Friday, March 11, 2005

I'm not nearly as liberal as Donald Johnson, who just unleashed a rather scathing indictment of the "liberal" media and democratic establishment.

But in the middle of his rant about how complicit the NYT among others has become, I must say Johnson does make one legimitate point:
It's understandable that people ... think that violence is the only practical way to bring about change when even peaceful demonstrations and multilateral pressure on Lebanan are taken by even the "liberal" NYT as evidence that Bush's violence has been successful. And of course the role of Arab media, especially the hated Al Jazeera, goes unmentioned, though they've been broadcasting images of Arabs heatedly arguing about everything under the sun and denouncing various Arab governments. But they're also critical of the US, so they can't be a force for good.
Even here Johnson spews a little more vitriol than I think is necessary, but his point is essentially one that The Economist made a couple weeks ago: the credit the Arab satellite media deserve for promoting democratic principles, even if unwittingly. Every talk show or debate, whether for a conservative or liberal agenda, is an implicit rejection of totalitarianism; such shows demonstrate the impotence of totalitarian regimes to completely control their own cultural space, as well as promote a system of resolution based on dialogue and interaction rather than violence and authority.

Yes, the news on stations such al-Jazeera often appear sensationalist and even reactionary. But that is only in relation to the more liberal media corporations of the West. In their own context, they are quietly introducing some radically liberal principles -- and, to their credit, contributing to some radically liberal results.


Post a Comment

<< Home