Wolf Blitzer interview with Nancy Pelosi: Disgraceful arrogance

In a lengthy interview with Nancy Pelosi on CNN on Tuesday, Wolf Blitzer displayed incredible arrogance and rudeness toward the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, repeatedly interrupting her answers to his questions and talking over her.

It was a shameful spectacle, deeply reminiscent of Donald Trump’s behavior in the first presidential debate with Joe Biden. Perhaps Blitzer’s behavior simply demonstrated the extraordinary extent to which Trump has corrupted the norms of civil discourse in this country.

Yet that is no excuse for Blitzer’s behavior. Who does he think he is, to talk to the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives in this manner? Would he interview President Donald Trump and interrupt him and talk over him in the same way?

Blitzer needs to get a grip, and perhaps review some books on what the proper role of a journalist is in a democratic society.

Pelosi acquitted herself very well, unmasking the bias in Blitzer’s questioning, and refusing to acquiesce in his boorish behavior. She got her views across, also demonstrating what a formidable interlocutor and leader she is.


Erica Werner, “Pelosi punches back on questions about her stimulus bill strategy in contentious television interview; ‘With all due respect, you really don’t know what you’re talking about,’ speaker tells CNN host,” Washington Post, October 13, 2020 (7:13 p.m. EDT).

This article reproduces the transcript of key parts of the exchange.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.