Saturday, December 04, 2010

Al-Akhbar in the New York Times

"Al Akhbar, a Lebanese newspaper that supports the Shiite militant and political group Hezbollah, has been posting documents from eight Arab countries..."  I should not get defensive about this: I should expect only ignorance and errors in the New York Times whenever any aspect of the Middle East is brought up.  But the distortion--I strongly believe--is deliberate.  This Al-Akhbar newspaper is a leftist newspaper founded by the leftist Joseph Samahah and led by the leftists Khalid Saghieh and Ibrahim Amin (the latter is a long time communist since his youth).  Its main publisher is a secular businessperson who resides in London (Hasan Khalil).  I have been to the paper numerous times and know many of the reporters and editors and I can honestly say that I know of no Hizbullah member and supporter there.  I know that American journalists find it hard to believe that there are leftists in the Middle East, but they exist and they can produce a newspaper.  I have repeatedly mocked Khumayni, Sistani, and Ahmadinajad in the newspaper.  The paper is on the record for being the only Arab paper to ever support gender and homosexual rights. You think that Hizbullah is that open minded?  Recently, I wrote that Hizbullah deputy-secretary general, Na`im Qasim, specializes in "scaring off children" when he appears on TV.  Now don't get me wrong, the paper fiercely supports resistance to Israel and thus supports Hizbullah's stance against Israel.  But the paper never supported Hizbullah ideology or domestic politics.  If anything, it has been critical of them.  So there.  Go and praise the mouthpieces of Saudi Princes: that is what US reporters often do.  I once read in my own eyes David Ignatius writes that `Abdul-Rahman Al-Rashid (former editor of the mouthpiece of Prince Salman (Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat) and current manager of Al-Arabiyya (the station of King Fahd's brother-in-law which is led now by Prince `Azzuz) believes in "professional" journalism.  And then you wonder why I have utter disrespect for US press on the Middle East?  Spare me.