How "Muslim Rage" Got it Wrong

Friday, October 05, 2012


When the US consulate in Benghazi was attacked and protesters took to the street throughout the Islamic world, news reports trotted out a familiar narrative: "MUSLIM RAGE" and the clash of civilizations. Bob talks to Middle East scholar Marc Lynch, who says the media got it wrong and the real story is that protests were small, petered out quickly, and followed a radically different pattern from past anti-US agitation.

Felix - Bernard St.


Marc Lynch

Hosted by:

Bob Garfield

Comments [5]

Kirk Parker

What? No transcript???

Oct. 09 2012 12:32 AM
Andrew M from Santa Rosa, CA

A good story. Just want to observe that, in your conversation with Marc Lynch,he observed that Twitter commentary back at Newsweek's page for their cover story resulted in a useful feedback loop that citizens haven't had before until the internet. I would note that your show, and NPR shows, finally having a comment section is similar. It seemed as if your show (and most NPR shows) were afraid of this and delayed it, but I am glad you finally joined the 21st Century. It's not such a bad place, and comments don't have to be something to be feared. The News Hour hasn't gotten that memo yet.

The Newsweek cover was so racist and simplistic, it was good to see them get the feedback. That feedback is important. It's empowering. Most of us don't like to be told what to think, and it's part of the dialog today to reject having views imposed on us by pundits and careless journalists. By allowing us to comment, and have our comments read by other commentors, here or at the Newsweek Twitter, it dilutes the overinflated power of pundits and careless journalists, and creates a useful dialog for journalists and citizens. Citizens aren't just ignorant yahoos, but people with their expertise and insights to offer. Glad to see that story acknowledge that.

Oct. 08 2012 02:49 AM

Both the host and the guest posit that the media's storyline was simplistic and missing context of what the Arab people in Libya, etc were really about. Fair enough.
But I have never heard a similar standard by On the Media or the New America Foundation applied to the media's Israel-Palestinian storyline which has long reported as Palestinian victimhood and Israeli aggression. It never really takes into consideration the lives and context of the majority of the Israeli people who have long practiced the kind of democracy, and enjoyed the freedoms, that many in the Arab world are now pursuing. Nor has it pursued the themes of the persecution that the non Muslimes (ie. Christians) in Egypt are now receiving without the protection of the government. Would On The Media kindly respond to this post? How about running a program on what the majority of the Israeli people believe and how they live their lives? Their is a major disconnect between the reality of life in Israel and the violence that the overwhelming majority of Americans including Jews believe goes on there. My analysis shows that this disconnect, which causes them to be afraid of even visiting Israel, is largely due to the distorted media storylines.
What's good for the Arab people in Libya should be good for the Israeli people in Israel.

Oct. 07 2012 11:51 AM

While focusing on the supposedly unfair treatment of the Arab street, what coverage of the Tea Party movement and Occupy Wall Street "didn't fit the story, didn't fit the script" according to a media that sought to demonize the former and lionize the latter?
What was the "laziness and simplistic narratives" associated with those American movements, or is it too soon to explore that bias and hypocrisy?
Would remembering women assaulted in Tahir square or OWS contribute to a lazy and simple narrative while placing the Tea Party under an unforgiving and distorted microscope be considered news coverage to be lauded?

Oct. 06 2012 09:52 PM

Really enjoyed this story. First time I tried to comment on Marc's story on Tunisia it was several times - why? I was just learning about OTM's acceptance or rejection of comments:

And it would be so cool to see / read what he thinks about the zoo-metaphor of a donkey and elephant that characterizes the US. The body state metaphor was updated many times since the days of Aesop.

What does Marc say? What can he say that was not already said (or written) ?

Oct. 06 2012 02:33 PM

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