My9 TV appearance - Sharpe James and Iraq

I was contacted early last week by Joe Silvestri of My9 News (WWOR tv based in Secaucus, NJ) about making an appearance on the talk show "New Jersey Now", which airs each Sunday at 12pm on Channel 9. I gladly accepted, and appeared in two 8 minute segments.
  1. The indictment of former Newark Mayor Sharpe James on corruption charges
  2. The ongoing debate about America's continuing military occupation of Iraq

Naturally, I appeared to offer the "Republican" angle, and opposite me was LeRoy Jones, Jr. LeRoy has extensive Democrat credentials - he served as a State Assemblyman for 8 years, in addition to two terms as an Essex County Freeholder. His career as an elected official was cut short when Nia Gill, running off-the-line to defend her State Senate seat in 2003, handed Jones a 10-point defeat (had he won, he would currently my State Senator, since Clifton is in the 34th District). LeRoy currently bears the unenviable task of serving as Democrat leader in the GOP stronghold of East Orange, and he works as a lobbyist for 1868 Public Affairs.

I found LeRoy to be a pleasure to chat with, both on-camera and off, and I look forward to facing off with him again.

Here is the video of the 1st segment on Sharpe James. It was fairly straightforward.

(continued...)The second segment was more feisty. LeRoy chose to plug-and-play the Pelosi/Reid talking points, and delivered his message in an effective quantitative manner by repeatedly citing the cost of the war in dollars and lives.

My job, on the other hand, was trickier and much more qualitative. While I certainly wasn't about to defend Bush's Mesopotamian Misadventure, I wasn't about to join up with the likes of Dick Durbin. So I had to acknowledge the shortcomings of this neocon project that I've been vocal about for years now, but focus on the blame that must be laid on Congress and the pro-war Democrats therein. I decided to advance a paleoconservative argument around the need for a war declaration, according to Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution.

I thank Joe Silvestri (whom I discovered was a former attendee of my lifelong parish, St. Ann Melkite Catholic Church in West Paterson!!!) for the opportunity and I look forward to future appearances.


Rime said...

George, I hope my comment here will not sound patronizing because this is the last thing on my mind. I want to say a couple of things after having seen your television performance, now that I'm catching up on your blog.

First, as a media expert myself (having given hundreds of interviews), let me say how great you looked and sounded. You married form and content perfectly, especially in the second segment which was a lot more difficult to argue. You knew when to smile, when to look more serious, and when to stress points. I think you're going to have a great future as a politician - and that's just judging from your approach.

Second, you managed to rise above the partisan defense line, although in effect you're saying that the war on Iraq is illegal even in American terms. You probably convinced a lot of people with your warmth and your sincere approach that there's more than meets the eye. From a media point of view (not from a political one, where I would probably disagree with a few points), you were excellent.

Do you realize that I am actually going on the record, probably for the first time ever, to support a Republican? :)

George Ajjan said...


I sincerely thank you for your kind feedback and compliments. It's an honor to earn the respect of such an accomplished media person.

Many thanks,

yes, there is a first time for everything!!! :)

Amer.B said...

Hi George....It came to me after i read and saw ur comments that you are the smartest guy in the world...