Friday, May 14, 2004

They’re Not Like You and Me

Did you read the New York Times editorial I posted? (See immediately below.) What’s the point of describing Nicholas Berg as “an adventurous and naïve young man”? Why the emphasis on his “defiance” of danger? Is the Times suggesting that he is responsible for his own death? I don’t know why else this would have been included in an editorial opinion, especially one as short as this. Would the Times make a similar suggestion about a young woman who, knowing of the dangerousness of a particular part of town, went there alone, at night, to do business, only to be raped and murdered? You know the answer to this question. The Times is trying to make it seem as though Nicholas Berg deserved to die. He shouldn’t have been where he was, doing what he was, with the motives he had. That he was there on “business” makes him seem rapacious as well as naïve. The Times seems discomfited by the attention being paid to Berg’s death. It diverts attention from what the Times considers the real story, which is the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers. But why is one of these stories more important than the other? Oops! I forgot. One story undermines the war effort; the other bolsters it. The Times has been an implacable opponent of the war. The editors of the Times aren’t like you and me. They don’t think the way you and I do. They don’t have the values we (or most Americans) have. They are aliens in our midst. Beware.

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