While thinking of Maddow from Monday: For our money, Thomas L. Friedman’s new column is quite intriguing.
He cites a wave of reaction in the Middle East—reaction against the recent rioting. “Backlash to the Backlash,” his headline says.
This is Friedman’s first example. All deletions by him:
FRIEDMAN (9/26/12): On Monday, the Middle East Media Research Institute, or Memri, which tracks the Arab/Muslim press, translated a searing critique written by Imad al-Din Hussein, a columnist for Al Shorouk, Cairo’s best daily newspaper: “We curse the West day and night, and criticize its [moral] disintegration and shamelessness, while relying on it for everything. ... We import, mostly from the West, cars, trains, planes ... refrigerators, and washing machines. ... We are a nation that contributes nothing to human civilization in the current era. ... We have become a burden on [other] nations. ... Had we truly implemented the essence of the directives of Islam and all [other] religions, we would have been at the forefront of the nations. The world will respect us when we return to being people who take part in human civilization, instead of [being] parasites who are spread out over the map of the advanced world, feeding off its production and later attacking it from morning until night. ... The West is not an oasis of idealism. It also contains exploitation in many areas. But at least it is not sunk in delusions, trivialities and external appearances, as we are. ... Therefore, supporting Islam and the prophet of the Muslims should be done through work, production, values, and culture, not by storming embassies and murdering diplomats.”Throughout his column, Friedman quotes other voices in the backlash against the brouhaha. He even quotes an Egyptian man of the joke:
FRIEDMAN: The Egyptian comedian, Bassem Youssef, wrote in Al Shorouk, translated by Memri, on Sept. 23: “We demand that the world respect our feelings, yet we do not respect the feelings of others. We scream blue murder when they outlaw the niqab in some European country or prevent [Muslims] from building minarets in another [European] country—even though these countries continue to allow freedom of religion, as manifest in the building of mosques and in the preaching [activity] that takes place in their courtyards. Yet, in our countries, we do not allow others to publicly preach their beliefs. Maybe we should examine ourselves before [criticizing] others.”We don’t know what these examples of backlash might mean. But might we make a confession?
As we read these examples of backlash, we thought of segments we saw on the Maddow show the last two nights. These segments dealt with Scott Brown’s ongoing complaints concerning Elizabeth Warren’s past (and apparently current) claims about her family’s ethnicity.
On Monday night, Maddow spoke with Melissa Harris-Perry about these complaints by Brown. As such, liberal viewers saw a former Rhodes Scholar speak with a ranking professor.
This fulfills the favorite (pipe) dream of us liberals: We are the very smart people! But are we really the very smart people? As we watched, we were struck by how many facts were being withheld from Maddow’s viewers. We had a similar reaction last night as Maddow declaimed about this matter on her own, first in a fairly lengthy tease, then in a stand-alone segment.
Due to our recent presence at a top-secret government training session, we haven’t had a chance to review the transcripts. We will do so tomorrow.
That said, is Warren really “Native American?” Maddow made this assertion each night. As she did, and as Harris-Perry lectured, we were struck by how many facts and points of view were being withheld from her liberal viewers.
This morning, we thought of those segments as we read those examples of backlash to the backlash. Should we liberals perhaps “examine ourselves?” That’s the advice that Egyptian comedian has now given to fellow Egyptians. Do we liberals practice the conduct we savage in others, the behavior that comic described?
More on Maddow’s segments tomorrow. That to the side, we recommend Friedman’s intriguing column. Is there a backlash to the backlash?
He reports, you can decide.
Why not treat yourself to a lecture: To watch Maddow’s main segment from Monday night, go ahead: Just click here.
To see Maddow preview this segment on Monday night, click this.