Yes, it's the evil of multiculturalism once again
If you wander over to this Charles Moore column in the Telegraph, you get, in a few well written paragraphs, thoughts poking holes in every aspect of the rage expressed in the Arab street about those famous and infamous cartoons. First, Moore points out that there's nothing spontaneous about these riots:
Why were those Danish flags to hand? Who built up the stockpile so that they could be quickly dragged out right across the Muslim world and burnt where television cameras would come and look? The more you study this story of "spontaneous" Muslim rage, the odder it seems.Moore points out what most of the press wants to ignore: because the cartoons first appeared in October, and these protests started now, this is not a spontaneous uprising, it's a planned event. Next question: who is planning it? Well, it's pretty easy to point fingers as some radical Muslim clerics (who again get a pass from the MSM):
Now the BBC announces that the head of the International Association of Muslim Scholars has called for an "international day of anger" about the cartoons. It did not name this scholar, or tell us who he is. He is Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. According to Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, Qaradawi is like Pope John XXIII for Catholics, "the most progressive force for change" in the Muslim world. Yet if you look up Qaradawi's pronouncements, you find that he sympathises with the judicial killing of homosexuals, and wants the rejection of dialogue with Jews in favour of "the sword and the rifle". He is very keen on suicide bombing, especially if the people who blow themselves up are children - "we have the children bomb". This is a man for whom a single "day of anger" is surely little different from the other 364 days of the year.So what it is it with the MSM that it's just accepting at face value everything the radical Muslims are pushing? First off, of course, there is sheer laziness. Despite the furor of investigative journalism centered on George Bush, the sad fact seems to be that most MSM journalists are content to regurgitate press releases. That is, they take everything in the press release at face value. Muslims upset? Well, the Muslims say their violent anger is legitimate, so it must be. "Famous" cleric opining on the subject? Well, we'll accept that he's famous without actually inquiring into what he said now or has said in the past to make him famous. But laziness is not the sole answer to the question about the MSM's inability to report the whole story when it comes to rage on the Arab street. What lurks behind this journalistic incompetence is that dreaded multiculturalism. This multiculturism, entirely inbred in the MSM, creates the mindset that says Bush -- "white man" -- must be evil and investigated, and murderous Islamic thugs -- "not white man" -- must be victims of white man's oppression and must be supported, comforted, and (God/Allah forbid) not offended. Here's Moore's take on this regrettable world view:
Which leads me to question the extreme tenderness with which so many governments and media outlets in the West treat these outbursts of outrage. It is assumed that Muslims have a common, almost always bristling, view about their faith, which must be respected. Of course it is right that people's deeply held beliefs should be treated courteously, but it is a great mistake - made out of ignorance - to assume that those who shout the loudest are the most representative. This was the error in the case in Luton, where a schoolgirl's desire to wear the jilbab was upheld in the erroneous belief that this is what Islam demands. In fact, the girl was backed by an extremist group, and most of the other Muslims at the school showed no inclination to dress in full-length gowns like her. It's as if the Muslim world decided that the views of the Rev Ian Paisley represented the whole of authentic Christianity. *** Obviously, in the case of the Danish pictures, there was no danger of idolatry, since the pictures were unflattering. The problem, rather, was insult. But I am a bit confused about why someone like Qaradawi thinks it is insulting to show the Prophet's turban turned into a bomb, as one of the cartoons does. He never stops telling us that Islam commands its followers to blow other people up. If we take fright whenever extreme Muslims complain, we put more power in their hands. If the Religious Hatred Bill had passed unamended this week, it would have been an open invitation to any Muslim who likes getting angry to try to back his anger with the force of law. Even in its emasculated state, the Bill will still encourage him, thus stirring the ill-feeling its authors say they want to suppress.Moore writes about Muslims and Britain, but this hypersensitive to the foibles of the non-white is equally present here. Just yesterday, James Taranto noted something stunning in press coverage regarding a speech by Julian Bond, esteemed head of the NAACP. What the media said was that Bond boasted about NAACP membership, reminded listeners that the battle for equal rights is not over, and said that the NAACP had a positive attitude. One paper noted that Bond "jabbed at the Bush administration." Only WorldNetDaily actually bothered to report what Bond really said, and it put him almost up there with Farrakhan as someone who needs to wear a tinfoil hat:
