News junkie

If you’re a news junkie and you’re working at home and so you listen to the news at intervals during the day, you can sometimes see it evolving, from the moment a fresh item first arrives until it’s been properly incorporated into the ideological agenda. This happened last Monday with a press conference by Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, except that they couldn’t quite cope…

The first report, which I heard on the radio at lunchtime, referred to remarks he made on Israel, calling it a “fake regime” that cannot continue to exist. The second report, in the late afternoon, cited his threat to withdraw Iran from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty if it continued to bring the country no benefits. Finally, Channel Four News at 7pm reported that Iran will not negotiate with the US over Iraq because the new government in Baghdad makes this unnecessary. This fragmentation of the news is one of the things that makes it difficult for the ordinary punter to grasp what’s going on, and reminds me of a comment once made by Siegfried Kracauer that the illustrated press is where the public sees the world whose perception of it is hindered by the illustrated journals themselves. At least the written press managed to include all three revelations in the same report, at least in this account from Associated Press in Iran Focus.
Meanwhile, Left I on the News provides useful comments on the way the Iran affair is being reported in the USA. The Washington Post tells its readers:

Escalating the threats between Washington and Tehran, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned Wednesday that his country would strike U.S. targets around the world in the event it is attacked over its refusals to curb its nuclear program.

‘I’m sorry,’ says Left I, but ‘announcing that you will retaliate if attacked is not a “threat.” Announcing that you quite possibly will attack, and that “all options are on the table,” up to and including nuclear weapons, when you do — that’s a threat.’
As for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Left I cites a New York Times story as it appears in the San Jose Mercury News:

Iran insists the Non-Proliferation Treaty gives it the right to enrich uranium for fueling civilian nuclear power plants, and … has given no ground in the international faceoff.

Says Left I, “Iran insists…”? To the best of my knowledge, there isn’t the slightest question about Iran’s rights to a civilian nuclear power program under the NPT.’ As for the New York Times/San Jose Mercuty News suggestion that Iran’s actions “appear to show an Iranian determination to move ahead with a confrontation with the West”, Left I asks: ‘Iran is “moving ahead” with a confrontation with the West? How about the “West” is moving ahead with a confrontation with Iran? How dare you put your face in front of my moving fist?’

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