Aaron Mannes on France24 discussing Betancourt Rescue

Gore Vidal once said, “I never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television.”

There are many, many things I would not follow his advice on (and also I am a rapidly aging and happily married man) but I did accept an invitation to appear on France24 to discuss the implications of the dramatic rescue of the FARC hostages – and I had a great time.

It was a discussion format with three other guests, part two of the discussion can be seen here, I’ll post part one as soon as the folks at France24 do.

For those less familiar with the mechanics of appearing on TV, the show is taped in Paris and, alas, they did not offer to fly me there for the appearance. Instead I sat in a small room with nothing but a table and a camera, and a TV screen displaying the camera’s feed of my giant talking head. I could not see the host and the two Paris-based guests (although they could apparently see me.) The other guest, Julia Sweig of the Council on Foreign Relations, was in a similar room next door – and again, we had no contact during the show.

There was also a second and a half delay between Washington and Paris, but the host handled this with aplomb and the discussion was actually very smooth.

The first half of the discussion focused on the future and status of the FARC. The second half discussed the impact of the rescue on Colombian and regional politics. Not to give away too much, but I managed a pair of good (funny) lines towards the end.

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