Several readers have pointed out the interview of Washington Post managing editor Philip Bennett by Yong Tang that has been published by the People’s Daily Online. The interview has also been flagged by Drudge, so more than a few readers will be exposed to the thinking of this prominent American journalist. The interview is “I don’t think US should be leader of the world.” Here’s the opening of the interview, which really shouldn’t be glossed over in the interest sparked by Bennett’s more outrageous comments:
Yong Tang: According to the opinion polls, the image of America has been becoming less and less popular in the world today since after the Iraq war. As a top leader of a major American newspaper, how do you think of this growing anti-American sentiment?
Bennett: The world image of US is so clearly linked to its foreign policy and particularly its policy toward Iraq and Middle East, say its support of Israel and its occupation of Iraq.
One more excerpt:
Yong Tang: So the world order should be democratic?
Bennett: Democracy means many things. How do you define democracy? As a Chinese journalist, you may have your own definition of democracy which corresponds to your history and your way of seeing the world. I may have another definition. Someone else may have their own definitions. Democracy means a lot of different things.
Let me give an example. Democracy in one sense means the majority decides, but it also means the rights of the minority are protected. As UK late Prime Minister Winston Churchill said, democracy is the least bad system that we have ever thught of. So democracy is never perfect. It always has problems. Our democracy here in the US has many contradictions, problems and challenges. So democracy is not a cure that could turn everything bad into good. It has its own advantages and its disadvantages.
“As a Chinese journalist, you have your own definition of democracy.” Yeah, I’ll bet he does. I believe his definition is that a majority of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Politiburo rules.
“Our democracy here in the US has many contradictions, problems and challenges.” I’m not sure, but offhand it seems to fulfill the criteria of the definitions offered by Bennett. Read the whole thing. If the transcript accurately reflects the mixture of Bennett’s own deep thoughts with a generous dollop of toadying, this prominent American journalist has disgraced himself.