Friday, December 03, 2004


Galloway Follow-Up

Johann Hari reminds his readers of some of the charges against Galloway - not that he accepted money from Saddam Hussein's regime, but that he was extremely supportive of said dictator. Nonetheless, Media Lies argues that the quotes Hari provides are, seen in their context, considerably more nuanced than they would seem at first sight. I don't believe this disproves the points I made below - it does prove, though, that the issue may be more complex than it seems.

- M.

I am responsible for the Media Lies article, (which originally appeared at Lenin's Tomb), and I feel obliged to put some iron in your soul. Hari does not merely oversimplify the quotes or extract them from a complex narrative etc. He lies. One might have surmised before that he has merely made a mistake, not read the text properly etc (although that would have been a very difficult sell), but he has now read the corrections, with page numbers supplied. And he insists on retailing fabrications and fabulations.

Here are the most egregious:

1) Hari claims Galloway defended Hussein's right to invade Kuwait. He did not. He specifically rejected it. Hari's claim was made with the use of a carefully edited quote.

2) Hari claimed Galloway was rendering a moral equivalence between Saddam's regime and Western liberal democracies. Galloway was not. Again, Hari makes his claim with the use of a carefully edited quote.

3) Hari claims that Galloway, in comparing Hussein to Stalin, is not wielding a criticism. Passages contiguous to those cited by Hari show that he was.

4) Hari claims that Galloway fails to mention the ideal of two-states, but he does.

5) Hari claims that Galloway 'evades' the reasons for Israel's creation: he does not.

6) Hari claims that 800,000 Jews were 'ethnically cleansed' from Arab countries after 1948. They were not.

Hari also makes other claims which are demonstrable false in relation to Galloway, among which are the ideas that he opposes liberal abortion legislation (he does not) and supports the death penalty (he does not). I asked him for evidence of the last claim, knowing the first had already been refuted, but Hari has been loathe to provide it.

Unusually for many journalists, Hari will listen to criticism. Little difference it seems to have made in this case, though, when he is in obvious error, if not in libel territory.
Thanks for the info, Lenin. I'll probably get back to this issue in a few days or so. - M.
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