If the Headline is Upworthy, It’s Probably Untrue
I love a counter-intuitive argument. But only when it’s air-tight.
That’s why I was skeptical of Tablet magazine’s gaudy headline: "If You Want To Find Support for Israel, Read the Newspapers—in Cairo."
Well, I read the newspapers—in Cairo—and apparently Tablet’s writer hasn’t. There are more broadsheets in the photograph accompanying the piece, which is undated and vaguely captioned, than in the entirety of the blog post. In fact, the only newspaper cited is Al-Ahram, a state newspaper that hardly represents all of Egypt. And even if you were to assert that the state’s flagship paper represents the entire county, you would first have to read more than one article in it!
I won’t bother dissecting the author’s platitudes about “Arab states.”
Instead, I’ll take the publication to task for this sweeping generalization: “Numerous Egyptian media reports have also expressed explicit support for Israel’s actions.”
The source for this assertion? A short, scantily cited article from Gatestone Institute, which Rightweb calls “a New York-based advocacy organization that is tied to neoconservative and other right-wing networks in the United States and Europe.”
A handful of Egyptian media sources are quoted by Gatestone, but that hardly proves the author’s argument. The best way to make such a claim would be to read the dozens of Arabic newspapers available in Cairo. Note to Tablet and Gatestone: most Egyptian newspapers also have websites, so you don’t have to leave your armchair!
Cairo is the media capital of Middle East—or at least the city thinks it is. Can you imagine a foreign correspondent in the US saying “this is what the newspapers in New York are saying,” by only quoting Tom Friedman? That would be considered shoddy reporting.
What really upsets me is that this ideologically-driven and wholly un-factchecked post from Tablet appears in Google News. Talk about false advertising.
That’s why I am posting a bunch of political cartoons that offer a variety of Arab and Egyptian opinions on the Gaza war, which is apparently something that other publications are too lazy to do.
"It’s okay, he just had a difficult childhood."
Andeel / Mada Masr / 25 July 2014
Farag Hassan / Al-Ahram / 24 July 2014
"GAZA" in black marker, though the man is distracted by a mango dessert on his laptop.
Walid Taher / Al-Shorouk / 18 July 2014