Tuesday, December 06, 2005

NPR and Bad Timing


The template is as limited as it is unjust. Whether it be All Things Considered or Weekend Edition, NPR's treatment of the Israeli-Arab conflict is usually mauled into one of a very few narratives:

1. There's the one featuring plucky Palestinians coping with the regime of their beetle-browed Israeli oppressors.
2. There's the one heavy on moral equivalence, sympathetically profiling victims or other aggrieved people from "both sides".
3. And there's the one featuring disaffected Israelis, rebelling against the status quo of injustice and oppression.

But there is never a story which assumes the Israelis' right to survival, while unambiguously condemning the terrorists who seek their lives. At least, not during my commute. Here, as with any other left-wing critique of world affairs, the civilized are never without fault, and the uncivilized are never without excuse.

So on Sunday morning's Weekend Edition, we were treated to a pleasant chat with a Palestinian woman on a book tour. The segment fell firmly into Template #1. A largish chunk of the interview was taken with her moaning about how tough the Israelis made the border crossing, and how oh-so-clever she was in getting through.

And the very next day a Palestinian suicide terror-bomber killed five innocent Israelis at a mall in Netanya, a short distance from the West Bank.

The Jews want to live.
The Islamic terrorists want the Jews to die.
NPR wants to split the difference.


  1. I dunno.

    How are they splitting the difference by interviewing the Palestinians who just want to live?

    Mentioning the terrorists every time is no better than pointing out the gunships firing missiles blindly into neighborhoods.

    Both cause terror, and both kill innocents. Just one happens to have a legitimate government behind it and happens to hit their legitimate targets more often. But they also manage to hit more innocent ones as well.

    So how is 'splitting the difference' bad here?

  2. Moral equivalence, like suicide, is the coward's way out.


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