Page 7 - Pakistan Link - March 10, 2017
P. 7

OPINION                                                                                                           MARCH 10,  2017 –  PAKISTAN LINK  –  P7

                                                                  Dishonest Media

              n By Mowahid Hussain Shah
                                                                                                                         cilessly hammered by the  Washington
                                                                                                                         Post  on Watergate and eventually was
             resident Trump has been rail-                                                                               hounded out from the White House.
             ing consistently against what he                                                                            Why?  One of Nixon’s unstated sins was
        Phas characterized fundamentally                                                                                 that he believed in being even-handed
        as  “dishonest  media”  in  the  US.    The                                                                      on the Mideast.
        question arises: does he have a point?                                                                              Witness, too,  the  fate of President
                        A visitor to Britain                                                                             C a r t e r .  Despite running a corruption-
                     who takes a cursory glance                                                                          free White House and known for his
                     at the UK print media                                                                               personal rectitude, his Presidency was
                     and BBC-TV discovers  a                                                                             dogged    bynegative coverage and
                     stark difference in how the                                                                         stained with the media-inflicted label
                     Mideast is portrayed, par-                                                                          of a loser and failure.  Why?  Because he
                     ticularly its core conflict –                                                                       had openly advocated an independent
        the Israeli-Palestinian tussle for the same                                                                      homeland for the Palestinians and had
        piece of real estate.  In Britain, it is rela-                                                                   invested political capital in striving to
        tively balanced, giving ample display to                                                                         bring equity in the Middle East.  Carter’s
        Palestinian perspectives.  And those who                                                                         remarkable  post-White  House  humani-
        do so rarely face severe repercussions to                                                                        tarian work is a stinging rebuke to his
        their personal and political lives.  Not so                                                                      malicious detractors, of whom there are
        in America.                                                                                                      many in the media.
            Here, it is largely one-sided, with the                                                                         Much of America’s global decline
        mainstream media firmly embedded in                                                                              can be attributed to fallout from its Iraq
        the Israeli camp, save for some occasional                                                                       misadventures.  Jill Abramson, former
        contrarian voices, and most of them con-                                                                         Washington bureau chief and executive
        signed to the fringe, like the Washington                                                                        editor of the New York Times, supported
        Report on Middle East Affairs.  One of its                                                                       (later regretting) the unprovoked attack
        two co-founders, Richard Curtiss died                                                                            on Iraq.  So did Tom Friedman, a leading
        in 2013.  Despite his stellar record in the                                                                      New York Times columnist, who pontifi-
        US foreign service, and his own unblem-  within the premises of the White House,   and the Washington Post, these shenani-  cates about global affairs.  David Brooks,
        ished reputation, his passing largely went   but because of JFK’s close friendship   gans never made it into print.    also a columnist for the New York Times,
        unnoticed, with no major paper printing                                                                          made himself obnoxious by endorsing
        more than a perfunctory obituary.  In       So President Trump does have a point.  A good one.                   the attack on Iraq.  Not well known is the
        2016, the other co-founder, Ambassa-                                                                             fact that his own son joined Israeli armed
        dor Andrew Killgore, passed away, with-     Before singling out Trump for Islamophobia, let not                  forces in 2014.
        out a contemporaneous obituary in US                                                                                So  Trump,  for all his  multifarious
        newspapers. The basic fault of these two    the electronic media and Hollywood escape scrutiny                   flaws, does have a point.  A good one.
        distinguished Washington luminaries?          for incessantly fanning the flames of bigotry and                  Before  singling  out  Trump  for  Islamo-
        They were dauntless voices for fair play                                                                         phobia, let not the electronic media and
        for the Palestinians, whom they both felt   xenophobia.  The media is indeed part of the problem                 Hollywood escape scrutiny for inces-
        had been shafted.                                                                                                santly fanning the flames of bigotry and
            The JFK White House was notable                                                                              xenophobia.  The media is indeed part of
        for its sleaze and preying on young girls   with Ben Bradlee, then with  Newsweek   On the other hand, Nixon was mer-  the problem.

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