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Outside agitators

By Michael J. Smith on Friday January 28, 2011 12:18 AM

The New York Times is predictably dyspeptic about my friends and role models at Al-Jazeera.

Seizing a Moment, Al Jazeera Galvanizes Arab Frustration

... The channel has helped to shape a narrative of popular rage against oppressive American-backed Arab governments (and against Israel) ever since its founding 15 years ago.

This piece is disgraceful, even by the Times' admittedly low standards. Read the whole thing; it's a lab study in information-free propaganda disguised as reportage.

Bill Keller and I used to wait at the same bus stop to take our kids to the same school. We struck up a typical urban acquaintanceship -- swapped stories, exchanged jokes, never got into anything very personal. He never mentioned the Sulzbergers, I never mentioned Karl Marx.

Keller didn't seem like a bad guy at all, and compared with some of his mad-dog predecessors, like Mike Rosenthal, he seemed, in fact, like a pretty decent human being.

An item like this shows how little the personal equation matters. It's the institution that counts. My decent and no doubt well-meaning old busmate Bill rides, or at least bestrides, a tiger that has its own purposes. The scrupulous Times, when the times call for it, can and must descend to citing "many" unnamed "critics" and "Arabs." And then of course there's the irrefutable impersonal passive -- "widely considered" and the like.

Bill, Bill. Bail out, old buddy. Administering this shit is not good for your soul.

Comments (11)


i recall a certain stringer at a certain
upper west side community paper that delighhted in

"many" unnamed "critics" And "widely considered" and the like.

these are honest tools of the "trade"
in the end
its the "iron neutrality" ...
"just the unvarnished facts folks "
of the time square Times
that galls ...no ?

"swallow this its pure fresh news
contains no habituating side effects
no filtering or processing
just plain raw stuff
cut selected and arranged
simply for ease of ingestion
and to produce only honest digestion

no psycho-genic biasing
no meme stream operant conditioning
no reinforcing
of civics class philistine isms
no eco 101 looking glass maze dancing
etc etc etc etc


As Kurt Vonnegut described it: a "mighty crowd-control engine".


note the times typical maxim in operation

assign the gut jobs the real zionic heavy lifting
to gentiles

worth kirkpatrick


clever back hand blow balance :
" critics speculate that the network bowed to the diplomatic interests of the Qatari emir, its patron, by initially playing down the protests in Egypt...Many Egyptians felt betrayed"
the filler necessary to the piece but placeable anywhere
that lies between the two hunks on perfidious jazzy
probably inserted just there
to take down the edge some i suspect

not too spicey or heated boys
these are mild stomached readers we target here
soft boiled empire-ests of the human rights gender rights animal rights odd mating rights
genteel but open hatch civilization type

learn from this perry !!!!


choice turn:

"Even the station’s fans concede that it has blind spots and political vulnerabilities. "

one thinks of a time square Times
piece on ...fox news
another noisome clashing plaid "news " outfit


back to the jousting

"In 2007, the channel received orders to soften its blunt coverage of Saudi Arabia after Qatar and the Saudis mended a smoldering political feud. That remains a weak point for Al Jazeera — as for most of the pan-Arab press, which is largely owned by Saudi Arabia"


"Mr. Hajji, a freelance journalist
wait a second catch your breath...
" who also calls himself a human rights activist"

larry summers a free lance political economist and policy formulator
who calls himself a main stream liberal ...


“I think we should be careful — I mean we shouldn’t think that our role is to release the Arab people from oppression,” said Mr. Krichen, the anchor

real lede :

killer bug by claculation and re calibration
now on way to non lethal parasite status

Paul Alexander:

You become accustomed to a lifestyle. You become dependent on your benefactor. You attempt to mold yourself into what they ask of you. It's probably too late for Bill to extricate himself.

This is the reason that I live in blissful brokeness! No moral professional quandaries. Only bad food and short vacations.

Ditto that, Paul. Soon, my kids will be old enough to have no need of me at all, and then...


There was another example of Times sanctimony in yesterday's long article by an editor/publisher on the history of the paper's involvement with Wikileaks (excerpt from a book, I think).

Explicitly intended to paint Assange as unstable, and the Times as impeccably responsible reporter, less consciously and self-contradictorally, revealing its humble relationship with the professionals in the government, and its fundamental pro-war orientation.

And, as always, the whole point is double, given the beyond-broken state of our own domestic "media" and "democracy" processes. Indeed, one has to imagine that the venom against Al J is partly so pure because cats like Keller have to know, at some level not all that buried, that they are not doing their own alleged jobs. Not within a country mile.

People hate being shown up.

note the times typical maxim in operation

assign the gut jobs the real zionic heavy lifting
to gentiles

Done did do dat, duly.

As the former Mayor of Carmel would say, in character: a man's got to know his limitations. Errr, ahhh... his audience, in this case.

A little Israel-fluffing goes a long way. Especially if you're an Irish Roman Catholic keybanger.


I've always enjoyed reading this construction "He's a decent and well-meaning chap" who works for the Mafia, or the SS, or GE, or Monsanto, or Columbia U, or...
Wait, wait , wait. This is Bill Keller, capo di tutti capi of the NY goddam Times, yo. I could understand this kind of deus ex culpation if you're talking about a part-time poetry editor, but this dude knows where all the bodies are buried, he's right there as the Big Cheese at corporate propaganda central.
All these criminals tend to look Sopranos-okay when they are out and about with us nobodies, but no one working at that kind of level does not know the staggering corruption, the unflagging corporatism, the bilious fakery that goes into putting out such egregious product. Even the ones below el Jefe know the hollowness of their work, but there is the paycheck, etc.
Keller (as in any Corporate Man) may be a prince at the deli, a polite tennis partner, good with the kids at Rockefeller Center, but, in his work, he's as (they are) all as mobbed up as they come.



maybe not...
i don't know is mjs knew him when he had been fitted to THE power ring

David H:

It has been said by many that Bill Keller, widely considered to be dumb & unattractive, is a chronic masturbator. Unnamed sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed this for the New York Times. Bill Keller could not be reached for comment.

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