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February 02, 2003

ROBERT SAWYER confirms the story of a Canadian Broadcasting Company interviewer who asked him about American "arrogance," but says that we shouldn't be too hard on her:

The interviewer (I'm sorry, but I don't know her name, or even
what city she was in -- Newsworld does production across Canada;
I've been on Newsworld many times, but never had been interviewed
by this woman) did indeed ask me a question related to whether
this was a terrorist attack, and whether it had been arrogant of
the Americans to launch a shuttle now. The idea that it was
terrorism hadn't even occurred to me -- it looked like a tragic
accident, and I was reliving my memories of when CHALLENGER had
blown up all those years ago. So, the question took me by
surprise.

In any event, I told her no, it wasn't arrogance, and added that
the Bush administration had very much had a business-as-usual
policy post-September 11; I can't remember exactly how I phrased
it, but my thought was that if you let terrorists freeze you into
doing nothing out of fear, they've won. I wish I remembered her
exact words better, and my own, but, like everyone else I was in
shock.

I'm sure she didn't mean to be offensive, and it was quite clear
during our brief interview that she was being distracted by all
sorts of chatter in her earpiece (she first introduced me as
Robert Fischer, who is a staff reporter the CBC).

Well, I don't know if that lets her off the hook, or just means that her guard was down and her prejudices were showing. You can decide that for yourself.

UPDATE: Arthur Silber has some thoughts on charges of "arrogance."