An excellent piece in The Nation’s September 11 2006 issue criticises the misuse of the term ‘fascism’ in today’s political dialogue, as well as the nonsense of a concept of ‘Islamic-fascism’ (or ‘Islamo-fascism).
“Islamo-fascism” enrages to no purpose the dwindling number of Muslims who don’t already hate us. At the same time, it clouds with ideology a range of situations–Lebanon, Palestine, airplane and subway bombings, Afghanistan, Iraq–we need to see clearly and distinctly and deal with in a focused way. No wonder the people who brought us the disaster in Iraq are so fond of it.
Crystalising perfectly my feelings about this silly term, Katha Pollitt only hints at what I’ve said before about who precisely is closer to fascism if one compares Osama bin Laden and George Bush, Jr. At least I can be sure of one thing: some people out there continue to care about the meaning of words.
Oh, and while I’m here, I’ve a nice article in the works about Melanie Phillips, the sour-mouthed darling of the right-wing blogging world.
There is a widespread trend in the so-called â€˜blogosphereâ€™ which consists of bashing the BBC for an alleged bias behind their coverage of home and international news. Sites like â€˜Biased BBCâ€™, â€˜Busting BBC Biasâ€™, and several others are dedicated to highlighting a perceived anti-conservative or more often anti-Israeli agenda.
Analysis of state-run news agencies is important. I have witnessed plenty of occasions when the BBC has taken up its â€˜public service â€“ unite the peopleâ€™ mantle with a bit too much enthusiasm. Golden Jubilees and other uninteresting royal events leap to mind.
However, I have never detected anything in their coverage of the Israel-Palestine or Israel-Lebanon which amounted to anti-Israeli bias. Every news report Iâ€™ve watched over the last few weeks has matched Fox News for the amount of content broadcast from the Israeli side of the frontier, spending plenty of time talking to Israeli civilians in shelters, inspecting damage to houses and shops, asking for the opinions of shoppers and holidaymakers in Tel Aviv. All of this was done in a sensitive, humane way with absolutely no hint of malice or put-downs on the part of the BBC.
Of course, the BBC also showed images of devastation in southern Lebanon. Blocks of flats which had collapsed, two-storey-deep holes in Beirut, dead women and children. Several times, it was noted that the BBC werenâ€™t allowed to enter Hezbollah-controlled zones. It was made clear at these times that this might have been because Hezbollah had â€˜command and control bunkersâ€™ or â€˜armed fightersâ€™ on the streets. Continue reading Why does everyone hate the BBC? →