TELOSscope: The Telos Press Blog

On the News from Beirut

The Telos blog devoted much space to the war in Lebanon and the character of the reporting, especially the predisposition in the New York Times and elsewhere to tilt to Hizbollah. Exactly why the Western media more often than not express hostility toward pro-Western forces and trim journalistic vocabulary to give anti-Western forces a pass is part of the ideological constellation of the present. As a democratically elected government faces a mortal threat, the West is even less active than it has been in Darfur. Jay A. Gupta, a Telos contributor from Beirut, submits the following anatomy of the problem with the press—RB

Today in Lebanon one wonders what the media interest is in calling a violent mob “protesters”, and civic chaos a “strike”. This is the rhetoric of the self-styled “opposition”, terms uncritically picked up by the BBC, CNN, and the New York Times. They are the terms normally used to describe democratic processes. However, these news organizations are unwittingly, mystifyingly serving as propaganda engines for Hizbullah. The terms are not placed in quotation marks, which would serve to indicate that they reflect the opinions and views of an organization whose stated purpose is to bring down a democratically elected government (however when speaking of the views of that government, the word “coup” is put in quotation marks). “Strikes” normally do not involve nationwide blockage of highways and the burning of vehicles with the intention to bring down a government. It is therefore stunning to find these respectable news organizations so haplessly blinded by the rhetoric of an organization that generally appears to have outright contempt for democratic principles, but which finds it politically propitious to describe itself has having respect for them.

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