Saturday, October 27, 2007

1. The level of arrogance of some of these "western", so-called humanitarian NGOs is really astounding.

The French charity Arche de Zoe (Zoe's Ark) and three French journalists attempted to kidnap 103 children between the ages of one and eight years old on the pretext that they were trying to "rescue" the children from the civil war in Sudan.

The problem, according to an UNICEF representative in Chad, is that the "massive majority" of the kids were from Chad, not Sudan, and there was "nothing to say" that they were orphans.

In other words, this little charity was planning to steal these children and deliver them to French couples who had paid between 4,000-8,600 dollars to the organization for the children, and all in the name of "humanitarian rescue."

Um, it's called trafficking in children, and I hope these clueless freaks get the "severe punishment" that the Chadian president Idriss Deby has called for.

2. "I only made promises to my mother, when I was a little boy" (ok, this one is a bit dated, but the quote is too good, i just had to put it in here).

3. A while ago, a photo was circulating showing what appeared to be a "man on the street" interview between a male reporter and a woman wearing hejab. Standing beside the reporter but outside of the view of the rolling camera, a third person was holding a placard with text for the woman to read.

So our dear Iranian compatriots, not knowing the first thing about the circumstances of the photo, started posting it on websites and passing it around on email, making fun of how even supposedly spontaneous interviews in the Iranian press are pre-staged and micro-managed.

Well, it turns out that the picture was not even from Iran, it was from Lebanon, and god knows what the context was. It could have been the taping of a movie or serial for all we know.

When a US federal agency, plants its own employees as reporters and fakes a news conference to make itself look good, do the same US-based Iranians who are trigger happy in disseminating any and all news (even if false) about the restrictions on the press in Iran, even take notice of what is happening in their own back yards?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

1. Freedom in the press

The NY Sun produces a lot of bad reporting on the Middle East. And of the countless lousy stories that come out on Iran, the NY Sun's Eli Lake consistently puts out the lousiest material.

But it turns that ideological fervor and lazy reporting on the part of individual journalists may not be the only explanation for the poor quality of NY Sun's journalism.

The New York Observer got their hands on the In-House Style Guide of the NY Sun, revealing that the book provides Sun journalists with much more than the standard instructions on quotes, datelines, headlines, etc.

For example, NY Sun reporters must employ the following:

West Bank and Gaza Strip. Territories under Israeli control from 1967 onward. 'The territories' is acceptable on second reference, as are Judea or Samaria for the Southern and Northern regions of the West Bank. Avoid the phrase 'occupied territories.'

Ethnic. Means not Jewish or Christian.

Jerusalem. Avoid the phrase 'Arab East Jerusalem.'

communist, socialist. See AP stylebook. Any favorable reference to a communist must be shown to either the editor or the managing editor of the Sun before publication.

How embarrassing for the NY Sun and its reporters.

2. Freedom on Campus

The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, was slated to host civil rights activist and Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu in the Spring of 2008.

But university officials banned the Nobel Laureate because he had made comments critical of Israel. His biggest crime was apparently committed at a 2002 speech.

During that speech, titled "Occupation Is Oppression," Tutu lambasted the Israeli government for its treatment of Palestinians in occupied territories. While a transcription clearly suggests his criticism was aimed at the Israeli government ("We don't criticize the Jewish people," he said during the speech. "We criticize, we will criticize when they need to be criticized, the government of Israel"), pro-Israeli organizations such as the Zionist Organization of America went on the offensive and protested campus appearances by Tutu, accusing him of anti-Semitism.

Maybe Desmond Tutu should pick up a copy of the NY Sun In-House Style book and shift his speech accordingly. Surely then he will be allowed to speak on whatever US campus he wishes.