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National Review: justifying lies with racism

by the stormy present Wed Dec 5th, 2007 at 03:11:52 AM EST

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

So the National Review sent some raving rightwing American "patriot" to Lebanon to rip the lid off of... oh, I dunno, the great Iranian/Syrian conspiracy to take over a nation with nice beaches.

Said "reporter" is exposed as a fabulist by local journalists and others who are mystified by this totally unrecognizable portrait the "reporter" is painting.  He has claimed to be The First Western Reporter To Enter Nahr el-Bared Since The Fighting, which is patently untrue.  He talked about "an acid weapon" used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (?!) on somebody's car.  He talked about thousands of Hezbollah gunmen deploying around Christian areas of Beirut in a mysterious "show of force" that nobody else in town knew about.  He claimed the Hezbollah protesters in downtown Beirut are "heavily armed."   And he has claimed that the Dahiya, the semi-flatted-by-bombs southern suburbs of Beirut and Hezbollah stronghold, are so dangerous that he must have weapons with him as he drives around taking pictures of Hezbollah "installations" and otherwise acting like a spy.  He is rightly excoriated.  Weeks go by.  National Review does nothing.  A critical mass develops.  National Review must respond.

National Review's response to the scandal?  He didn't lie, he was "spun" by his sources.  Because, you know, Arabs lie a lot:

As one of our sources put it: "The Arab tendency to lie and exaggerate about enemies is alive and well among pro-American Lebanese Christians as much as it is with the likes of Hamas."

Oh, that's much better.  A little racism makes fiction so much spicier.

Hat tip to friday lunch club.


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So my question is, how stupid are these people?  Honestly.  It seems like a bottomless well of idiocy.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Dec 5th, 2007 at 03:13:41 AM EST
Stupid means never have to say you are sorry.

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by A swedish kind of death on Wed Dec 5th, 2007 at 03:57:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stupid? Well, I don't know about that, but these NR people are certainly nasty and dishonest, racist in this case, very cowardly.
by Quentin on Wed Dec 5th, 2007 at 04:06:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's about turning 'mean' into a national movement.

Do people still think I'm exaggerating when I say this kind of mean is a form of mental illness?

If you were having a dispute with the neighbours and sent a friend over, and the friend came back with tales of gun emplacements and watchtowers and floodlights, and then you went over yourself and found one small yappy dog, a slightly broken fence, and an invite for cocktails at the weekend, would you wonder about your friend's sanity?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Dec 5th, 2007 at 04:12:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Edit: I see now the journo is the author of 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Intelligent Design.'

I think this calls for a solemn moment of utter deadpan.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Dec 5th, 2007 at 04:15:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
<speechless>
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Dec 5th, 2007 at 04:27:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OMG, his wikipedia page is hilarious.  I love the "facts" at the end:

Smith, on a hunting trip in 1988, reportedly killed a wild boar with a knife.

The page makes no mention of the scandal.  Unfortunately, I don't have time to edit it today.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Dec 5th, 2007 at 04:38:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmmm, looking at the wiki history, it seems that the "Beirut controversy" section was anonymously deleted just today.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Dec 5th, 2007 at 04:42:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh look!  It's back. That didn't take long.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Dec 5th, 2007 at 04:45:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, maybe I hallucinated that, because the edit history doesn't show that the section was deleted.  But I could've sworn it wasn't there when I first looked at the page.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Dec 5th, 2007 at 04:49:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmmm.  Not sure what's going on, but I don't think I hallucinated it.  Now the line about killing a boar is gone, and the edit history also isn't showing the change.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Dec 5th, 2007 at 05:22:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Presumably "The Intelligent Person's Guide to Intelligent Design" would be a very slim tome indeed.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Dec 5th, 2007 at 05:45:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not stupid, it's just nasty. Now, how stupidracist do these people think their readers are?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 5th, 2007 at 04:49:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Possibly no more racist than they themselves are.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Dec 5th, 2007 at 05:24:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"The Arab neocon tendency to lie and exaggerate about enemies is alive and well among pro "pro"-American Lebanese Christians journalists as much as it is with the likes of Hamas the White House."

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Wed Dec 5th, 2007 at 08:41:35 AM EST
That is one brainwashed, nasty, noneck.  I hope Lebanon decides to ´recon´ him and keep him a while.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Wed Dec 5th, 2007 at 05:37:11 PM EST


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