ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘British Media

The Indie and John Galliano.

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In my view, the British media have, in many ways, contributed to the acceptability of soft antisemitism in modern society.

Nevertheless, when the Independent chose to cover John Galliano’s racist outbursts I was hopeful of a meaningful discussion on the topic.

Yet the concluding paragraph of this piece shows where contemporary interest lies, in celebrity and who wore what dress, that for the Independent is the real issue:

Star’s dilemma

For what she must hope is her crowning moment at tonight’s Oscars for her role in Black Swan, Natalie Portman will have wished for anything but the last-minute fashion crisis she now faces.

She is among a gaggle of high-profile guests, who, having been painstakingly fitted with one of Galliano’s frocks, face a daunting decision over which dress to wear to the ball.

Galliano’s alleged rant could see both Portman and her peers obliged to answer the most untimely and unwanted questions on anti-Semitism.

Penélope Cruz wore Galliano at last year’s awards, as did Cameron Diaz, while Charlize Theron, Slumdog Millionaire’s Freida Pinto, and Heidi Klum are known to be a fans.

Meanwhile, the model Kate Moss recently revealed she asked Galliano to design the dress for her wedding later this year. “

Update 1: The Guardian has a similarly tepid article.

Update 2: This is the first instance of Galliano’s racism captured on camera:

Update 3: Phoebe Maltz explains it clearly:

“Next, there are racists, there are alcoholics, and there those who say dumb things after one too many. Not to rehash the Affaire Gibson, but the people who start holding forth about ‘those people’ once they’ve had a few might be alcoholics, or might not, but are definitely racists.

Drinking to the point of disinhibition, but remaining plenty coherent, is not grounds for rehab, for concern from strangers, for any kind of sympathy. It’s grounds for having the courage to hit on a friend one has been crushing on, perhaps to mingle with ease in a informal-networking-type setting. Going on the anecdotal evidence of someone who attended college in the United States and who is currently in a French department, the amount of alcohol it takes to speak more freely is not what is scientifically referred to as sloppy-drunk, but is in fact a normal and mostly positive aspect of life for many adults in many countries. It is a level of tipsiness that does not indicate that one has a problem with alcohol.

Now, if you know yourself and know that your otherwise hidden views about ‘those people’ have a tendency to seem appropriate to you once you’ve had a beer, it is a problem for you to have alcohol even in amounts that would not damage your liver; having the beer anyway indicates poor judgment, not (necessarily) addiction. In vino veritas is not typically anything along the lines of a “cry for help.” “

(H/T:Eamonn McDonagh)

Words Matter.

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Thanks to Bob for directing me towards a piece on the JC by Jennifer Lipman, here’s the concluding bit:

“Why cause a fuss.

Here’s why. Let’s look at where Mr Greenslade made the comment – in a blogpost condemning the intolerance and bigotry of the EDL.

An informed reader might well have recognised the wider point – that Jewish people, given the history of the last century, should be at the frontline in the fight against fascism.

It’s an important and logical argument. But here’s the thing. As the famous quote goes: “Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.”

History teaches us as Jews not only to stand up in the battle against bigotry, but also that bigots don’t always read newspaper articles in an informed way.

The generations of ordinary people who hated the Jews did so not least because of the ugly and cheap stereotypes peddled by respected writers and commentators.

They learnt intolerance from the politicians – in Tsarist Russia to Nazi Germany and beyond – who blamed public woes on Jewish conspiracies, from the caricaturists who saw in Jews an easy target, and from journalists who didn’t recognize, or didn’t care to recognise, the power of their words.

Words matter. As Greenslade knows (and blogs about regularly), especially online they have a life beyond themselves.

A throwaway headline in the Daily Star can become another tool in the EDL’s war-chest, regardless of what the story actually was.

A news article about a “Muslim’s” actions – when religion is of little relevance to the story – is fodder for the bigot’s cause.

And an unnecessary line about Jews having “negative views” about Muslims, from an informed and respected writer, is yet another piece of evidence for the antisemitic extremist as to why he hates Jews.
Words always matter. “

Written by modernityblog

11/02/2011 at 21:23

Fire Or Bigots, Which Is Important?

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The Wire: Just Journalism’s daily updated blog covers something that struck me too.

I have been reading the Guardian again (after a lapse of some 20 plus years), trying to follow the Wikileaks stories and very interesting they are, whilst doing this worthy enterprise I was compelled to read the rest of the newspaper and in parts it’s not too bad.

However, a story covering the forest fires in Israel was another issue.

Given similar prominence on the same page, was an article which detailed how some idiots, some bigots in an Israeli city don’t like rooms being rented out to Israeli-Arabs by a Holocaust survivor.

It is interesting in one way that it shows the dynamic of Israeli society and how the bigotry was rejected by many Israelis themselves, but rather telling as yet another example of the Guardian’s negative coverage of Israel and Israelis.

I think it’s very wrong for some idiotic and moronic Israelis to argue that Israeli Arabs shouldn’t be given rooms, but it’s not exactly headlined stuff.

At least when compared to a forest fire where more then 40 people have been killed.

If your intent was to demonise Israelis and prove that they were racists, to the core, then you might find such a story interesting, then again you might also ask why Israelis and Jews can’t even set foot in many Arab countries, for fear of being killed, a slightly graver issue, but not one that the Guardian wishes to cover.

I think it shows you the Guardian’s warped sense of proportion that an article detailing forest fires and the resultant deaths are given side-by-side with this story of animosity towards Israeli-Arabs, which many Israeli organisations are making a very conscious effort to fight.

Sadly, the Guardian’s intense scrutiny of the Middle East doesn’t venture much beyond Israel, or to be equally critical of the other 22 countries nearby, I wonder why?

Written by modernityblog

04/12/2010 at 02:23

Meretz UK

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Meretz UK is organising a number of talks and one of them is particularly topical:

“Sunday, 21 March – 19.30 Hagai van der Horst: Looking into anti-Jewish and anti-Arab racisms in The Guardian and The Independent.

According to Hagai van der Horst anti-Jewish and anti-Arab racisms exists in some of Britain’s finest liberal newspapers. Furthermore, these two racisms, evident in The Guardian and in The Independent, can be viewed as in polar opposition to one another:

1. Hatred towards ‘the Jew’ is often portrayed as the religious and all powerful internal enemy.
2. Hatred towards ‘the Arab’ is often portrayed as the political and weak external enemy.

Recent press coverage will be shown to demonstrate this, including amongst other things, footage about the Peace Talks, the 2006 Israel – Lebanon war, the Palestinian Authority elections, and reports on the Holocaust and the Naqba. A must see informative talk, for anyone interested in the Middle East and the British Liberal tradition. Don’t miss it! Hagai van der Horst is currently completing his PhD research at SOAS (University of London).”

Here’s more.

I do hope that Meretz UK will record the event, either as an MP3 or a video clip.

(H/T: Bob from Brockley)