Couric Faces Off With Iran’s President – And Loses


ahmadinejadLast week, Katie Couric had the tables turned on her. During an interview with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Couric asked about Neda Soltan, the Iranian female who was shot and killed by Iranian security back in June.

After expressing his regret for the loss of life, Mr. Ahmadinejad pulled out a photo of another woman. He showed it to Ms. Couric and asked if she knew who the woman was. Couric said she didn’t, and that’s when Ahmadinejad pounced.

Ahmadinejad explained that the woman in the photo is Marwa Ali El-Sherbini. She was stabbed to death in a German court by a neo-Nazi. The Iranian president then asked why the death of Ms. El-Sherbini wasn’t being publicized by the media in the same way as Neda’s. Ahmadinejad “suggested that the western media – who turned Neda into a martyr – ignored Marwa’s story.”

The interview between Couric and Ahmadinejad took place last week, but the searches really started to pop this morning. Web lookups on “marwa ali el sherbini” and “who is marwa ali el sherbini” both spiked into the thousands.

The National Post writes that comparing the two deaths was a “little absurd,” and referenced Hamid Dabashi’s editorial for CNN. Mr. Dabashi, a professor at Columbia University, writes that “there are more holes in Ahmadinejad’s point than in that proverbial Swiss cheese.” Ms. El-Sherbini, Dabashi writes, was the victim of a “vicious act of a neo-Nazi racist, while Neda Aqa Soltan was one among many other victims of violence at the hands of the security apparatus of the Islamic Republic.”

Regardless of whether or not the comparison was valid, interest in El-Sherbini’s story has been piqued, and Ahmadinejad reaffirmed his status as a tough interview. But Couric didn’t back down. Later in the interview, the journalist showed photos of World War II concentration camps to Ahmadinejad, who has called the Holocaust “a lie.” Couric asked, “Is this photo fabricated? Is this photo a lie?”

{Yahoo Buzz/Noam Newscenter}