Report: Saddam Translator Had Fake Accent

AP Wire Service

NEW YORK – A man employed by CBS News to speak the words of Saddam Hussein during his interview with Dan Rather last week reportedly adopted a fake Arabic accent.

CBS News hired Steve Winfield, a Screen Actors Guild member with no such accent in real life. Winfield is advertised on the Web as a specialist in foreign accents, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday.

Winfield spoke Hussein’s words after they had been translated by three independent Arabic translators, CBS said.

He recorded the audio “in a voice compatible with the piece,” CBS spokeswoman Sandra Genelius said on Thursday.

The translation was fully accurate and “in complete compliance with CBS News standards,” she said.

The Rather interview was seen by more than 17 million viewers on CBS’ “60 Minutes II” a week ago.