Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thomas Friedman, November column

Here (a month after the fact) is an essay by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.

The piece appeared in November, and is called “America vs. The Narrative.”

“The Narrative,” Friedman writes, “is the cocktail of half-truths, propaganda and outright lies about America that have taken hold in the Arab-Muslim world since 9/11.”

Saturday, December 12, 2009

“The general public didn’t exactly understand what we were going after.”

A belated update to the posting, below, concerning the planned burnings-in-effigy, in Danville, Virginia, of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Virginia Congressman Tom Perriello. The event didn’t take place.

The organizer, in discussing the cancellation, argued that the event had been “misinterpreted.”

Actually, I'm guessing many people understood, quite properly, how offensive the idea was.

Greg Sargent, a blogger, wrote the following, about the cancellation:

Nigel Coleman, chairman of the Danville Tea Party, says the local property owner hosting the rally asked him to pull the plug.

“We will not be going forward with the plan,” a crestfallen Coleman told me by phone...“We had to cancel it. The property owner won’t allow us to do it. The media attention was something that he didn’t want.”

Coleman said he was upset that people had gotten the wrong idea about his plan. “I’m disappointed that the story got out of hand and people misinterpreted something we thought would be a little historical lesson. They made people believe that we were committing an act of violence,” he said, adding that the “they” in question were the “liberal blogs.”

Last week, Coleman defended the plan as reminiscent of the American Revolutionaries, a historical comparison that’s somewhat tenuous, given that the revolutionaries were rebelling against a monarch, while the Tea Partiers are protesting a plan created by a government that was elected by a sizable majority.

But Coleman said he didn’t feel that his right to free expression had been tread upon, blaming himself for not anticipating the backlash.

“It was a mistake not to see beforehand that this would be controversial,” he allowed. “The general public didn’t exactly understand what we were going after.”