Audio: Mike on Mahmoud

CBS newsman Mike Wallace talked up his Sunday CBS “60 Minutes” sitdown with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the Sean Hannity radio show Thursday evening. Anderson Cooper’s one-on-one with Angelina Jolie looks like a grilling compared to the preview Wallace offered of his softball interview with Ahmadinejad. A few excerpts (hat tip and thanks: Independent Conservative):

Partial transcript:

Hannity: Let’s start with your general impressions…

Wallace: He’s smart, savvy, self-assured, self-righteous. He was much more impressive as an individual than I expected him to be. I expected him to be probably a kind of firebrand. On the contrary he listened to questions, he batted some of the way…

Wallace: (Re. statements on wiping Israel off the map). He has interesting answers for all of that and he’s happy to entertain a discussion.

Hannity: You don’t think he’s an anti-Semite?

Wallace: Anti-Jew? No, no I don’t…

More:

Wallace: I ask you to bring not prejudice, not your own beliefs or prejudices, when you watch him…

Hannity: Mike, I believe you are going to be hammered for your statements.

Wallace: Oh, I have not the slightest doubt that I’m going to be hammered.

***

Brent Baker of Newsbusters goes back in time with “Mike Wallace: Journalist First, American Second.”

John at Wuzzadem spoofs.

Wallace lets the love flow in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter:

“He’s actually, in a strange way, he’s a rather attractive man, very smart, savvy, self-assured, good looking in a strange way,” Wallace said. “He’s very, very short but he’s comfortable in his own skin.”

Despite problems with translation — there was only one translator for a time during the interview — Wallace said Ahmadinejad was patient.

“He couldn’t have been more accomodating. He had a good time doing the interview,” Wallace said. And he believes that it was Ahmadinejad’s idea to do the interview. He acknowledged that he had become a much-desired interview subject but told the veteran CBS journalist that he remembered a discussion the two had over a year ago when Ahmadinejad was in New York.

“I don’t know if you remember this or not but you and I had a talk over breakfast at the United Nations,” Ahmadinejad told Wallace. “Do you remember that you asked me at the time if I would sit down with you … and I said by all means, let’s do it.” Wallace said he was surprised that Ahmadinejad had remembered.

Wall-to-wall Ahmadinejad at CBSNews.com.

Flashback: Mike Wallace has “lost it” (says his son).

Flashback: Meatloaf Mike arrested.

Flashback: The bias of Mike Wallace.