I wasn’t going to comment on Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad’s speech at the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, but when I read Smuggy’s take on it, I knew I just had to.
The CBC is going halfway and manages to fit in with the whitewashers while pretending to be unbiased. […] Our media could at least give people the option of deciding for themselves whether this guy is a nut or not – why do they need to put the squirrel-yelling guy through two hours of hair and makeup before they roll the camera?
I’m not sure which CBC article Smuggy was reading, but the one I read earlier today had a headline of “Malaysian PM urges Muslims to unite against what he calls Jewish domination” and an opening paragraph which read (emphasis mine):
In a blistering attack on Israel and hectoring criticism of the Islamic world, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad told a summit of Muslim leaders Thursday that Jews ruled the world and recruited others “to fight and die for them.”
And in case you misread that paragraph, or thought it a misprint, the next one quotes Mahathir (again, emphasis mine):
“The Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million, but today the Jews rule the world by proxy,” Mahathir, a widely respected statesman in Asia and the developing world, said in a speech as he became chairman of the 57-country Organization of the Islamic Conference.
You would have to be illiterate to come away from the CBC headline, let alone the text of the article, without the impression that Mahathir is a raving lunatic. The CBC, and many Canadian papers, the Globe And Mail included, do not, by any stretch of the imagination, leave it up to the reader to decide whether Mahathir is out of touch; they spell it out in the article headline and its opening paragraph. A journalist could have easily opened with any number of Mahathir’s statements, many of them strongly critical of modern Islam. Instead, they focussed on the strongly anti-Semitic portion of the speech, and rightly so, as that is a far larger story.
Certainly, a news article could be more critical of Mahathir’s beliefs, but that job is for the opinion pages. If someone living in the 21st century can’t read the facts, or even simply the text of Mahathir’s speech, and come away with the impression that Mahathir is a nut-case, at least as far as his beliefs of a Zionist conspiracy against Islam are concerned, then that person is as backwards as Mahathir and no comment editorial can spell it out for them.