Sunday, September 10, 2006

Calame: Terrorists and Victims are Two Peas in a Pod

The Empty Suit, New York Times spokesman Barney Calame -- the widely-reviled, worthless "public editor"-- today grappled with the Times's legendary, institutionalized bias toward Israel for the first time in his disastrous tenure at public editor. Barney's cowardly mess of a column today was a jaw-dropper to end all jaw-droppers.

Barney "examined" Times coverage of the Lebanese conflict, long after it would do any good, by not examining the coverage. Yes, my friends. He paid absolutely zero attention to any of the prose emanating from the Times, instead deciding to look at all the purty pictures, with not a word on the actual coverage.

Even with that absurd self-imposed limitation, Barney's verdict -- stop the presses! -- is that all is well. The Times presented far more photos of the Lebanese side because of the conflict, taking at face value the Lebanese assurances that the "civilian" death toll in the conflict were not Hezbollah. They all vanished into thin air, I guess.

None of this is a jaw-dropper so far. Even left-wing media commentators acknowledge that Barney is a kneejerk defender of the Times bureaucracy, after all.

The jaw-drop point was reached at the end of his column, where Barney provides the following following nauseating moral equivalency:

A final thought on morality. Some supporters of Israel, who contend that Hezbollah wants to destroy that country and invaded to trigger the latest fighting, have asserted that morality should be considered by The Times in deciding what pictures to publish. But I can’t accept their questioning — on the basis of the goals and motives they attribute to Hezbollah — of the validity of a photograph that could arouse sympathy for the Lebanese. The obligation of The Times is to provide a fair and accurate perspective on the fighting and its impact in both pictures and words — presenting both the good and evil that armed conflict can bring.

Terrorists and victims, in other words, are two peas in a pod. Morally equivalent.

I wonder whether early defenders of Calame like Donald Luskin would like salt or pepper on their crow.


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