The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

The New York Time’s Marlise Simons on the STL: The Parachute Opens, But Where’s the Beef?

Simons of course is a “seasoned” reporter, but this does not qualify her to write something informative and accurate about the STL: which is why she fails on both accounts.

Again – it’s not about the polemical bent of the piece: I think the STL could have been an excellent lever of power in Lebanon against impunity and could have been useful in turning Hizbullah away from violence, Syria out of lebanon etc., but the Bush folks and the STL itself (as well as other M14 actors, states etc) royally misused and ruined the STL’s practical and moral power, very early on.

Simons is sadly not aware of much of this history or nuance so the piece she has, the very late in the day piece one may add, is of no analytical value: she served up a misleading piece for the unknowing reader that merely reconfirms the reader’s preconceptions (which is banal journalism) AND she served up a piece for the more serious reader that is useless.

Just one point for Simons – please, the next time you land in Lebanon and do an STL piece at least do what many of our journalist friends who dont have NYT resources and cover do, and which takes only a few seconds: CALL OMAR NASHABE, at least on background.

Simons might not know him, but he speaks english, is a co-founder of the paper and is very accessible…. And has been doing the most interesting work on the STL.

He is now an expert for the defense true, and may not be able to speak – but he can help her to at least get Al-Akhbar’s opinion, response – this is a minimal requirement of journalism right?

Amazing that in the entire piece about Al-Akhbar, the readers does not even get the throw away phrase of having tried to get a comment from the paper but with no luck… even though we all know that there are plenty of people current and former from the paper who would respond to her polemics.

My favorite part though comes right at the beginning, when Simons starts boldly:

“The first shock came when a leading Lebanese newspaper published a confidential list…”

Does she really think this is the “first shock” when it comes to the STL?




Written by nickbiddlenoe

March 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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