“60 Minutes” knows how to ask questions, but they can’t answer them.

Sidebar to: First Person: Help Me! I’m Desperate!

“60 Minutes” is famous for its penetrating questions and its persistence in obtaining answers. It knows how to ask questions, but it is not as good at answering them.

When we asked to see the full transcript of the interview with Marko, the Egyptian jeweler (including, of course, the part they did not air), the answer was “No.”

On the air, Marko said he had never seen the ossuary inscription; but when shown a black plaque with Hebrew writing on it (the Yehoash inscription), he said he had made things “just like this” for Golan. The implication “60 Minutes” wants you to draw is that if the Yehoash inscription is a forgery, this must mean the ossuary inscription also is a forgery. What Marko meant when he said he had made things “just like this” for Golan could be crucial to prove that the Yehoash inscription is a forgery. When Marko said “just like this,” did he mean imitating ancient Hebrew script, or did he mean, as Golan contends, “just like this” for other (modern) plaques in Golan’s business? This is important not only for the question regarding the Yehoash inscription, but it could also be important for the “60 Minutes” argument that if Yehoash is a forgery, the ossuary inscription must also be a forgery.

There is no reason for “60 Minutes” to withhold this possibly critical evidence. They are not protecting a confidential source. Marko’s identity is no secret. Marko did not ask that his interview be treated as confidential.

The only basis for “60 Minutes” to deny us this transcript is that they believe they are so big and powerful that they can ask tough questions but need not answer them, especially when they might show that the producers produced a biased report.

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