Monday, February 06, 2006

MediaChannel Feels the Islamic Pain

MediaChannel.Org is a tiger when it comes to press freedom -- with a bit of Iraq war-bashing and left-wing posturing thrown in. You name it, and this "global network of the democratic media" -- which proudly carries a vague endorsement from Walter Cronkite -- is right there on the barricades. Usually.

Today, however, MediaChannel came down foursquare for all the virtues of restraint and self-censorship that would make a rigid-right ideologue happy.

The reason is -- you guessed it -- those Danish cartoons of Mohammed that sent the whole Islamic world up in flames in righteous anger. Bad! Bad! Naughty! So says a particularly vacuous article by MediaChannel boss Danny Schechter.

Reporting from the Gulf, where he has been attending some kind of press event, Schechter phoned in a piece that has a reasonable enough title: "Media Incitement Inflames the Middle East." But when you actually read it, you see that the "incitement" that he's talking about isn't real incitement, like the daily barrage of anti-American and anti-Semitic propaganda, but rather the latest excuse in the Islamic world to burn buildings:

There has been, in some quarters, a sanctimonious insistence that uncensored freedom of the press is absolute, without much awareness that the cultures in an uproar are not societies with traditions of tolerance. Would the reaction have been any different if the cartoons were crudely racist or anti-Semitic?
Apparently Schechter is the only person on the planet who is not aware that anti-Semitic cartoons are a daily staple of the Arab and European media, with barely a peep of reaction from anybody.

It gets worse: "I was struck by many Arab voices at the Al Jazeera Forum who noted that there is less media freedom and room for the expression of all views in the US, in most of our media outlets, than they have in their societies. They see our media as keeping Americans uninformed almost by design."

And? And? What does Schechter have to say to this psycho attitude? Nothing. Hey, just acting as a stenographer, relaying pap like that and like the view of Khaled Mishaal, head of the political bureau of Hamas, who "insists they do not hate Jews as Jews but rather opposes Israeli policies and practices. 'Our conflict with you is not religious,' he says, 'but political.'" Yeah, sending in suicide bombers to kill kids is just like pulling switches in a ballot box.

Well, as Uncle Walt used to say, that's the way MediaChannel is. A dog's breakfast of champions, served up raw every day, only this is odious even by MediaChannel standards.


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