Thursday, February 11, 2010

Michael Slackman is in Cairo--but looking at Iran

Don't get me wrong. We should cover the unrest and repression in Iran. But come on. Michael Slackman (a good reporter) is in Cairo but covering repression in Iran, and expressing concern that the government may arrest opposition leaders? In Cairo? Where the pro-US autocrat HAS JUST arrested opposition leaders who have committed no crime, and who have not been charged with a crime? In Egypt, where the Mubarak regime arrested close to 10,000 Egyptians in one year? (The New York Times carried a mini-item from AP on the matter of arrest of leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in its world briefs two days ago--you need a magnifier to find it). And just yesterday, the Jordanian autocrat arrested a political activist and a reporter, and they too have committed no crime. I mean, this is rather blatant, when the Iran story (from Cairo) is printed on page one?? So the problem is not only in the quality of coverage in the New York Times, but it is also in what is being covered and what is being uncovered. One of the worst offenses of the Times is not only in its blind propaganda service for Israel, but also in promoting the US government's agenda. No independent judgement is exercised. If a government is opposed to the US, its human rights record is scrutinized, while the record of pro-US dictatorships is ignored or glossed over.