Civil rights activist and NAACP Chairman Julian Bond delivered a blistering partisan speech at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina last night, equating the Republican Party with the Nazi Party and characterizing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her predecessor, Colin Powell, as "tokens." "The Republican Party would have the American flag and the swastika flying side by side," he charged. Calling President Bush a liar, Bond told the audience at the historically black institution that this White House's lies are more serious than the lies of his predecessor's because Clinton's lies didn't kill people. . . . He referred to former Attorney General John Ashcroft as J. Edgar Ashcroft. He compared Bush's judicial nominees to the Taliban.Apparently showing that an African-American leader is losing his grip on reality was simply more than the sensitive MSM could stomach. Taranto writes the proper epitaph to this kind of journalism:
Why did the local media ignore Bond's crazy talk? (The speech doesn't seem to have received any national attention outside WND and cable chat shows.) The most likely explanation, it seems to us, is that they recognized the talk as crazy and felt it would be invidious, inflammatory or both to depict a respected black leader as crazy--even though doing so would have been merely a matter of quoting his own words. What we end up with, then, is a double message, very much like Yasser Arafat* talking peace in English while inciting hatred in Arabic--except that in this case Bond is speaking a language everyone understands, and reporters, whose job is to report the facts, are instead concealing them. Bond's mostly black audience at Fayetteville hears his message of division and resentment, while the broader public is told that he has a "positive attitude" and is engaged in a "fight for equal rights." And then people scratch their heads and try to figure out why blacks' political attitudes are so different from those of nonblacks.Taranto's point is that this kind of reporting harms the political process in the U.S., because a large segment of the U.S. public is ill-informed about another segment's perceptions of the world, and can do nothing, therefore, to address or rebut them. He's right, of course. I'll also repeat my constant mantra about this type of tip-toe multiculturalism, that fears to treat non-whites with the same level of rigor as whites: I think this approach to multiculturalism, which goes far beyond simply learning about the world around us, is profoundly disrespectful of the non-whites in multi-culti's crosshairs. It infantilizes these groups by saying we, the guilty, cringing white folks, don't think you're capable of acting with the level of civilty we display, therefore we won't except it of you. And to the extent MSM reporters repeatedly give bad behavior a pass, they're as much co-dependents the spouses to an alcoholic, who always has an excuse for the drunk's behavior. UPDATE: It turns out that Julian Bond's speech was not as inflammatory as WorldNetDaily reported, but nor was it as bland and uplifting as the MSM try to cosmetize it. It was, in fact, mean, and definitely had buried within it Nazi analogies: "Their [Republicans'] idea of equal rights is the American flag and the Confederate swastika [sic] flying side-by-side." In any event, Best of the Web has the best comment:
On the Observer's blog, editorial page editor Tim White defends Bond, sort of:Hat tip: Little Green Footballs Talking to Technorati: Multiculturalism, Julian Bond, NAACP, Islam, Riots, CartoonsIn this era of mean-spirited political conversation, why should we be surprised when the leader of a civil-rights organization uses the same kind of overheated rhetoric that we hear every day from Democrats and Republicans in Washington?We should be surprised because the Observer, in its original story on the speech, chose to suppress this information, portraying Bond as engaged in a "fight for equal rights" who had nothing more inflammatory to say than, "We have a president who talks like a populist and governs for the privileged." It's a backhanded defense to say that a supposed statesman of civil rights is only as bad as a typical Washington pol, but in any case a reader of the Observer would not have known this were it not for the kerfuffle WorldNetDaily started with its inaccurate report of the speech.