CNN Airs More Bigotry
The New York Times reported today that CNN has apologized twice—the second time in writing—to China over comments made by its commentator Jack Cafferty on April 9 in which he said, in describing the Chinese, that they were “basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they’ve been for the last 50 years”. Cafferty—whose schtick is to play the role of a jaded, left-wing curmudgeon—later clarified his comments as a description of the Chinese leadership and not its people.
But don’t expect Cafferty and his employers at CNN to apologize for the following words, which were uttered yesterday on Wolf Blitzer’s 'Situation Room':
This garbage about Iraq is the same bill of goods that we have been sold by the Bush administration since we invaded that country. We will be greeted as liberators. We will set up a functioning democracy. All good will come to the Middle East. They will pay for the war with their oil.Dismissing Arabs as a nation culturally and historically incapable of adopting democracy is just plain racist. But it is a bigotry that is not only tolerated in leftist circles but rather openly and proudly displayed because it stands in opposition to George Bush’s vision for the Middle East. So much for the honesty and solidarity of liberalism.
It's garbage. It hasn't happened. It ain't going to happen. The tribal animosities that fuel the violence in that part of the world date back centuries. They are not going to adopt a Western- style democracy next year or in 2013 or 100 years from now. So, it's just more political crap.
Cafferty is no expert on the Middle East; in fact, he strikes me as a gimmicky charlatan playing to a tawdry tastelessness out there in the TV-watching public. But that’s not why he’ll get away with peddling this ignorance: on this issue, he’s amplifying a message that most watchers and commentators on the Middle East advocate. For some, the motivation comes about because they’re not astute enough to understand the subtle contours of an ancient culture and thus lash out with a sense of ersatz civilizational superiority, while for others they’re simply saying what their benefactors among the rich autocrats in the region want them to say.
Nevertheless, it’s heartening to know that Iraq is proving them all wrong. Whether someone like Cafferty will ever have the moral courage to admit it, even to himself, is suspect.