Jul
12
2009

The Gulf Between Africa and 'the West'

In a News Analysis piece (7/11/09), New York Times reporter Adam Nossiter attempts to illustrate the difference between some African countries and more enlightened nations, writing: The gulf separating the West and many African leaders on fundamental issues like human rights was on display just last week. The African Union announced that it would refuse to cooperate with the International Criminal Court in its attempt to prosecute the Sudanese president, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, for crimes against humanity, over the mass killings in Darfur. Whatever you think of the ICC's pursuit of Al-Bashir (some human rights observers thought it an unwise […]

Apr
03
2009

NYT Apologizes for Positive Review of Progressive Book

It was surprising to see that critical scholar Mahmood Mamdani's new book (which is largely about debunking Western notions about Darfur and genocide–something he discussed on CounterSpin) got a positive review in the New York Times (3/30/09). Today (4/3/09) the paper sort of apologizes, in an editor's note (only in the print edition, so far): The Books of the Times review on Monday was about Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics and the War on Terror, by Mahmood Mamdani, a professor of government at Columbia University. The review was written by Howard W. French, a former reporter for the New York […]

Mar
26
2009

'Hold Us Accountable!' Says Unaccountable Darfur Pundit

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof issued a call in his column today for pundit accountability. After making a problematic argument about knowledge and experience being overrated, Kristof correctly pointed out that in the media, "the marketplace of ideas for now doesn't clear out bad pundits and bad ideas partly because there's no accountability," and he concluded his article with a call for action: "Hold us accountable!" Does this mean Kristof will now acknowledge the error of his prediction last month that the president of Sudan would not kick out aid groups in Darfur if the International Criminal Court issued […]

Mar
18
2009

NYT: Obama Appoints 'Swahili-Speaking' Envoy to Sudan

The New York Times' Peter Baker reports today (3/18/09) that Obama has tapped "a Swahili-speaking retired Air Force officer who grew up in Africa as the son of missionaries" to be his special envoy to Sudan. Does Baker or his Times editors realize that they don't speak Swahili in Sudan? It's like reporting that Obama appointed a French-speaking envoy to Germany, and meaning it in a flattering way. Sure, they don't speak French in Germany, but they're both in Europe, right? Baker also writes: The latest crisis began March 4, when the International Criminal Court in the Hague charged Mr. […]

Mar
06
2009

Kristof: 'Saving' Darfuris by Killing Them

Just last week (2/26/09), Nicholas Kristof, who has written often about the situation in Darfur, was rooting for the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for Sudan's president, as a step towards "help[ing] end the long slaughter and instability in Sudan": Next Wednesday, the International Criminal Court is expected to issue an arrest warrant for Sudan's president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, for crimes against humanity in Darfur. That would be historic–the first time the court has called for the arrest of a sitting head of state. It would be the clearest assertion that in the 21st century, mass murder […]

Mar
06
2009

NYT: The Hague Strictly for Other Presidents

Consortium News' Robert Parry (3/5/09) uses New York Times do-gooder Nicholas Kristof as an example of blatant corporate media hypocrisy: Kristof–like many of his American colleagues–is applauding the International Criminal Court's arrest order against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for his role in the Darfur conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives…. By all accounts, Kristof is a well-meaning journalist who travels to dangerous parts of the world, like Darfur, to report on human rights crimes. However, he also could be a case study of what's wrong with American journalism. While Kristof writes movingly about atrocities that can […]

Nov
24
2008

Newsweek's 'Other Holocaust'

There are two major conflicts in Africa that receive U.S. media attention. In Congo, it is estimated that 5 million people have died in a conflict that has raged for about 12 years. In the Darfur region of Sudan, estimates can range from 200,000 to 400,000. The Darfur conflict, though, has received much more press attention than Congo–which serves to explain why Newsweek magazine would run a (short) article about Congo under the headline "Africa's Other Holocaust."