Media spin

Marc J. Sirois of the Daily Star takes on the western media in a particularly inspired editorial rant:

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hizbullah, is routinely described as “the black-turbaned cleric.” Absent the explanation that the color of his headgear indicates his status as a blood descendant of the Prophet Mohammad, the phrase betrays a purpose not unlike that of Hollywood Westerns of the mid-20th century, when villains were commonly dressed in black (and/or seated on black horses) to make sure everyone knew how to feel when John Wayne shot them to death. Does anyone ever describe Siniora as “bespectacled” or Lebanese Forces boss Samir Geagea as “balding?” Of course not, because the aim of such words is to describe, and the aim of “black-turbaned cleric” is manifestly to vilify, to undermine a man’s arguments by painting him as “the bad guy.” Similarly, Hizbullah and other organizations that refuse to go along with the status quo in the region are regularly qualified as “anti-Israeli” or “anti-Israel.” That’s not inaccurate, but it does not even pretend to try to convey the ideologies of such groups (or even to acknowledge that they might have ideologies apart from not liking Jews very much); and for comparison’s sake, how often has the Western media described US President George W. Bush as “anti-Iraqi,” “anti-Iranian,” “anti-Muslim,” or “anti-Palestinian?”‘



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