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The article is in Salon's subscription-only section but the offending statement is in the first paragraph, which is exposed as a tickler to non-subscribers. Here is the relevant quote:
Feb. 2, 2002 | One of the ongoing journalistic sideshows since Sept. 11 and the unfolding war on terrorism has been the debate about the Arabic-language cable news network Al-Jazeera. To its defenders, including many on the far left, such as the media watchdog group FAIR, Al-Jazeera was on a journalistic par with CNN...Now, FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) is an organization critical of the American news media. Conservative it's not, granted. But is it "far left"? I had not previously paid much attention to FAIR, so I went to their Web site to take a look. They describe themselves thus:
FAIR, the national media watch group, has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986. We work to invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints. As an anti-censorship organization, we expose neglected news stories and defend working journalists when they are muzzled. As a progressive group, FAIR believes that structural reform is ultimately needed to break up the dominant media conglomerates, establish independent public broadcasting and promote strong non-profit sources of information.Granted, they call themselves "progressive", and they say that "structural reform is ultimately needed to break up the dominant media conglomerates". Still, if that is the agenda of the "far left", then what ever happened to communism and socialism? FAIR does support public broadcasting, but I cannot find any hint that they advocate the socialist aim of "collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods", not to mention the communist goal of eliminating private property. Yes, they've featured Noam Chomsky as a guest speaker, but on the whole FAIR appears to be about as far left as was FDR.
This brings me to my main point. Once upon a time, before Ronald Regan's PR machine managed to turn "liberal" into an epithet, the acceptable political spectrum ranged from communism on the far left to fascism and monarchism on the far right. Liberals occupied the most respectable territory, the moderate and reasonable region smack dab in the middle of the spectrum. Even today, in most Western countries, the political parties that call themselves Liberal are generally considered center-right since they are more pro-capitalist and more concerned with individual freedoms than are the Labor and Socialist parties. On any sane political spectrum, liberalism is the centrist, reasonable and moderate philosophy.
A political spectrum in which the mildly left-liberal FAIR is perceived as the extreme left edge is politically deadly to liberalism, because few people are willing to support positions defined as "extreme". American liberals desperately need a real political force to their left, so that they can again position themselves in the political center where they belong, but instead they seem to spend more energy on destroying everyone to the left of them than they invest in countering the long-term rightwards drift of American politics.
This is a sad state of affairs for liberal-minded people, and it's unfortunate that Mr. Marshall so casually contributes to the prevailing canard by rhetorically positioning FAIR on the far left. It's not, and he should know better.
BLITZER: Have you ever met, personally, Osama bin Laden?Excuse me, I'm just the publisher of an unknown me-zine and not a real journalist, but if Wolf Blitzer is playing one on TV then how can he completely ignore the revelation by the former head of Saudi Intelligence that Mr. Bin Laden approached him with "other projects in mind" which he turned down because they "were so extraordinary and unacceptable" ? Wouldn't a real journalist follow up on such a remarkable statement?
Mr. Blitzer wrapped up the interview without ever asking Prince Al-Faisal about Osama bin Laden's "extraordinary and unacceptable" projects.
I have to believe that even Larry King would have picked up on that.
A piercing response to this comes from NekedBob@aol.com via bartcop.com:
Ashcroft denies any connection to the statues being covered so we're left to assume that The Spirit of Justice and The Majesty of the Law were ashamed to be seen in the same room with him.NekedBob may be on to something there. But the AP story also adds a previously unknown tidbit:
Hix said the Justice Department bought the drapes to avoid having to rent them every time the agency had a formal event. The drapes cost about $2,000 to rent.Which brings up a new question: for just how long has Justice been blowing $2,000 a pop to cover up the Spirit of Justice during formal events? And, if it's not too difficult a question, why?
[Conservatives note: that's two thousand dollars of your money each time.]
OK, enough with the trivial stuff. I know there's a war on. On to more serious things - have you heard the one about Crisco oil and calico cats?
Tiny Polemics by the virtually unknown polemicist Robert Dobbs are helping to un-distort the language. This work speaks for itself, and it's in the public domain so you can help it reproduce, like this:
ARCHIVE July 8th - July 14th, 2002 July 1st - July 7th, 2002 June 24th - June 30th, 2002 June 3rd - June 9th, 2002 May 20th - May 26th, 2002 May 13th - May 19th, 2002 May 6th - May 12th, 2002 April 22nd - April 28th, 2002 April 1st - April 7th, 2002 March 25th - March 31st, 2002 March 18th - March 24th, 2002 March 11th - March 17th, 2002 March 4th - March 10th, 2002 February 25th - March 3rd, 2002 February 18th - February 24th, 2002 February 4th - February 10th, 2002 January 28th - February 3rd, 2002 January 21th - January 27th, 2002 January 6th - January 13th, 2002 December 10th - December 16th, 2001 December 3rd - December 9th, 2001 November 26th - December 2nd, 2001 November 19th - November 25th, 2001 November 11th - November 18th, 2001 November 4th - November 10th, 2001 October 11th - November 3rd, 2001
|The floggings will cease when morale improves.|