Sunday, December 16, 2012

How Anne Barnard and C.J. Chivers cleaned up the language of "Abu Furat"

"Speaking about President Bashar al-Assad, who has resisted calls to step down, he asked: “Why did he have to hold on to his seat? If he had resigned, we would have the best country in the world.”"  Of course, I never trust any reporting on the Middle East that I read in the New York Times. So  went to the video itself that is cited and realized that Ms. Barnard and Mr. Chivers (both of whom don't know Arabic: while Ms. Barnard had no academic background in the Middle East whatsoever, Mr. Chivers training in Middle East studies entails only his service in the US Marines) actually cleaned up the language from the video and the tribute to fanatical Islamist units and battalions and for some reason removed from the quotation above that he did not say "he" but said: "Ibn Al-Haram" or "bastard".  I am not judgmental about any language used against any Arab tyrant (although I abhor the word "bastard" because it comes from a backward era when people talked about "legitimate" versus "illegitimate" children), but should not a quotation by accurate? And if they remove a word there are ways to represent that either by three dots by other ways.