Posts from February 2004


: Only 15 percent of Canadians would vote for Bush. The rest apparently realize that they can’t vote for him because they’re Canadian.

The Auschwitz of 2004

The Auschwitz of 2004
: Anne Applebaum in the Washington Post shames us on the lack of coverage and action regarding reports of concentration camps in North Korea.

NPR contemplates the BBC

NPR contemplates the BBC
: NPR ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin contemplates the trouble at the BBC caused by reputed reporter Andrew Gilligan and, no, he doesn’t try to whitewash them:

When it comes to investigative journalism, the dangers can often outweigh the promise. The BBC has discovered this to its sorrow. There are some lessons to be drawn from this misadventure for other journalistic organizations, including NPR….

Gilligan didn’t let the facts get in the way of a good story. Lord Hutton concluded that his report was not based on any credible evidence.

Heads are rolling at the BBC with the recent resignations of the chairman, the director-general and the reporter himself.

But other reactions seem to indicate that journalistic defensiveness and denial are the operative responses.

Last week, BBC journalists walked off the job in solidarity with their disgraced leaders….

These reactions miss the point entirely….

Dvorkin goes on to give some very practical advice for the wrangling of investigative reporters. And then he deals with the question of the BBC on NPR, quoting letters from listeners who believe that the BBC’s credibility is shot.

In my opinion, the BBC, like The New York Times, is still strong but damaged. Both are capable, I hope, of repair and learning from what happened….

For now, I’ll keep reading the Times and listening to the BBC on my local public radio station.

But I am disappointed and more skeptical than before.

The devil we know

The devil we know
: I turned on the radio on the drive home tonight and couldn’t believe what I heard. Oh, I already knew that John Le Carre had lost it. But even so, I was amazed and what I heard him say and had to come home and listen again:

:I think that the fact that after we had ended the Cold War that we set about demonizing Islam, that we set about preparing ourselves for unlimited wars in the future, I continue to find that deeply depressing… I would long for more comprehension and a greater respect for the victims of our dreams.

What incredible idiocy.

Who demonized whom?

Islam — or the crackpot, violent, murderous, tyrannical, fanatical edges of Islam — demonized America and the West and modernism. They are the ones who came here to attack us.

Who demonized whom? They demonized us, you ass.

The victims of our dreams?

And how are they victims? Tyranny and repression are what have victimized them. Our dream for them is democracy. Their dream is democracy. Anyone’s dream is.

The victim of our dreams?

What a horrid old fool you are.

: And then I happened to read Dr. Helen Smith reviewing David Frum and Richard Perle’s An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror at TCS.

As a forensic psychologist, what I found most worthwhile about the book was this unapologetic attitude toward terrorists and terrorism. I believe the authors are correct when they promote strong tactics in dealing with terrorists. In fact, I believe that the liberal stance of trying too hard to “humanize” our enemies is a mistake that will make the problem worse, and produce more violence rather than less….

In my private practice, I don’t work with terrorists but I do work with violent people. I used to believe (as many of my colleagues still do) that empathizing with my patients and increasing their self-esteem would help them on the path to self-actualization. Of course, for some anxiety-ridden patients who need faith in themselves, the technique of empathy and support works. However, for those patients with serious violent tendencies, just the opposite is true. With those patients, I’ve found that setting clear boundaries and making judgments about their immoral behavior works like a charm.

Right. The criminals who attack us, those with serious violent tendencies, have to find clear boundaries set around their immoral behavior.

We are fighting them. We are protecting ourselves from them.

We aren’t demonizing them. They already are demons. [Dr. Smith — yes, that’s who you think it is — via Relapsed Catholic]

Live, from Iraq

Live, from Iraq
: Adam Curry is going to broadcast (and blog!) live from Iraq.