Thursday, January 18, 2007

They're Extremists Dummy

Michele Kelemen is traveling with Secretary of State Rice. Listening to Kelemen, it's hard to separate Rice's statements from Kelemen. Here's a little sample from today's Morning Edition:
  • Kelemen: "...rather than reaching out to all of Iraq’s neighbors, Secretary Rice has tried to divide them in groups; so you have the moderates – the Arab allies with whom she met and won some support for the President’s plan for Iraq - those are Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and the Gulf States. And that’s versus the extremists, and she accuses Iran and Syria fueling extremism in Iraq. Now many in the region are worried about Iran’s influence, not only in Iraq, but in the whole region..."
Amazing how seamlessly Rice's propaganda weaves into Kelemen's assertions. Notice how Kelemen moves from "Rice has tried to divide" to "so you have the moderates...." and "that's versus the extremists."

Oh yes, Saudi Arabia is truly moderate (except when it rapes detainees, tortures and beheads people, and punishes people with eye gouging. And Egypt which gets so much US support is also a model of moderation. So what does makes a country an extremist? It surely isn't human rights abuses; it also isn't invading other countries at will (that would have to include the US and Israel) since Iran hasn't invaded anyone. It can't be illegally making and stockpiling nuclear weapons (Israel). It seems that for NPR the defining characteristic of "extremism" is to actively oppose (e.g. Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, etc....) the United States foreign policy of global dominance through militarism and economic control.

If NPR were abiding by it's ethical guidelines ("...we present all important views on a subject – and treat them even-handedly" and "we separate our personal opinions – such as an individual's...political ideology – from the subjects we are covering..) then Kelemen would be in for a serious reprimand. That is a big "if."

1 comment:

Porter Melmoth said...

Even such a bizarre personality as Tom Friedman (on 'On Point' tonight) stated in very certain terms that Condi's 'service' as Sec. of State had nothing to recommend it. Though it was probably the most sensible thing Friedman said during the whole show, it is nevertheless indicative of the state of State. Therefore, any NPR person who hitches her or his wagon onto Condi's failed, dreary, and empty caravan is probably looking to make points for a possible future think tank position, associated with said Sec. of State. Just a cynical thought, but there are still many women out there (and I'm not being critical of them in principle) who still hope against hope that Condi will amount to something. Even now. The problem is, she is not the right one, not the right person to seize the opportunity and make a difference. She is an android, and she is programmed to take orders. She inspires others to do the same. Thus her toxicity, and it's the kind of seductive toxicity that NPR hungers after, every time.