NYT puzzles over Pakistan
April 7, 2010 § Leave a comment
That same old chaos theory story on Pakistan, but we should note it nevertheless.
1) Sabrina Tavernise lends that special Alice-in-a-wonderland feel to her reporting on a potentially historic amendment that is making its way through the Pakistani parliament right now. If passed, it would strip the President of powers that the position has accrued over the years due to revisions to the constitution by unaccountable politicians and dictators. Tavernise is quick to manipulate the story about a significant positive political change in Pakistan into the “chaos theory” narrative the western media has reserved for Pakistan. She writes:
On paper, the changes restore the country’s democracy to its original form — a parliamentary system run by a prime minister — and undo the accumulated powers that the country’s military autocrats had vested in the presidency. (emphasis mine.)
But this is Pakistan — a chaotic, 62-year-old country, where no elected government has ever lasted a full term and the rule of law is often up for grabs — and it is far from certain that in practice the new laws will be respected. (emphasis mine.)
Down the hole, Alice goes. This is Wonderland and things don’t ever change here. Never ever ever. Never ever? Not ever. Get it?
Last year, Tavernise brought us this lovely liner regnant with Orientalism: “On a spring night in Lahore, I came face to face with all that is puzzling about Pakistan.” Wow, where? Was it at the intersection of Ignorance and Hubris? Try and get off that. It’s really overcrowded.
2) The Lede blog posted live video footage of the bomb blasts at the US Consulate in Peshawar (h/t jdw) and then noted:
Readers who watch the footage from Pakistani television above may notice one sign of how routine bombings have become in the country. At one stage, as images of the latest attack were broadcast, the crawl at the bottom of the screen gave updates on a celebrity drama, the planned marriage of a Pakistani cricket star, Shoaib Malik, to an Indian tennis player, Sania Mirza.
When a commenter called out the blog’s writer, Robert Mackey on his spurious concluson based on news tickers which are equally random everywhere else, he responded saying, “I explained in the post what the point of the the trivial news in the crawl seemed to be to me. I made no statement that this sort of trivia was unique to Pakistan and not found in most if not all other countries.” Even to Mackey his response must sound lame; it’s certainly not an answer.
Here’s a snapshot of CNN vs. al-Jazeera on the day the Wikileaks video was posted. Pots and kettles. Enough said.
cross-posted here along with other non-PK related material. –M.T.