Wednesday, October 19, 2016

My Chris Wallace story

My Chris Wallace's story (who was the only decent moderator of all those presidential debates we have seen in recent years).  As you know, Mike Wallace (his father) was very interested in the Middle East.  He tells in his memoirs that he had met the late Fayez Sayigh back in the late 1950s and they became good friends, and Sayigh opened his eyes to the Palestinian problem.  So Chris Wallace, when he was with ABC News back in 1993, came to interview me at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC, in the wake of the first World Trade Center bombing to analyze `Umar `Abdul-Rahman.  So I talked in the interview about the kooky cleric and his speeches and sermons.  We finished the interview and he then asked me to pose for the camera while I am pretending to listen through headphones to tapes of the Shaykh.  I of course refused.  And he was furious with me and said that the show can't go on without it.  I said: Fine by me. I can't act. You want me to act and you should hire an actor for the shot.  He insisted and I--as stubborn as I am--refused.  He then relented and asked me to walk with him on the street and that we talk while they shoot us for a scene.  I also refused and said I can't act.  But he said: you won't act, just talk to me as we talk. I think I agreed to that one but I am not sure.