Sunday, January 14, 2007

Let Them Eat Rice

NPR is "covering" Secretary of State Rice's latest trip to the Middle East.

Introducing Eric Westervelt's report on Saturday's Weekend Edition Scott Simon says, "...her attempt to jump start Arab-Israeli peace talks come at an extremely difficult time. Palestinians are embroiled in a fierce internal power struggle." Notice how this immediately accepts the premise that Rice is in anyway interested in "peace talks." It would be easy and more honest to simply state "she claims to be interested in in peace talks." Also it is inexcusable to report on the "fierce internal power struggle" without mentioning that there is a strong case to be made that this power struggle is exactly what Secretary Rice has been working hard to encourage.

NPR continues the narrative of Rice as peacemaker on Saturday evening. Describing Rice's trip, Debra Elliot declares, "but there are only limited expectations she can make progress in the search for peace between Israel and the Palestinians." Elliot then whitewashes the cynical US policy of arming and training Fatah forces by reporting on it as a policy whereby " "the U.S. has been trying to embolden Abbas."

Then this morning on Weekend Edition Sunday, John Ydstie begins a report on Rice with, "She says she’s trying to empower moderates to counter rising extremism, not only in Iraq, but throughout the Middle East. Rice met one of those moderates today Mahmoud Abbas. " This is very subtle in the way that first he indirectly quotes Rice (fair enough), but then he seamlessly adopts her deceptive language of "moderates" and "extremists" by identifying Abbas as "one of those moderates." Why does NPR decide that Abbas is a moderate? And why isn't Sec. Rice identified as the extremist Fox-lover that she is? Is the US-Israeli-European policy of collective punishment/economic strangulation of the Palestinians moderate?

This kind of reporting on the Middle East is notable for how it wholly parrots whatever frame the State Department places on it and excludes any significant critiques or analyses of that frame, a trap that this satiric look at Rice's foreign policy doesn't do.


Anonymous said...

"...the United States, his bitter enemy..."

Julie McCarthy, talking about Iranian resident Ahmadinejad on Morning Edition today. Does Ahmadinejad really consider the United States his "bitter enemy?" Really?

Porter Melmoth said...

There is little doubt that Condi is a failure as Sec. of State. That is, in conventional terms. As a tool of the Bush Machine she is, admittedly, a success in taking her orders from Chief Martial Law Administrator Cheney, like a good overrated girl.

None other than the ever-reliable Bob Novak points out that State is a mess under her genius leadership:

Regarding Ahmadinejad's state of mind, as revealed by our thoughtful Julie, it's another example of the Bush Machine's too-perfect packaging of 'evil' enemies. NPR loves to suck up to such opportunities; not much incentive to look past the BS shoveled in their direction. Most of the duds at NPR have about as much imagination as a dried up slug. Of course, this is typical of the mainstream media, where, if a reporter gets truly investigative these days, they'll be written off as a conspiracy theorist. Julie wants to keep her comfy gig.
Speaking of theories, I hope I don't risk offense by suggesting that it's not too far out to think that Ahmadinejad just might be on the US payroll in order to agitate matters, so as to 'justify' a US invasion/intervention. After all, Saddam was our man in Baghdad for years, though he didn't stay bought, as Bill Clinton would say. Chavez, that other nasty bogeyman, is too smart to suck up. He can smell sulfur more than a kilometer away. That's what bugs the BM (Bush Machine) so much.

And there is this: the fact that Chairman Mao & Co. embraced US overtures to China as quickly as they did, especially after more than two decades of demonization, is plenty of evidence that nations want deals instead of wars. The Chinese had long been terrified of a US invasion.
Engaging Iran would be just about the simplest and least complicated gesture the US could make right now.
But as we know, the BM does not want a cooperative Iran as it exists now. The BM wants an Iran remade in its own choice of image.