Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Big Goals

Yesterday on ATC Michelle Norris stated "President Bush today sought to revive Mideast peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders." And then this morning Steve Inskeep reminds us that "All the setbacks of his Presidency have not stopped President Bush from declaring big goals. His latest is an effort for Middle East Peace. " Man, I didn't realize what a peacenik Bush was!

NPR has been making a lot of hay out of this latest Bush "proposal" for Israel/Palestine. What is sad is how mercilessly NPR limits the range of viewpoints on the Israel/Palestine issue, and how devoid of facts the reports are.

Yesterday featured Don Gonyea doing his typical parrot routine of restating Bush's words as if that somehow gives them more substance - and so we get:
  • "On the hopeful side, the President pointed to Palestinian elections and the selection of the moderate, Mahmoud Abbas, as the Palestinian President."
  • "Palestinians now face a choice between the moderates in President Abbas' government and Hamas...a group devoted to murder."
OK, and what about dissenting views? Gonyea says that "Critics have long accused the Bush White House of not being engaged early enough and aggressively enough in the Israel-Palestinian conflict." Well, that is vague and pretty darn easy on an administration that is shot through with Likudnik neocons (also see these resources). And as usual the one "critic" we do hear from is an insider (adviser to six Secretaries of State) , Aaron David Miller of the Woodrow Wilson International Center. Criticism of Israel's terror and violence is absent, but Goneya says, "Miller notes that the best opportunity for success may have already passed. Iran and Syria are greater obstacles than they were five years ago. And he says Hamas and Hezbollah had grown in stature as well."

On this morning's report from Michelle Kelemen Miller is back and Paul Pillar is also consulted. Pillar is a critic of the Bush administration, BUT not of overall US policy in Palestine. No surprise there; he is a veteran of US intelligence operations.

My gripe with NPR is not that they interview these people. They offer valuable information about US government perspectives and policies, but where are critics of the whole arc of US policy in the region? For that you'll have to go to places like Electronic Intifada or the information rich site If Americans Knew.

1 comment:

Porter Melmoth said...

It's as if the powers behind Neocon Public Radio have an incentive to suck up to the Bush Machine's Hollow Optimism (TM) in order to boost ratings. Otherwise listeners would find the news 'too depressing' and switch it off. I've lost count of the times I've heard supposedly progressive people say that the news in general is either 'too depressing' or 'scary'. They like that word 'scary'. But that's usually where they leave it.

Love that Baghdaddy's Blood, Bath 'n Beyond picture of a few days back! The beneficial effect of genuine red corpuscles on the external human form has been underestimated before now! And so much better than harming defenseless stem cells! Baghdad holds the Guinness World Record for blood bath outlets within a specific metro area.