Dutch reporters are giving American ones a master class in not letting a politician get away with lies after U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra lied about having said something and then lied about his denial in the space of a single interview. Hoekstra, a former member of Congress, has refused to retract his claim that “The Islamic movement has now gotten to a point where they have put Europe into chaos. Chaos in the Netherlands, there are cars being burned, there are politicians being burned … and yes there are no-go zones in the Netherlands,” and reporters in the Netherlands are just not letting it go. One reporter even threw a quote from John Adams, the first U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, back at Hoekstra:
“If you’re truly an honest and wise man, could you please take back the remark about burned politicians or name the politician that was burned in the Netherlands?” [Roel] Geeraedts asked.
An uncomfortable silence followed the question.
“Thank you,” Hoekstra said, before trying to call on someone else over the clamor of the reporters in the room.
“Excuse me, I asked you a question,” Geeraedts said.
Another journalist jumped in.
“Mr. Ambassador, can you mention any example of a Dutch politician who was burned in recent years?”
Again, silence, as Hoekstra stared around the room.
“This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions,” another reporter said.
This. This. This is what American reporters need to do. Sarah Huckabee Sanders or Donald Trump or any other administration official won’t answer a question from one reporter? The next reporter and the next need to ask the same question. You may never get an answer out of them, but make them work for it!
And it’s so embarrassing that this is a meaningful contrast between the Netherlands and the U.S.:
“In the Netherlands you don’t get a straight-up answer, if you ask straight-up questions,” [Geeraedts] said. “But you hardly get false answers.”
Check out the video and ponder the fact that Pete Hoekstra spent 18 years in Congress before being given a cushy ambassador job. The Republican Party, ladies and gentlemen.