Carol Platt Liebau: Nobody's Fool

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Nobody's Fool

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may be crazy, but he's nobody's fool. He courted American journalists at dinner during his stay in New York, hoping -- as the linked Time magazine article points out -- that they will "filter his speech and ideas for a wider American audience." Amazingly, it seems that journalists know they're being spun, but go along for the ride anyway.

Jon Friedman wonders what would have happened had journalists simply refused to cover Ahmadinejad as a first-rate newsmaker. But as all of us know, that wouldn't happen.

The prospect of getting a snappy sound-bite is like catnip to reporters, and apparently, no enemy of the United States is so repugnant that they will refuse his hospitality when there's the prospect of him saying something ratings-worthy. Here's a final, interesting snippet from Time's Richard Stengel, who attended the dinner along with other journalists and academics:

[Ahmadinejad] requests that we not ask questions, but make statements, so that he can react to them in a form of dialogue. The academics are not shy. (emphasis added)

But where, oh where, are the journalists? They're not "shy" with President Bush . . . surely they showed the same bravado to President Ahmadinejad?

1 Comments:

Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

Jon Friedman wonders what would have happened had journalists simply refused to cover Ahmadinejad as a first-rate newsmaker. But as all of us know, that wouldn't happen.

Hmm. 7 out of 22 of your front-page pieces are about Mr. Ahmadinejad. I checked the Google news page and only 1 of its 21 stories is about Mr. Ahmadinejad. I wonder what would have happened had YOU simply refused to cover Mr. Ahmadinejad?

10:01 AM  

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