Maureen Dowd's sense of sarcasm is a little subtle and something got lost in translation. Al Kamen of the Washington Post reports that an English language Iranian news agency picked up Dowd's mock-Cheney interview and passed them along as dire warnings of more American sabre rattling. Someone must have tipped them off, because the report go quickly buried. According to Kamen:
It seems New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd brought us closer to the brink with a Sunday column in which she purported to interview Vice President Cheney. This is how it played on Press TV, the first international Iran-based news network to broadcast 24-7 in English.Note that the Iranians confuse Tim Russert with a New York Times reporter. All these MSM types look alike. Kamen continues:
"Cheney: Iran has WMDs, just like Iraq," said the headline on the online edition, posted Sunday.
"The US Vice President, Dick Cheney, has accused the Islamic Republic of having weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), 'just like Saddam,' " the story read.
"While the negotiations are underway between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog, the hawkish US official said the White House considers Iran's nuclear dossier in 'the final stages of diplomacy,' " the report said.
" 'We are not going to get hung up on democracy this time,' Dick Cheney said in an interview with the New York Times on Sunday. 'It's time for squash. Not to mention mushrooms, clouds of them,' said the Vice President, when asked how close Washington was to launching military strikes on Iran. "
The item was no longer on the site yesterday, maybe because someone realized Cheney would no more sit down and chat with Dowd than he would with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.Ya think?
Chatting with us yesterday, Dowd noted that satire has its risks.
According to National Review Online mediablog, this is not the first time that an Iranian news agency has picked up Dowd's commenting as reporting. Her earlier Cheney as Madman column (and they are beginning to get hard to keep straight). The NRO spin is nicely summarized in the title Islamic Regime’s New Pin-up Girl: Maureen Dowd. It goes on to say:
First Maureen Dowd writes a piece of agit-prop against the American government, and it is published in The New York Times yesterday under the title “Madness as Method.”The Iranian version of her column is online here. I hope Maureen is getting royalties from all these reprints.
Then today, the Islamic Republic News Agency – one of the propaganda arms of the Iranian regime, and an outlet that has helped Ahmadinejad deny the Holocaust – repeats much of Dowd’s column almost verbatim (although without Dowd’s by line)