Category Archives: Media Criticism

I Wish I’d Written This

What if the Israelis had kidnapped a BBC journalist?

Loud would have been the denunciations of the extremist doctrines of Zionism which had given rise to this vile act. The world isolation of Israel, if it failed to get Mr Johnston freed, would have been complete.

If Mr Johnston had been forced to broadcast saying, for example, that Israel was entitled to all the territories held since the Six-Day War, and calling on the release of all Israeli soldiers held by Arab powers in return for his own release, his words would have been scorned. The cause of Israel in the world would have been irreparably damaged by thus torturing him on television. No one would have been shy of saying so.

But of course in real life it is Arabs holding Mr Johnston, and so everyone treads on tip-toe. Bridget Kendall of the BBC opined that Mr Johnston had been “asked” to say what he said in his video. Asked! If it were merely an “ask”, why did he not say no?

Throughout Mr Johnston’s captivity, the BBC has continually emphasised that he gave “a voice” to the Palestinian people, the implication being that he supported their cause, and should therefore be let out. One cannot imagine the equivalent being said if he had been held by Israelis.

[Update a few minutes later]

And how bad are things in Iraq? Why, they’re almost as bad as they were under Saddam? What, you mean the kids aren’t flying kites? Did Michael Moore lie to us? Surely that can’t be…

I Wish I’d Written This

What if the Israelis had kidnapped a BBC journalist?

Loud would have been the denunciations of the extremist doctrines of Zionism which had given rise to this vile act. The world isolation of Israel, if it failed to get Mr Johnston freed, would have been complete.

If Mr Johnston had been forced to broadcast saying, for example, that Israel was entitled to all the territories held since the Six-Day War, and calling on the release of all Israeli soldiers held by Arab powers in return for his own release, his words would have been scorned. The cause of Israel in the world would have been irreparably damaged by thus torturing him on television. No one would have been shy of saying so.

But of course in real life it is Arabs holding Mr Johnston, and so everyone treads on tip-toe. Bridget Kendall of the BBC opined that Mr Johnston had been “asked” to say what he said in his video. Asked! If it were merely an “ask”, why did he not say no?

Throughout Mr Johnston’s captivity, the BBC has continually emphasised that he gave “a voice” to the Palestinian people, the implication being that he supported their cause, and should therefore be let out. One cannot imagine the equivalent being said if he had been held by Israelis.

[Update a few minutes later]

And how bad are things in Iraq? Why, they’re almost as bad as they were under Saddam? What, you mean the kids aren’t flying kites? Did Michael Moore lie to us? Surely that can’t be…

It’s Only Torture When We Do It

Even when we don’t. Don Surber, on continuing self immolation of the New York Times.

[Update in the afternoon]

OK, I don’t have a lot of time for this, but I’m seeing a lot of nonsense being spouted in the comments section.

Yes, perhaps it isn’t, or shouldn’t be, news that Al Qaeda tortures people. But many people seem to not know that, or have forgotten it, particularly when the major thrust of the news coverage is how awful America is.

Yes, we are supposed to be the good guys. And you know what? We are. When an Abu Ghraib happens, we investigate it, and we try people, and we punish them, and that happens even without the New York Times running it on the front page for weeks on end. When Al Qaeda does it, as prescribed by their training manuals, they, and millions of their supporters in the Muslim world, ululate and cheer.

But somehow, the New York Times and the other enablers of the enemy in what is fundamentally an information war, can’t be bothered to point that out, or point out the differences, instead descending into hand wringing and moral equivalence, in an apparent effort to cast doubt on the goodness of our own society and values, and even whether or not they’re worth defending.

[Saturday morning update]

Follow-up post here.

It’s Only Torture When We Do It

Even when we don’t. Don Surber, on continuing self immolation of the New York Times.

[Update in the afternoon]

OK, I don’t have a lot of time for this, but I’m seeing a lot of nonsense being spouted in the comments section.

Yes, perhaps it isn’t, or shouldn’t be, news that Al Qaeda tortures people. But many people seem to not know that, or have forgotten it, particularly when the major thrust of the news coverage is how awful America is.

Yes, we are supposed to be the good guys. And you know what? We are. When an Abu Ghraib happens, we investigate it, and we try people, and we punish them, and that happens even without the New York Times running it on the front page for weeks on end. When Al Qaeda does it, as prescribed by their training manuals, they, and millions of their supporters in the Muslim world, ululate and cheer.

But somehow, the New York Times and the other enablers of the enemy in what is fundamentally an information war, can’t be bothered to point that out, or point out the differences, instead descending into hand wringing and moral equivalence, in an apparent effort to cast doubt on the goodness of our own society and values, and even whether or not they’re worth defending.

[Saturday morning update]

Follow-up post here.

It’s Only Torture When We Do It

Even when we don’t. Don Surber, on continuing self immolation of the New York Times.

[Update in the afternoon]

OK, I don’t have a lot of time for this, but I’m seeing a lot of nonsense being spouted in the comments section.

Yes, perhaps it isn’t, or shouldn’t be, news that Al Qaeda tortures people. But many people seem to not know that, or have forgotten it, particularly when the major thrust of the news coverage is how awful America is.

Yes, we are supposed to be the good guys. And you know what? We are. When an Abu Ghraib happens, we investigate it, and we try people, and we punish them, and that happens even without the New York Times running it on the front page for weeks on end. When Al Qaeda does it, as prescribed by their training manuals, they, and millions of their supporters in the Muslim world, ululate and cheer.

But somehow, the New York Times and the other enablers of the enemy in what is fundamentally an information war, can’t be bothered to point that out, or point out the differences, instead descending into hand wringing and moral equivalence, in an apparent effort to cast doubt on the goodness of our own society and values, and even whether or not they’re worth defending.

[Saturday morning update]

Follow-up post here.

I Laughed Out Loud

…when I read this:

“In every war, there’s conflict between hawks and doves. O’Donnell and Hasselbeck’s fight harkens back to a Vietnam-era exchange between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William Buckley.”

Did someone at ABC News really write that with a straight face?

[Update a few minutes later]

You know, I can’t figure out which comparison is more ludicrous–Rosie and Gore Vidal (well, at least they’re both gay), or William Buckley and Elizabeth Hasselbeck. Somehow, when I think Elizabeth Hasselbeck, the word “sesquipedalian” is not the first one that comes to mind. Actually, over the last couple days, I would probably associate her with fatwas.