Dear Dairy:

President Ahmadinejad of Iran was interviewed by Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes last night. That guy is pretty bad at answering direct questions. He doesn’t seem to understand that in a nation that holds a Free Press to be sacred, a reporter’s questions need to be given the respect they deserve and answered as directly as possible.

Just kidding. Around here we prefer to think of it as being pretty good at not answering direct questions. But I can tell you, he would never get away with that meandering stuff with a journalist from FOX News; those guys won’t stand for it. ‘Just read the answer as scripted, Mr. President’ is what they always say.

Scott gave me the opportunity to relay a statement to President Ahmadinejad. I was going to have it be something statesmanlike but at the same time conciliatory, like ‘Do you like me? ___ Yes ___ No (check one)’ but instead I went with the friendly ‘You’ve made terrible choices for your people. You’ve isolated your nation. You’ve taken a nation of proud and honorable people and made your country the pariah of the world.’ I felt like I had to speak not just for myself but for all the other world leaders, and I know this is what they wanted me to say because somehow all the dignitaries at the APAC forum found out about the chance I’d be given and stuffed my pockets with notes on which these very words were written.

Extending a fig leaf,