Isabel Hilton bends over backwards to defend Al Jazeera in her review of Hugh Miles's sympathetic new study of the network. As Guardian readers will know, Hilton has been a lot less willing to give the US the benefit of the doubt, especially on
Afghanistan, on which subject she was a founder-member of the R.W. Apple School of Quagmire Journalism. And when the Taliban blew up the Buddhist statues at Bamiyan, who wrote a piece urging us to feel Mullah Omar's pain? Yes, you guessed it:

Although the international outrage is justified, it is also true that few countries are innocent of past zealotry and iconoclasm. Genghis Khan's forces destroyed Bamiyan in 1221, despite the fact that Genghis Khan himself was to become one of history's less likely Buddhists; British forces demolished most of the 15th-century mosque in Musallah in Afghanistan in 1885 and in China, temples and monasteries were demolished during the Great Leap Forward.

...Only three countries recognise the Taliban government, despite the fact that it controls 90% of the country. It is not the most appealing regime, but nor is it the only regime in the world that stones adulterers to death, condemns women to a half-life behind the veil or amputates the hands of thieves.

On the whole, I think I'd rather get a fair and balanced view of Al Jazeera, pro and con, from Iraqi Expat and Free Iraqi.
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/03/judging-al-jazeera-isabel-hilton-bends.html|||3/06/2005 12:59:00 pm|||||||||