Across the Bay

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hassan Chopped!

David Kenner skewers the second horrid piece in a week by Hassan Fattah in the NYT.

Aside from the blatant political bias and the idiotic ideological line, the piece, as Kenner shows, is flat-out factually wrong from top to bottom. That this piss-poor piece, and its equally terrible predecessor earlier in the week, passed the NYT standards speaks volumes.

It's little wonder also that the Syrian regime's court jester hailed its "wisdom" about US policy and Lebanon, because it was the usual asinine "it's America's fault" rant that passes for "analysis." And, as it so happens, purely coincidentally of course, it's the talking points memo of the Syrian regime. Let's just call it Regime Comment.

The problem is that the jester starts by quoting Fattah but ends by linking this piece in the Daily Star about a survey done by the pro-Hezbollah (not March 14) Abdo Saad (father of the Hezbollah flack Amal Saad-Ghorayeb). The survey shows that Gemayel won the majority of Maronite votes, and the majority of overall Christian votes outside of Burj Hammoud (the Armenian district dominated by the Tashnag). Furthermore, Gemayel attracted independent Christian voters in the Metn.

In other words, this flatly contradicts everything Fattah said in both his pathetic pieces. Gemayel's support went up, not down, as admitted even by Hezbollah's flacks. The entire premise of the Fattah piece, therefore, collapses. Yet, this information was readily available. Fattah was simply too lazy or too dishonest to consult it. As for the NYT, since the piece fit its foreign policy editorial line (i.e., bash Bush), they ran it (twice, in one week) regardless of its factual errors, its bias, or whether or not a by-election in a district in Lebanon had in actuality anything to do with the US.

Update: The editorial of NOW Lebanon has more on this. This is the "newspaper of record" and it got the historical record factually wrong.