Googoosh showing off alleged
gift from President Clinton
Iranian pop star linked to Clinton scandal
April 1, 1998
The following was published as an April Fools joke:
Transcript of an interview with Iranian pop singer, Googoosh, conducted by 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley.
Ed Bradley: Good evening. Tonight we will be interviewing Googoosh, a popular Iranian singer who's at the center of what appears to be another scandal involving the president. Googoosh had come from Iran as a special guest to perform at a White House ceremony marking the start of the Iranian new year on March 20. The ceremony was part of a cultural exchange program first suggested by Iran's President Khatami to gradually normalize relations between the two countries after years of hostility. Here's what the Iranian singer told us about that evening in the White House.
Ed Bradley: Thank you Ms. Googoosh for agreeing to this interview. I hope I pronounced your name correctly.
Googoosh: Yes. I am Googoosh. Thank you.
Bradley: Let's start from here: Why were you invited to the White House for this ceremony on March 20th?
Googoosh: I sing for President Clinton.
Bradley: You came to sing for President Clinton.
Googoosh: I am the fruit -- the fruit yes? I am the fruit of President Khatami.
Bradley: You're the fruit of President Khatami? I don't quite understand.
Googoosh: President Khatami elected. Freedom comes. I sing first time after 20 years.
Bradley: I see. You're saying your comeback is the fruit of Mr. Khatami's moderate policies.
Bradley: So, you're a lovely singer and certainly an attractive woman. You were sent as a sort of special ambassador to Washington to sing at the White House and warm up relations between our country and your country. Is that correct?
Googoosh: Yes. I am Googoosh. I sing. You know my songs?
Bradley: Actually, yes, I did hear some of your songs before the interview. Charming. But our viewers would like to know what happened when you went to the White House. Tell us, what happened?
Googoosh: Oh yes. The White House is very nice. Very nice people. President Clinton is very nice. But...
Googoosh: I sing only 16 songs.
Bradley: You sang 16 songs that night?
Googoosh: (wipes tear from corner of her eye)... Yes.
Bradley: You're joking.
Googoosh: No, Mr. Bradley!
Bradley: Do you have a tissue?
Googoosh: What issue?
Bradley: A tissue for your eyes. Kleenex. Do you want a sheet?
Googoosh: Excuse me?
Bradley: Nevermind. Who was there when you were singing?
Googoosh: First President Clinton, Mrs. Hillary, some people I don't know, one cat and one dog. When I finish, only President Clinton.
Bradley: You were alone with the president?
Googoosh: Yes. I sing 15 songs only for Mr. Clinton. Very nice man.
Bradley: What do you mean by "very nice man"?
Googoosh: He is very kind to me.
Bradley: How was he kind to you, Ms. Googoosh?
Googoosh: He clap. He smile and laugh all the time. He... I cannot say.
Bradley: You cannot say what?
Googoosh: Please, I cannot say.
Bradley: Why can't you say?
Googoosh: My English not very good... he, he said good things.
Bradley: The president gave you compliments.
Googoosh: Yes. And he give me other things.
Bradley: What did Mr. Clinton give you?
Googoosh: He give me cowboy hat. And I sing him special song. I sing him "Kuh". It is about tall mountain. You know, President Clinton is also tall and very hard, like mountain. You know?
Bradley: Yes, the whole world knows. Did you sing with the hat on your head?
Bradley: Did the president show any particular reaction?
Googoosh: Yes. He was very happy.
Bradley: In what way?
Googoosh: He say, "Yahoo. Googoosh, I love you. Damn, you go girl." What is "You go girl"? I don't understand.
Bradley: It basically means you're very good at what you do and you should go forward in pursuing your dreams.
Googoosh: Yes. Whatever.
Bradley: Did the president do anything else?
Googoosh: Yes. He sing for me. He sing "Baba Boom Boom". Very long. Dog and cat make noise. But very nice.
Bradley: I see. And then what happened?
Googoosh: I eat cucumber.
Bradley: What do you mean exactly?
Googoosh: Cucumber, you know? In Iran we say "khiyar". It is fruit.
Bradley: I see. Let me go straight to the point, Ms. Googoosh. Did the president touch you at any time?
Bradley: In what way?
Googoosh. He put my hand on his.
Bradley: On his what?
Googoosh: He put my hand on his hand. Very bad.
Bradley: Why was that very bad?
Googoosh: In Islam man should not touch woman he don't know.
Bradley: So you're saying you will go to hell because a man, in this case the President of the United States, has touched you.
Googoosh: No. He go to hell too. But I hope he pray and God forgive him and me.
Bradley: Do you feel you have been violated?
Googoosh: What is "violated"?
Bradley: Do you feel Mr. Clinton did something wrong to you?
Googoosh: Yes. I sing only 16 songs. Why? This is wrong. I am Googoosh. But you know, Mr. Clinton also give me very nice cowboy hat. So, everything okay.
Bradley: Well, we'll see about that. We only have a minute left. Would you like to comment on U.S.-Iran relations?
Googoosh: Yes, indeed. The United States should recognize the very significant changes in Iran's policies in recent months. Iran has not only made clear overtures to Washington, but has developed a solid friendship with key U.S. allies in the region, namely Saudi Arabia and has made conciliatory statements regarding Israel and the Peace Process. In addition, Iran is willing to work with U.S. oil companies to facilitate the transfer of oil and gas from huge fields in the Caspian region. And it goes without saying that the U.S. could count on Iran's cooperation to contain Saddam Hossein. So Iran isn't the big bad boy it once was. Even its nuclear program seems to be pretty benign. It still needs to clean up its act as far as human rights is concerned. But who cares? You and I know very well that Washington really doesn't give a crap about that. Basically, all the Americans want is a calm Middle East to ensure the safety of their oil routes and Israel, right Ed?
Bradley: Ohhhh-kay! That's all the time we have. Thank you Ms. Googoosh. I'm Ed Bradley. And you're watching 60 Minutes.