THE CAMEL CAN­NOT SEE ITS OWN HUMP

The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - ARAB MEDIA -

Al-Ara­biya, Lon­don, Oc­to­ber 26

The re­cent dis­cov­ery of ex­plo­sive de­vices sent to the mail­boxes of high-pro­file Democrats across the United States is a stark re­minder of the deep state of divi­sion that ex­ists within Amer­i­can so­ci­ety. In a press con­fer­ence held last week, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump re­sponded to these in­ci­dents by as­sur­ing the pub­lic that author­i­ties are al­ready in­ves­ti­gat­ing who was be­hind these at­tacks. Yet the pres­i­dent made an­other im­por­tant re­mark: he ac­cused the lib­eral Amer­i­can me­dia of mis­lead­ing the pub­lic about the at­tacker and his mo­ti­va­tion, mak­ing it seem as though he took or­ders di­rectly from Trump’s team.

Trump may be viewed as un­trust­wor­thy by many, but the state­ment he made wasn’t wrong. The Amer­i­can me­dia have been wag­ing an in­ces­sant war against Trump, of­ten por­tray­ing mere spec­u­la­tions about him as truths set in stone. These at­tacks have moved away from fo­cus­ing on his poli­cies and tran­si­tioned to­wards per­sonal in­sults about Trump him­self. In the af­ter­math of the re­cent bomb scare, I hap­pened to hear Amer­i­can me­dia mogul Jeff Zucker com­ment on the bomb in­ci­dent and ac­cuse the White House of “fail­ing to un­der­stand that words have consequences to them.” He sug­gested that Trump’s in­flam­ma­tory rhetoric is what in­spired these sup­posed at­tacks. Yet I couldn’t help but chuckle to my­self as I heard him speak. Zucker is, af­ter all, the global head of CNN, which is the very or­ga­ni­za­tion that has so loosely been mak­ing use of words – even very harsh ones – when it suited an anti-Trump agenda.

Sug­gest­ing that we must be care­ful with our speech is a two-way com­mit­ment. The lib­eral Amer­i­can me­dia can­not ex­pect Trump to play by the rules of a game if it doesn’t do so it­self. Yes, there is no doubt that the bombs are de­plorable and vi­o­lent crime that should be ad­dressed. Yet it seems as if the camel can­not see its own hump. Zucker’s ad­vice on the se­ri­ous im­pli­ca­tions of words should echo not only in the halls of the White House, but also in ev­ery tele­vi­sion chan­nel and news­pa­per room across the United States. – Mashry al-Zayidi

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