Wednesday, May 10, 2006

When an owner blogs

They probably don't have much choice in the matter, but it's really not a good idea for the The New Republic's blog, The Plank, that the mag's owner, Marty Peretz, occasionally posts. To be more accurate, Peretz is a part-owner but he's the one that's near a keyboard. So gems that in the past would have gone to other places (like his railing against liberal elites by referring to a Brecht poem) now wind up on the blog. Today for instance there's a post that essentially asserts that civilization only comes to the non-West through the barrel of a gun, but also gets taken in by a hoax:

Here in the Sunday Times of London (May 7) is an article by Hala Jaber about the gruesome killing of Atwar Bahjat, a reporter for the television network Al-Arabiya, in Samarra the day the Shia mosque was blown up. The article is based on a film of her execution.

Not so. The video is of a previous killing of a Nepalese hostage -- no less gruesome for that, of course, but not deemed newsworthy until it was repackaged. Peretz should know this even if he only stuck to the diet of conservative blogs, because National Review's "K-Lo" noted the debunking recently. Remember incidentally, that George Bush continually claims that the terrorists kill only to get on our TV screens. Apparently the tactic is so jaded that they now have to retool old material.

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