Sunday, May 21, 2006

Zerbisias on the Possible anti-Iran hoax (Edit: With New Kinsella Hijinks!)

(On the off chance you followed through Antonia Zerbisias' recent screencap on Twitter, I have a bit of a followup thing here. -Demosthenes, 2012.)

Although I'd enjoyed her blog before, I wasn't expecting the Toronto Star's Antonia Zerbisias to have the best summary I've read on the recent flap of an erroneous story in the National Post that suggested that Christians, Zoroastrians, and Jews would be required by the Iranian government to wear identifying markers. The story, which made the obvious Nazi comparisons, was not only false, but quite possibly a deliberate hoax by a winger PR firm. (She links to this DailyKos story.)

Makes sense, though, considering the paper that is at the centre of this mess (and, it is quite possible, a knowing co-conspirator in this hoax) is the Star's ideological nemesis: the National Post.

(I'd link to the original story, but as Zerbisias points out, it was quietly removed and altered when the truth came to light.)

That the National Post would be ground zero for this is unsurprising; although a centre-right paper in many respects, it skews roughly to the right of the Jerusalem Post when it comes to the Middle East, and can be counted on to be a loyal ally to Israel through thick and thin.

(Of course, at this point, I'd imagine the Post is an ally that Israel would probably rather not acknowledge, considering how likely it is that this will be spun by the usual suspects as Mossad black propaganda.)

In any case, when looking up Canadian news, I'm probably going to continue to read the Globe and Mail instead. At least it isn't, apparently, a pack of moonies away from being the Washington Times. Sorry, Warren.

Edit: Ok, maybe I'm not that sorry. Warren's reaction, incredibly, is this:

Sigh. Anti-Post screecher Zerb - you know, the gal whose paper previously achieved journalistic distinction for declaring the Blue Jays "racist" - has popped a head valve over the Chris Wattie Iran story in this week's Post. Qu'elle suprise.

Unlike Zerb, whose every waking hour seems to spent in Asper (and sometimes Israel) bashing, I will wait for all the facts to be in on this one. But permit me to say that her comparative silence on Iran's declared intention to "wipe Israel off the face of the Earth," a little while ago, was noteworthy. (And when Iran says something like that, is requiring Jews to wear identifying bits of cloth such a stretch?)

All I will note, instead, is that one of Zerb's researchers for her post on the Post is that piece of human garbage named McClelland - you know: the guy who writes "fuck the Jews" on his web site. And who Zerb quotes approvingly all the time.

I'd ask "who should be ashamed now," but there's no point, is there?
At this point, Mr. Kinsella, I'd say the answer should be you. Sorry, but Zerbisias handed your paper its ass on a platter. You chose to sit at that table, so don't complain about the food.

And, might I add, does this guy have any arguments he can bring to the table except useless ad hominems? Zerb gets that lame "waking hour" bit, and Robert McClelland gets called "human garbage" for a comment that Kinsella doesn't bother to substantiate and is utterly immaterial to the issue at hand.

No wonder he took a shot at me for being pseudonymous! Apparently having no other decent ad hominem to bring to bear, he had to pull out that lame excuse!

(Of course, considering that he didn't even acknowledge that his paper has quietly backed away from its own inflammatory reporting, I think the term "lame excuse" just about sums up the situation, doesn't it?)

Really, though, it makes sense. Only someone who's trading on his connections and past notoriety could possibly get away with that half-assed an argument. Pseudonymity is about building a reputation based on the quality of your arguments, but when you can't bring quality arguments to bear, it makes a hell of a lot of sense that that concept would be threatening, wouldn't it?

Ah well. In any case, this is one situation where "Asper-bashing" is entirely warranted.

Further Edit: Go read the comments to Zerb's piece- Kinsella gets savaged. Also, for a little comedy, go read this piece by Kinsella over the horror that is the use of the word "Nazi" by graffiti artists who write "Nazi Post" on National Post newspaper boxes. I loved this little gem:

We could go on, but the point should already be made. Analogies to the crime of the Holocaust -- and to its perpetrators, the Nazis -- are more than an inappropriate use of language. They are a gross, vile insult to the actual suffering of millions who perished at the hands of the Nazis: Jews and non-Jews, rabbis and priests, communists, gays, Jehovah's Witnesses, gypsies, trade unionists, non-whites, dissidents and disabled persons.
I'm not sure: do newspapers with (possibly deliberately) poorly researched articles charging a state with behavior directly analoguous with Nazi behavior--that feature pictures of Hungarian Jews on the front page, no less--qualify as "inappropriate", Warren?

Just curious.

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