Posted by Tom DiChristopher
on Feb 23, 2012 in Audios
| Comments Off on Libya: Told You So
I was listening to this interview with Bernard Henri-Levy on BBC Newshour while working last Friday. I hadn’t really been following along until James Coomarasamy stepped on Bernard Henri-Levy’s response. I went back to listen to the entire segment, and it seemed confrontational from the set up. Coomarasamy said he asked Henri-Levy, who advocated for intervention in Libya, “whether he was happy with how things turned out in Libya.” The phrasing felt like a thinly veiled told-you-so and immediately put Henri-Levy on the defensive. From there the two spar with semantics. Is it parts of the country that are in control of militias (Coomarasamy), or “areas in some cities — small areas” (Henri-Levy)? When Levi says torture is limited to isolated cases, Coomarasamy offers some anecdotal evidence to the contrary and asks, “It’s bigger than a few isolated cases, isn’t it?” He’s essentially asking Henri-Levy to admit he’s sugarcoating the situation. A moment later Coomarasamy interrupts Levi when he comments on the government disarming militias: “Yeah, but they’re having a hard time with that. They don’t seem to be able to do it at the moment.” He’s challenging the interviewee as any good reporter should, but his questioning is subtly hostile throughout. It’s possible that Coomarasamy was simply playing devil’s advocate to elicit a confrontation, but that conflict comes off as a bit planned and prepackaged. Libya – Bernard...