Mitchell goes a bit too far for another piece about Hizbullah/…Also: Westerners are not ALL foreigners!
Why does Mitchell Prothero have to go this far here, to a series of small claims that are obviously not accurate to anyone with a basic knowledge of lebanon? When you come across this sort of a paragraph any serious reader knows to stop. Sadly it is just not worth it to go on because if a journalist is willing to exaggerate on small details, how can you take the rest of the piece and larger claims? It may make good reading to the unknowing reader in the US, but its not useful for anyone else.
It is unfortunate because Mitchel has been covering lebanon for a long time and has had good reporting over the years. But then you read this at the opening:
“It was the first of many moments that began candidly and turned into a recitation of the straight party line. Hezbollah members aren’t really allowed to socialize with foreigners and don’t give interviews to the media. But Hassan and I have known each other for nearly five years, and though he’s comfortable in my company, getting him to say anything that isn’t more or less the official line of the self-described “Party of God” can feel like an ordeal.”
– Few people should claim a deep, intimate knowledge of Hizbullah members – mainly because soooo may lebanese will claim to be “hizbullah” over the years and are not…. why not use the more accurate term of “hizbullah sympathizer” or even “self-described hizbullah member, although such descriptions are hard to verify for all reporters.” In the end, one should stop claiming interviews with “mid level hizbullah commanders” etc as a serious journo.. period.
This would be better journalism of course, but it makes the piece less sellable and readable I suppose?
Then on the other side, hizbullah DOES GIVE INTERVIEW TO THE MEDIA – especially the arabic and islamic media (remember the english language media is NOT the only media)… and Hizbullah OFFICIALS do socialize with foreigners – REMEMBER HERE OF COURSE THAT AGAIN westerners are NOT the only foreigners!
Mitchell knows well that one can go to sayyid fadlallahs restaurant on any given day and known hizbullah officials are “socializing” with iranians, bahrainis, iraqis, americans, british, tunisians, egyptians etc…