Don’t get too chummy with that flaming dummy

Didn’t his parents teach him not to play with fire?

Bonus: Note the third word on the protest signs: “Foolish.”

Priceless isn’t it?

There something serious to this though. Whenever there’s a protest in the Arab world, there are no shortage of reporters who’ll trumpet it as the “Arab street” speaking and having something of value to communicate to us in the West.

It was especially true this week after Muntader al-Zaidi threw his shoes at President Bush. Major American newspapers ran front page stories about how al-Zaidi is now a hero of the Arab world.

The media’s behavior is disgraceful. The media promote themselves as champions of freedom and liberty and yet for every Arab protest against President Bush, or Danish cartoon or the atrocious conditions in Gaza that they promote – yes, promote, not report -there’s a question that’s not asked.

Where’s the protest against the treatment of Copts and political opponents in Egypt? Or where’s the protest against honor killings? Or where’s the protest against the persecution of Christians in the Arab world? Or where’s the protest against the rockets being launched against civilians in southern Israel? Or where’s the protest against the increasing rate of executions in Iran? Or where’s the protest against the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia? Or where’s the protest against the stifling of dissent in Syria?

And the answer to each of these questions is: there are none. The government wouldn’t allow it.

Mr. al-Zaidi is living proof of that. He threw a shoe at President Bush and is still breathing. Had he done so six years ago when Saddam Hussein was hosting a foreign dignitary, there wouldn’t have been enough left of him to bury.

The media must know this. And yet they report uncritically on Arab protests, without even a hint of irony, as if we are to take these protests as the voice of the people.

In many of these reports there’s a scarcely contained glee that the protesters validate their hatred of President Bush and share their contempt of Israel. The solidarity boosts the reporters’ progressive credentials. But the protesters only protest what their governments allow. So in the end, the reporters and the media they work for are simply giving voice to the despots and hurting the cause of freedom they claim to champion.
Crossposted on Soccer Dad.

About Soccerdad

I'm a government bureaucrat with delusions of literacy.
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One Response to Don’t get too chummy with that flaming dummy

  1. John M. says:

    I think the whole thing about the “Arab Street” is that we’re supposed to fear them, not necessarily value them.

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