Here is the transcript of the first few minutes of an interview between Secretary of State Colin Powell and Washington Post reporter Peter Slevin. Note how they establish their shared recognition of the urgency for a new story (the “news cycle” discussion) and the palpable disappointment when Powell fails to step up with gusto to the story idea Slevin is pursuing. This is subservient journalism — read the full transcript here.
(10:30 a.m. EST)
QUESTION: Yes, hello, sir. Peter Slevin.
SECRETARY POWELL: Hi, Peter, how are you?
QUESTION: I’m very well. I’m very well. I’d ask you about your weekend, but it
probably already seems like a long time ago.
SECRETARY POWELL: It is already. We’re into a new news cycle.
QUESTION: Yeah, isn’t that always the way?
SECRETARY POWELL: Yeah.
QUESTION: No new news from Saudi, I guess. That always helps.
SECRETARY POWELL: No. They are, of course, dealing with the aftermath of it,
and as you heard from my wingman out there, Rich Armitage, it has all the
earmarks of al-Qaida —
SECRETARY POWELL: — and I think the Saudis will ratchet up their level of
activity against terrorist organizations. I think the May bombing, when I was
over there — I got there the day before that, it happened the day before I got
there — just happened to Rich this time. And they really ratcheted it up at
that point, and I think they’ll do even more now. I think they’re seized with
the reality of the problem that we have an al-Qaida problem, and it is not just
al-Qaida sitting there to do things elsewhere. They attacked, the regime, the
government, the leaders.
QUESTION: Yes. Well, on Marshall — I’m fascinated that — I really appreciate
you taking the time to talk about him. I’m intrigued that you have two
portraits in your office, one of Marshall and one of Jefferson, and I’m
intrigued by the incidents — the homework you assigned, which I have now done.
Tell me — tell me why you have those two portraits. Why those two people?
SECRETARY POWELL: Well, I must acknowledge that they were here when I arrived.
SECRETARY POWELL: I cannot tell a fib.
QUESTION: Too bad.