? What, you want an interview or something? Is that what you want? I – I usually do the pimping for my pieces for 2-3 days after they’re published, but once it’s done I move on. I move on, ya’ know? That was last week. This is this week. I got a lot of reporting to do (Sigh, sounds overwhelmed). I got a lot of reporting to do.”
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