First kudos to Daniel Zwerdling for his Thursday ATC reporting on the horrid treatment of Iraq vets suffering from PTSD and brain trauma. Not only should NPR be running his stories; he should be training their staff in how to do stories. I was fascinated by how doggedly detailed his work is. He'd quote an assertion by someone, and then talk about tracking down as many sources as possible to verify or contradict what was alleged. He would constantly note who was willing to talk and who refused. It was stellar, and the exception. More!
Second, kudos to NPR and Morning Edition for featuring the story about "The Axis of Evil" comedy troupe and their Middle East tour. I noticed that the reporter for this was Ivan Watson - the only NPR reporter who showed humanity during the Israeli/US slaughter of Lebanon in the summer of 2006. In the current Islamaphobic times we are living in, it really was refreshing (and dare I say brave) of NPR to air a piece that showed a rich and varied Arab/Islamic culture across the world. More!
Lastly, in the one step forward, two steps back category was tonight's piece about the potential nuclear arms race in the Middle East. The piece opens with one of those vague "experts say" fear statements: "but experts say some of this renewed interest is sparked by fears that Iran will acquire a nuclear weapon and they worry about a future arms race." However, NPR does break the usual taboo and refers to Israel's lawless nuclear arsenal:
- "Cairo analyst says there are genuine energy needs driving some of these demand for nuclear plants, but having watched the west fail to stop Israel from acquiring what experts say is a powerful nuclear arsenal, Arab states are now watching a defiant Iran pursue uranium enrichment."
- "...the nuclear free argument was primarily meant to put pressure on Israel's nuclear program and it led nowhere."
- "For much of the world the primary nuclear issue of the moment is Iran and Arab states appear to be wondering if they can rely on America and the West to stop the Iranians from acquiring the bomb or if instead they should be trying to catch up."
(The picture? I just liked it. It seemed to capture the holiday irony of this post - am I being the Grinch or Susie Who?)