Dubai Consumer Mirror

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Why some Americans still don't get it

During my last trip to the US, I've had several conversations with many bright American individuals. People I met in gala dinners, while sun bathing around the pool or waiting for my turn on the amateur golf course. They all had lots of questions and most of the conversations were about "where did we (Americans) go wrong in Iraq" and "What the hell is happening in Lebanon?"

Good news is that most of the people I talked to -lawyers, IT execs, entrepreneurs ...etc, made is clear to me that non of them take any US based TV news station seriously. Almost all of them said it out in the open: "if I want a proper (credible) news story, the last thing I wanna watch is Fox or CNN."

I had a first hand experience to that notion. When i arrived to San Francisco on July 29th, it was the peak of the Israeli offensive on Lebanon and i was dying to get to a TV to know what was going on. When I checked into my hotel room, the first thing i did was reaching for the remote and FOX NEWS what the first station that came on.


I may sound a bit overdramatic here, but honestly that was what happened: It took me about five minutes to comprehend wha was going on. The language being used, the type of reports being aired, the coverage that was running ... it was a surreal moment.

I mean, I was this-close of losing any kind of compassion to what is happening to the Lebanese... almost made me feel like they deserve what they are getting AND Israel is plainly defending itself!!

I snapped out of it and I started flipping channels. Almost every other news station was following the same mantra. I switched the TV off and decided its better to hit the shower to wash off that 36hr long flight.

That same evening, "It could be a one-off thing" I was telling myself, " Or maybe I’ll just stick to CNN. I know CNN. I watch it all the time back home. It can't be that bad." Here is the thing. In the hotel, I was watching Cable CNN, not the International one we get here. It doesn't matter what logo was on the corner of the screen, it was all the same thing.


But the thing that was so shocking is that for the following 4 or 5 days, there were numerous reports, feature shows and survivor interviews on the US Marines Barracks bombing incident that took place in Beirut over 20 years ago. Those stories kept running on and on and on for days, in what is likely an attempt to make sure viewers who didn't see them in the morning, they will at night.

The unfortunate Marines barracks bombing incident happened in October '83... fair enough.. but what the occasion here? Why are they reminding people about it now? Its not the annual anniversary... There are no, presumably, American military engagement in what's happening in lebanon now... What the hell?

Any idiot can see thru it. Those stations where actually driving an anti-anything-lebanese campaign. It was disgustingly unbelievable.

I wasn't the only one who felt that way. This experience was a breakfast topic with my Lebanese friends for the first 4 or 5 days of my trip. After that, we simply stopped watching Cable TV and stuck to online international new sources.

It all made sense when I came across saw this post by my friend Buj.

The video link in Buj's post is more or less a user;s guide for the The Israeli Media and PR Strategy for Dummies. The video is about 1 hr long and one might need to have broadband to watch it. But do take that hour as it will really change your perspective and give you a better understanding why the majority of avarage americans on the street still don't fucking get it.

8 Comments:

  • While reading through this I was about to ask if you've seen the clip in Buj's blog, cause I can't remember if you'd made comments there.

    It took me a few days to watch this (even with broadband in the UAE) and I'm blaming Etisalat. But it was well worth the wait. It's one of the best documentaries I've seen yet.

    Are you back home now? If so, welcome back!

    By Blogger Tainted Female, at August 27, 2006 at 11:04 AM  

  • Moryarti - my Aug 26th 2006 post is related to yours.

    I don't know what it is about the rehashing of old news. The news channels also did this in the US on the morning of 9/11. They showed Palestinians on the streets celebrating the event, firing guns in the air, chanting death to americans, burning US flags - in broad daylight.

    The people in the clip were wearing clothing that was really outdated for 2001, and when 9/11 happened, it was night time on this side of the world. CNN later apologised for showing a 10 year old newsclip, but by then, the damage had been done in the eyes of the emotionally-charged, seeing-is-believing American public - they now believed that the Palestinians were in the streets celebrating.

    I was staying with a friend whose parents were living in Dubai at the time, and we had just rung them up to say that we were safe, as we had been in NYC 2 days before. It was about 11:30pm at night in the UAE. That was the start of my mistrust for what I saw depicted on the news channels re 9/11, and every event since.

    By Blogger nzm, at August 27, 2006 at 11:50 AM  

  • I think that's what Americans want to believe, we all know how these channels would do absolutely anything just to get more viewers, and higher viewing rates, it's all a game, and we're considered as good material for them. It's sad really, that Americans would much prefer to believe that we are terrorists, and it's a shame that Americans would rather see us as people threatening their security. I mean c'mon, scaring people sells, that's what they're doing basically, using us to terrorize them through the media.

    But like the people that you've dealth with DCM, few more educated people, can read between the lines, and choose not to believe the whole rap on Arabs being terrorists, but always, they'll be among the very few.

    By Blogger Pheras, at August 27, 2006 at 3:01 PM  

  • Nzm...bit puzzling there. 9/11 happened at 8:45 am in New York, as I understand it; here in Dubai it was 5:45 pm when we gathered round the TV in the office and literally watched it happen. So you must have called your friend's parents about 6 hours later.

    This means it was around 3:45 in the afternoon in Palestine.

    I heard at the time that Palestinians had been celebrating in the streets and that this was being repeatedly shown on American news channels. Can anyone confirm whether it actually happened?

    (P.S. As we watched the drama unfold at our office, everyone was saying how shocking it was, and I noticed that some were gloating inwardly and others had a lot of difficulty in trying to hide their smiles.)

    By Anonymous truth and justice party, at August 27, 2006 at 3:28 PM  

  • Why they don't get it? Why they don't get it. Media hijacking by Ted Turn-the-other-way and Rupert Murderer.

    They should of redded Gullf News for a correct pictcher.

    While watching all this imperialistic lies, I cut the tomato one way. Then I cut it other way. So my friend said see it cuts both ways. Haahaaha funny joke. So I said I have solve the problem. I have one-way glass. I will put it on. You are good man. You not say bad things about us. Thank you.

    By Anonymous blooshky, at August 27, 2006 at 3:49 PM  

  • John B Chilton provided this link in an earlier post in the Community Blog.

    By Anonymous metabloilique, at August 27, 2006 at 4:13 PM  

  • Thank you for this link moryarti.
    It touches on all the things most of us know on a subconscious basis, but actually details them and provides examples.
    We all know that a huge part of most of the wars/occupations we experience today is PR...yet it sounds like such a vague and undeterminate thing.
    To us who might understand and feel these things better than people who have no emotional connection to the occupation, we know all too well that we are being fed lies/exaggerations/hidden truths everyday. But to a mind and heart that is disconnected from these issues, this is a must-see documentary that I'm sure only highlights the tip of the iceberg.

    By Blogger sky, at August 27, 2006 at 9:38 PM  

  • I'm sick of the ignorance and arrogance. The manipulation of words and phrases is just unbearable.

    By Blogger Jandeef, at August 28, 2006 at 1:49 AM  

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