The MEMRI case

I have already posted stuff on MEMRI. But lately Juan Cole has been threatened by the Colonel (of MEMRI) because of some sort of number he apparently got wrong. Anyway, check out Cole’s second input on his own site where some other guy is quite sceptic about MEMRI’s objectivity in selecting Arab media articles (as I sure am too).

The most important point point of reply made by Cole would be:

I continue to maintain that MEMRI is selective and biased against the Arab press, and that it highlights pieces that cast Arabs, especially committed Muslims, in a negative light. That it also rewards secular Arabs for being secularists is entirely beside the point (and this is the function of the “reform” site). On more than one occasion I have seen, say, a bigoted Arabic article translated by MEMRI and when I went to the source on the Web, found that it was on the same op-ed page with other, moderate articles arguing for tolerance. These latter were not translated.

Oh yes Colonel Carmon said something of a “reform” section of MEMRI’s site that gives candies to good ‘liberal’ Arab boys.

Also, for those who say that Cole is a conspiracy theorist, here is an interesting point:

I did not allege that MEMRI or Col. Carmon are “affiliated” with the Likud Party. What I said was that MEMRI functions as a PR campaign for Likud Party goals. Col. Carmon and Meyrav Wurmser , who run MEMRI, were both die-hard opponents of the Oslo peace process, and so ipso facto were identified with the Likud rejectionists on that central issue.

And this end the whole “likudnik” controversy.

Now check out what Abu Aardvark has to say about this (our MEMRI specialist). Even Brad Delong condemned the move. Finally, check yet another interesting discussion on MEMRI here .


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