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I complained recently that liberal media outlets, including those in the blogosphere, tend to be almost as narrow-minded in analyzing the Middle East (read: uncritically pro-Israeli) as the mainstream media. In response, blogger Richard Silverstein (no relation) wrote to tell me that I’m being somewhat unfair and that there are plenty of places to look for a more balanced approach to Middle East coverage. He cited the work of writers like Matthew Yglesias (with whom I had noted a small disagreement in my original post), Ezra Klein and Glenn Greenwald. (All good names, to which I would add others such as Laura Rozen and Justin Elliott.)
So I stand corrected, at least in part. Because despite these important exceptions, I still think the general consensus on the Middle East at some of the big liberal blogs–especially those close to the Democratic Party–is hard to distinguish from the general consensus found elsewhere in the mainstream media.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”