The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

sacre bleu!
If you're one of those 17 million who watched the Dan Rather-Saddam Hussein interview last week, you heard an appropriately-accented translation of Hussein's end of things. Well, sur-prise. It turns out the translator was not, as you'd assume, Arabic at all but a Caucasian voice actor who specializes in foreign accents, and this is generating some controversy.

I'm not going to be an apologist for CBS, but really, what's the big deal? The suggestion that this taints the interview is ridiculous. You could make the same claim over the fact that this guy's voice doesn't sound anything like Hussein's either; or, taking it to extremes, that because the translation was in English, it's not as authentic as the original Arabic. I think the other networks are making something out of nothing here, just to get digs in. Sure, CBS could have gone with just a flat American English accent instead, but I really don't see how this impacts the integrity of the piece.