December 15th, 2006

The Party Line

When the NYT prints something like this —

Hamas, a radical Islamic movement that is considered a terrorist group by Israel and the West, , , ,

it tends to remind me of,

The Harvard Lampoon, a semi-secret Sorrento Square social organization that used to occasionally publish a so-called humor magazine, , , ,

& if that’s not enough to make you skeptical, review today’s piece on hip-hop in Cuba, about which says El Canyonazo (via email),

A bit of an Orwellian experience reading the NYTimes today… theres
an article about Cuban hiphop which says that the festival was
cancelled this year, which is odd because I was there and even
performed during the festival in August.

don’t get me wrong. i read the NYT every day, and not for nuance (tho a little more woulda sweet).

i’m just sayin, don’t believe every thing you read —


  • 1. greg  |  December 15th, 2006 at 7:00 pm

    what do you think would have been a better apositive to describe Hamas? the first one used in the article, in the opening sentence, is “the governing Palestinian faction”, which I think adequately describes Hamas’s official and most current role. however, you don’t think their political activities before winning the most recent elections merit the NYT at least pointing out that a substantial body of political entities (“Israel and the West”) consider them as having another side — the “terrorist group” part?

  • 2. wayneandwax  |  December 15th, 2006 at 7:09 pm

    i’m just not sure that the appositives used in that paragraph are helpful. they just ring like an odd gloss to me, a sly slander. &playing into this “terror” rhetoric doesn’t seem appropriate for the paper of record. &how committed are we — we should ask ourselves, at this point — to the notion of the “west” as used here? sounds like classic clash of civ bs to me.

  • 3. ripley  |  December 16th, 2006 at 10:33 pm

    yeah, not feeling “The West.” And, identifying who considers who a terrorist group – a substantial body of political entities (of which, by the way, “The West” doesn’t necessarily count as one) consider other folks terrorists than Hamas, so why stop at what “The West” (whoever that is, am I in it) thinks?

    not to derail but I get your example just fine.

    and ditto on the NYT. You only have to attend one protest in NY and read the coverage the next day (if there is any) to know the salt grains obscure the forest, or something like that. all I’m saying is,if the NYT mentions people in the streets, multiply by 10 and you might be closer to the scene.

  • 4. john  |  December 28th, 2006 at 3:35 pm

    Suicide bombing is terrorism, isn’t it?

    If your objection is that it feels like an opinion inserted within a statement of fact, perhaps the sentence would be better worded as:

    “Hamas, a radical Islamic movement that sponsors suicide bombing in Israel, …”

    I don’t think that using the word “terror” is rhetoric if the facts fall into its accepted definition.

  • 5. wayneandwax  |  December 28th, 2006 at 3:40 pm

    John –

    At bottom, I just don’t think that “terrorism” is a reasonable distinction to draw between the violent actions of Hamas and those of Israel or the US.

  • 6. john  |  December 28th, 2006 at 5:11 pm

    OK. But for me, the distinction is at the intentional targeting of civilians. And this is what suicide bombing, or random rocket firing, is; and it occurs at places that have only psychological, not military, value.

    Also, I’m wary of placing Israel and US into the same boat, as you have done in your response. The US does not have rockets landing in its backyards. There is no way in which one could describe the US as defending itself by being in Iraq. The US is not a tiny country surrounded by countries that don’t think it should exist.

  • 7. wayneandwax  |  December 28th, 2006 at 11:19 pm

    Sorry, John, but I just don’t buy any talk of “intention” as a meaningful distinction when looking at the civilian death counts in, say, Lebanon, Iraq, or Gaza. Next you’ll be telling me that it’s because the “terrorists” hide behind the “civilians.” (Maybe we could say that about the US and Israel too? [which, for the record, are often in the same boat])

  • 8. » S&hellip  |  January 5th, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    […] Much as I like to bellyache bout the NYT, you gotta love it when they let pomo philosophers pen op-eds about politricks. And even if (sadly — for all of us, not just him) Zizek’s mostly remixing his ol’ desert of the real spiel, I was totally tickled to see him — in so many words — call Bush an “Iranian Agent.” Now, how about making him a film critic too? […]


I'm a techno-musicologist, internet annotator, imagined community organizer.

I left my <3 in the digital global, but I reside in Cambridge, MA, where I'm from.

I represent like that.

wayne at wayneandwax dot com

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