Tuesday, 5 April 2011

News Caution: Koran Burning Protests

We have been hearing in the news how Afganis are so outraged at a Florida bigot's public burning of the Quran that they are rioting, shooting people, burning stuff and so on.

My bullshit detector went off big time over this one. Let me spell it out: there is no way these protests are about some nobody minister being stupid! N O   W A Y. This has got to be about something else which the Florida idiocy is, at worst, a trigger event.

To start with, the target of the protests are not anyway remotely connected with the event. Muslim protests are never so poorly targeted. Add that the people on the ground have quite limited internet access and we have reason to suspect other reasons being important. But all the so-called news services are all reading the same script at us ... I had to hunt hard for some alternative commentary.

It looks like someone wrote a press release and the news agencies have been reading it verbatim. Facts are thin on the ground, even Al Jazeera seem to be having trouble figuring out what to report but at least they remain measured and calm.

It does look like some sort of power-play is involved. If, as the linked article suggests, this is a Taliban power-bid, then it has backfired: the immediate result is that the UN are staying longer. The Taliban would have been better advised to wait a bit.

It also does not explain the uniform scripted message the media are handing us. "Muslims are violently insane." is what we are being force fed (with a side order of "we must respect religions") but "the Taliban are sneaky" would work better, yet that is not what we are hearing. We'll have to wait a bit, with skeptical caps firmly in place, for when the other shoe drops. Meantime: do not believe what the news are telling you.

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