I did not see Hardball tonight, but Newsbusters has a partial transcript of Norah O’Donnell’s interview with Cindy Sheehan and she did not give her the free pass that reporters usually do. Here are a few of the exchanges.
Sheehan made her comments during a Hardball appearance, during which guest host Norah O’Donnell, sitting in for Chris Matthews, gave her a surprisingly rough ride. At one point, O’Donnell asked: “Why go stand by side by Hugo Chavez in Venezuela? Why do that? Would you rather live under him than George Bush?
Sheehan: “Yes. Hugo Chavez is not a dictator like you introduced him. He’s been democratically elected eight times. He is not anti-American, he has helped the poor people of America. He has sent aid to New Orleans, he has sold heating oil to disadvantaged people in America at low cost, and the people of his country love him.”
The exchange over Chavez capped a rugged line of questioning to which O’Donnell subjected Sheehan. Other excerpts:
O’Donnell: “Americans may hate the war but they don’t necessarily hate the president. How do you expect to get change by going around the world and trashing the President of the United States?”
Sheehan: “I don’t hate the president either, and I don’t trash the president. I trash the president’s foreign policy.”
O’Donnell: “But you called him the biggest terrorist in the world, so you are trashing the president.”
Sheehan: “Well he says a terrorist is somebody that kills innocent men, women and children.”
O’Donnell: “You have just begun a two-month hunger strike. Isn’t this really just more of a publicity stunt?”
Visit Newsbusters and read the whole thing.