Thursday, July 3, 2008

NYT vs. Guardian (& Juan Cole as a Freebie)

So in the previous post but one I compared the Economist to Juan Cole on Iran. Here's a comparison of the New York Times to the Guardian:

The other day the NYT ran an editorial praising Olmert for reaching out to diverse Arab regimes in attempts to negotiate. To be honest, the real theme of the article seemed to be a criticism of President Bush for being less flexible than Olmert, but still, in order to do that the paper had to enumerate the various things Israel is doing right. Two days later a Palestinian murdered Israelis in the middle of Jerusalem. The summary of the event at the Guardian had the weird title Israel terror: Three killed, 44 hurt as Palestinian runs amok with bulldozer in street. I can't say what the formulation Israel Terror means in English. Anyways, the stage was then given to Seth Friedman, who wrote all about how the attack was all Israel's fault, because Israel always does everything wrong. Juan Cole then piled on with, among other things, an imaginary description about how controversial the construction project is at which the bulldozer was being used. His source for this, I think, is Aljazeera.

Makes you sort of wish Cole and Freedman would read the New York Times.

To be honest, I don't know why I give these people so much attention. Their dislike for Israel trumps any residual ability they might have for dealing with facts or context (the fact that Freedman is an Israeli himself, apparently, is irrelevant. Israelis are not immune from being fools). So while they rant and rave, we get on with life. Contemporary Israel is a miracle, one of the most astonishing chapters in the 3,000 year story of the Jews, and nothing these folks says has any impact on that, so why waste so much attention on them? I really ought to learn simply to ignore them. But I probably won't.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


The better comparison would be "which paper folds, first?" (And, I don't mean it as something you fold to tuck under your arm.)

The world's changed.

We live interfacing on the World Wide Net. News not only travels fast; but seems to spring up all over. All at once.

Bush has a hard sell on Iraq. Same with the decisions made, in Israel, in the 1980's, to waste time and treasure in Lebanon.

Partly because it doesn't matter what you do. When you're dealing with people not attuned to democracy and its freedoms, you won't get far "just being nice." Or ignoring them, either.

You also can't un-do what you've done. And, it can be complex enough that some good people "on the other side" got hurt. For instance, those in Lebanon who "played with Israel," or cooperated with her in trying to clean up Beirut, ended up losing. At their end of the bargain. Can't help it.

There had to be a learning curve.

Saddam was worse than what you have now.

On the other hand? The tribal alliances that corrupt so much of the world's despotic powers, are still at play. And, there's nothing much you can do about them.

So you learned some things.

While you also learn that things will go through changes; with your assitance; just as well as "with not."

If you just take yesterday's events; concisely told in a visual less than two minutes long ... You'd see the arabs have to absorb the fact that "owning the media" doesn't do them any good.

While not having the media on your side doesn't amount to diddly, if the visuals show you how an ordinary guy (Moshe Plesser), stopped something much worse from happening. And, you could even see the act itself, being done. Nobody had to explain it.

You could even argue that the FRONT LOADER didn't stop. That it went on (with the dead terrorist) ... for miles and miles ...

Showing you, in one fell swoop, how the world has, in fact, changed.

Ya know, Ronald Reagan had the right attitude. If you think Seth Friedman says nasty things about Israel, you have no idea how the press used to attack Reagan! He'd shrug. His White House worked on the idea that if you controlled the visuals, the story was yours.

Then? Reagan got Alzheimer's. He was sick for about ten years; where he really became the perverbial vegetable. But his wife, who controlled access; made sure none of the bad publicity rubbed off. She kept all of it away.

And, then, Reagan died.

You should have seen the cars lining up to pay homage! (The media? They weren'at prepared!) They were sure Reagan was just history. Until the People, in America, showed them really how things were different! This entire nation stopped to pay homage.

And, the media bums could only follow the news.

It's the same for Israel.

If you want to worry about every putz out there? Be my guest.

But yesterday's news from Jerusalem wiped off the American extravaganza, where there was a rescue in Columbia. Not an easy one. But one where hostages were held for five years. And, only through hocus-pocus was a safe journey out of FARC country, arranged.

Not to minimize that rescue; but you can still follow how the crowds responded to one man's heroism on "that" Jerusalem roadway.

Sure. Some don't know about the Souk. Some don't know how far this terrorist could have traveled. Except that he met his fate on an Israeli road.

And, now? Isn't it interesting that the two Ehud's are vying to tear down the terrorist's house?

Ideology has nothing to do with it!

At some point, you get the diplomatic pants dancers doing their jig to gain headline space. Worthy. Or not.

The best thing for democracies? Unlike depotism, where the health of the leader counts for points, it's a waste of time trying to get in the way of the complex nature of "doing business" when you're free.

I still think that Iran and Lebanon ... and what passes for the arabs existing in Israel ... the hatred of the mosques ... like poison ... can still meet the fate that was metted out to the Catholic Church.

Nope. I never laid a hand on them! And, you know something else? I once thought they could keep a lid on their pedophile priests. Instead? Who knew. Lawyers would grow rich. (In case you didn't know that it cost the Mother Church about a billion. And, still counting.)

Again. No one knows how the wrong turn ends up doing this. Only that it does.

And, let me guess: It also will.