I’ll admit it; I am one of those insufferable gloryhounds who google their name daily, hording each new hit as if it will get their asses on the A- list come the Rapture. I was shocked today, however, to find that an article I published in Extra! magazine and that has barely had time to hit the newstands has already earned me a new hit. Since the article examines Nightline’s poor coverage of Yassir Arafat’s death last month, I was disappointed, but not surprised, to find the hit coming from Little Green Footballs, a blog undiluted in its anti-Islamic fervor and old-school racism. I am not linking to it–trust me, you’d rather not read it and I don’t want to promote this kind of garbage, even with criticism. From what I could gather before nausea overtook me, the site is dedicated to those wishing to vilify detractor’s of Bush’s Iraq fiasco, encourage the extermination of Muslims and call Ariel Sharon a pussy.
A sampling of reader replies:
-G-D gave the land to the Jewish people, and it is not theirs to give away. The land belongs to G-d and the Jewish people, NO ON ELSE!
-As long as the Arab world and the Palestinians continue to talk out of both sides of their mouths, they will continue to wallow in their own swill.
-Since Israel will be condemned for anything, including harmless fence building, I suggest dropping a cluster bomb on the next jihadi parade. That includes the Reuters cameraman. Every staged media event of terrorists and terror supporters should be met with gunships and bombs.
In my case, the poster, “Who Watches the Watchmen”, has this to say:
I was just looking through the February 2005 issue of Extra! The article “False Images, Lost Context: Nightline misremembers Arafat (by Jaime Omar Yassin) has the astounding statement In reality, Arafat had never espoused the destruction of Israle, nor had the PLO charter, as the program implies. The article is not up on their website (http://www.fair.org). I had the mistaken impression that they were a media watchdog outfit, but now I see them for the LLL scum they really are.
Several things strike me as interesting about this reader response which reflect on the website as a whole. Firstly, nowhere does the poster dispute the veracity of the claim. This fits with one of the main characteristics of the site–the liberating idea that race and ideologicaly based hatred, and not factual information, should provide the foundation for criticism. The poster who label’s Israel’s wall project “harmless fence building” is a good case in point. There are few associated with the building of this wall that think of it as harmless. Even Israeli officials who, in their ideological fervor, consider it a necessity have no illusions about the great hardship caused by the construct for Palestinians caught within its trajectory. Foreign Affairs Law Division Director, Daniel Taub, for example, stated; “We did not want to build this fence. It’s ugly, it’s expensive – even though its temporary, and it causes genuine hardship to many Palestinians which we must take every measure to ease.” And this was at a press conference defending Israel against the International Court’s decision that the wall violated basic human rights.
Another, is the seeming belief that it is ok to remove statements from their contexts in order to analyze them. Thus, my fan on the site has left out most of the paragraph that follows in my article, which states:
Instead, the charter’s Article 15 had called for “the elimination of Zionism in Palestine”–that is, an end to an officially Jewish state–in favor of a secular state representative of all its inhabitants.
The content of the blog hewes to a similar style. Take for example, a 1/23/05 posting “Ridiculuous Article of the Day”. The “ridiculous” article in question, which recounts the alleged mistreatment of an Iraqi detainee at the hands of US military personell, provides full quotes, sources, names and dates, and balances the Iraqi claim with comments from two military spokespeople who deny it. Little Green Footballs makes no attempt to explain to the reader why this article should be considered ridiculous; it is in fact, a textbook example of decent journalism. Instead, we are told that another blog has already dealt with the “absurd piece”. The linked blog, however, also fails to provide any valid reason why the account, which we now learn appeared in the Washington Post, should be so easily dismissed. Apparently, we should find this article ridiculous because we hate Arabs, and if that is the case, of course, then nothing more need be said to prove the assertion.
But what is most amazing is this blog offering only hateful ignorance in place of useful knowledge, has ended up on the Washington Post’s Best Blogs of 2004 as the winner of the “Best International Category”. Now that’s freakin scary.