Israeli Officials Call Interview with Released Soldier Gilad Shalit Exploitative

By Chris Ariens 

Getting “the get” is an international past-time, it turns out. Here in the states, Amanda Knox and Casey Anthony are just two of the most recent, most sought-after names broadcast nets are chasing for an interview.

But today, Egyptian TV reporter Shahira Amin (right) is being criticized for her “get” — which was really more of a “brought” — over the intense questioning of Israeli solider Gilad Shalit, released today after 5 years in Palestinian captivity. The interview happened just moments after he was set free, but before he returned to Israel.

The Jerusalem Post reports officials were shocked at what they call Shalit’s exploitation.


Richard Behar, an investigative journalist who has worked for TIME, Forbes, and Fortune, wrote an email to Amin which was obtained by TVNewser (after the jump). “I have never been more repulsed by an ‘exclusive’ TV-news interview,” writes Behar, adding, “Have you and your colleagues any decency? Where on earth were you educated and trained as a human being — let alone a journalist?”

Earlier this year, Amin was considered a hero for quitting her job at Nile TV to protest having to report what she believed was propaganda from the government of then-president Hosni Mubarak. She was interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper at the time. Recently, Amin has been working for CNN reporting on the aftermath of the uprising in Egypt.

For her part, Amin tells the BBC, she requested the interview and was told it would be arranged, adding she did not realize it was a forced interview. Check out the photo from the AP (right). If that doesn’t look forced, we don’t know what does.

We’ve embedded the interview after the jump. Questions are in English, and translated into Arabic, with Shalit’s responses in Hebrew and English subtitles.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Richard Behar
Date: Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 2:27 PM
Subject: From U.S.-based journalist Richard Behar…
To: shahira_amin@[redacted].com

Dear Ms. Amin,

I just watched your “interview” with Gilad Shalit — if you could call it that.

As an investigative journalist for nearly three decades (incl. 21 years on the staffs of Forbes, Time and Fortune magazines — plus work for BBC, CNN and others), I have never been more repulsed by an ‘exclusive’ TV-news interview. The Jerusalem Post’s Oren Kessler summed it up perfectly, when he called your work today ‘exploitive, abusive, amateurish, propagandistic, cruel.’

Have you and your colleagues any decency? Where on earth were you educated and trained as a human being — let alone a journalist?

I can only hope that respected journalism organizations throughout the world will join me in strongly condemning what you did today.


–Richard Behar